this is the last of my acquisitions from my NYC root beer quest and probably the one i knew about the longest. i am not sure how i came to learn of its existence, but i had emailed the makers a few times back and forth. there was talk of meeting up somewhere in northern New Jersey to get me some of the syrup, but it just never happened. which is fine as i knew i would get it eventually. as long as they stayed around and still made the sarsaparilla that is.
i like their concept, it is pretty unique as they appeal to the hipster cocktail making set as well as the gourmet/small batch soda snob set. and i suppose there is the molecular gastronomy people who might be into soda syrups on some level also. they have many recipes on their website for interesting concoctions one can make using their syrups. the syrups are stocked at many bars in the Brooklyn area so they also seem to have unique drinks they make with this stuff. but that is not what i care about here! i care about how good of a soda it makes on its own. the bottle and label are well done also in my opinion. pretty basic and 2 colors but the line art siphon bottle conveys the product image well.
i was a bit lazy again and did not fire up the soda siphon but instead used seltzer water to mix a batch of this. although when i bought it i also bought a cup of it made just to be sure i would match up the intended taste when i made it myself. i added a bit of extra syrup anyway to make it a bit stronger since i like my drinks to be more flavorful than their instructions resulted in.
the color of the drink is unusual, but without caramel color to alter the color, this is probably what root beers and sarsaparillas should look like. it is a very light yellowish brown. the flavor you ask? i would most liken it to a tea, which is essentially what it is. sort of bitter but not badly so. i would like it to be sweeter myself and i could add some simple syrup or whatever if i wanted to, but that is not the intention, i could always do that to a soda really. it is definitely rooty/herbal tasting. beyond the sarsaparilla i cannot place the other spices, i feel like fennel is involved but i have no idea why i think that. it is ok, different, but not great in its execution. i am happy they exist and make this but as a soda it is not tickling my taste buds enough.
Anthony’s Rating: 71
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|Available:||NY, online||Obtained in:||Brooklyn Flea|
Ingredients:water, organic cane sugar, sarsaparilla root, citric acid, spices