Distinguishing Sarsaparilla from Root Beer

Sarsaparilla and root beer are two similar beverages enjoyed in different parts of the world. They have a comparable appearance and taste, leading many to believe that root beer is just another name for sarsaparilla. However, despite their similarities in aroma and flavor, there are distinctions between sarsaparilla and root beer, and they are not the same drink. This article explores the subtle differences between these two popular beverages.


Sarsaparilla has been made and consumed by Central American natives since ancient times. It is produced from the extract of sarsaparilla, specifically its root. This plant is a vine, and its roots are crushed with their juice converted into a drink called sarsaparilla. Its popularity in the past was due to its medicinal properties, which were believed to cure syphilis.

Root Beer

Root beer, as the name suggests, is a beer made from several roots, with sarsaparilla root being the main ingredient. Other roots commonly used to make root beer include cinnamon, licorice, wintergreen, and vanilla. This is why root beer may taste similar to sarsaparilla but is also available in various other flavors. Root beer can be either alcoholic or a soft drink.

Key Takeaways

  • Sarsaparilla is one of the ingredients in root beer, whereas it is the only ingredient in sarsaparilla.
  • Root beer is a more popular beverage than sarsaparilla, which is popular in Central America.
  • Other ingredients in root beer include cinnamon, clove, licorice, vanilla, and wintergreen.
Dmitri Ivanov
Dmitri Ivanovhttps://whats-different.com
Dmitri Ivanov, a writer and managing editor, was educated in Canada and holds a BS in Science. Dmitri loves doing research, writing, and teaching various courses.


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