Showing posts with label sarsaparilla. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sarsaparilla. Show all posts

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Maine Sarsaparilla root beer review

So after the UK market dries up of decent US made, sodium benzoate -packed root beer there's very little choice out there. Cyber Candy in Covent Garden, London only had Virgil's, this Maine Sarsaparilla root beer and a very weird and wonderful British root beer in stock.

The first swig and I'm almost shocked at the taste. This isn't the sarsaparilla taste I remember. If this is the future for UK root beer fans then I'm not impressed. I'm all for natural and organic ingredients but it tastes weird with even a hint of ginger. It's not a bad taste but I just wouldn't bother.

At this rate I'll be moaning about EU regulations, writing strong letters to my MEP and even voting UKIP (that'll never happen by the way).

I rate this low sodium benzoate root beer:

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Francis Hartridge's celebrated root beer

Hooray! Let's celebrate this celebrated, English made root beer that's a reasonable price! But is it any good?

Bought from a 24 hour super corner shop in Brighton called Easy Hours at £1.10 its competitively priced. According to the website Hartridge's is stocked in places I usually avoid i.e. Asda, JD Weatherspoons and Nisa as well as some others I've not heard of. Bravo to Asda for stocking this and their cheap but not so cheerful Carters root beer. With Tesco selling A & W and even Boylans in some stores plus Waitrose selling that Aussie licorice faux-root beer it just leaves Sainsburys to man up and bring us an alternative.

First impressions from the reading the label and alarm bells are ringing. There's 37g or 31% of your daily recommended amount of sugar but checking a bottle of Pepsi and there's the 2% less sugar so maybe not such a big thing.

The taste however is not root beer or sarsaparilla as stated on the label. This is more like Bundaberg's root beer with a licorice flavour. Hats off for a UK company to produce a root beer but I think they need to do some research and actually taste some real American sarsaparilla. I suspect it'll be down to ingredient availability outside the USA or they've only tasted Bundaberg's.

I rate this UK root beer:


Monday, 24 February 2014

Baldwin's Sarsaparilla review

After the subtle taste of Mawson's reviewed earlier on this blog this Caribbean sarsaparilla cordial drink is like a smack in the teeth in super-charged sweetness. After a tip-off from a Facebook fan that A & W cans were in the West Indian section of Tesco (there weren't in the Shoreham store) I found this bottle of squash instead.

After diluting this Baldwin's sarsaparilla with chilled water it tasted synthetic like a high frequency sweetness. If you can remember the candy candles or sweet cigarettes then you're nearly there but just multiplied by 10. Even adding more water and some ice couldn't help the cause so tipped it away.

Second attempt was with some vodka straight from the freezer. Another mistake as the smell was like opening a tin of paint at a nasal hair distance. Drinking it made me feel like my insides were being painted with a dark purple gloss. The taste was still as sweet but the vodka made it slightly sour - not a great mix really. Gave up after 3 sips.

Overall, even at £1.89 a bottle I preferred the Mawson's but won't be buying either in future.


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Friday, 21 February 2014

Mawson's Original Sarsaparilla Cordial review

Since sarsaparilla is synonymous with root beer I couldn't resist trying out this cordial drink with the potential to satisfy my root beer cravings. Mawson's has an interesting history associated with this drink according to the company website. Back in the late 19th and early 20th Century, temperance bars were all the rage in Northern England. These bars served no alcohol but offered local communities public places to drink and socialize as long as they swore not to touch the evil booze. Anyone part of the Temperance Movement or Methodists drank the likes of this Mawson's sarsaparilla cordial or Vimto, which still survives today.

Basically you're buying something that tastes very similar to Vimto, another drink of the bygone age. I used a sparkling spring water to mix up the drink but had to put in a lot of cordial to get it to the taste I liked. The main problem was the spring water as the fizziness had that bitter taste. With normal still water it still needed the same amount of cordial but at least the strong quirky fruit taste came through very much like Vimto (a more lively version of Ribena is you like).

Value for money was pretty poor. I bought the bottle from Taj the Grocer, a supermarket full of wonderful world and healthy food in Hove (actually) for about £5. I've already had two glasses at a potential cost of 70p each go. Might have a go at mixing it with vodka but that might just be wrong for religious reasons!

Difficult to rate really being virtuous but expensive. I bless this a saintly:


Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Hosmer Mountain Sarsaparilla Root Beer review

Reading the label for this Hosmer Mountain drink and its clear that this root beer is a little more special than others I've tasted. The spring water quoted can really be tasted with a clean, freshness in the mouth. The sarsaparilla is smooth and memorable. This is a premium root beer I would love to have on tap.

Checking the manufacturer (Hosmer Soda) website, its both surprising and yet charming how small scale they are. They have just two actual shops and a website that has the charm of a family-run business.

Bought via Cyber Candy for £1.89 a 354ml bottle.

I rate this 'antique' root beer a thoroughly deserved:

9 / 10

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