Difference Between Sarsaparilla and Root Beer

Sarsaparilla vs Root Beer

Sarsaparilla and root beer are two similar beverages consumed in different parts of the world. They look and taste similar, and many believe root beer to be just another name of sarsaparilla. However, despite similarities in smell and flavor, there are differences between sarsaparilla and root beer and the two beverages are not the same. This article attempts to find out the subtle differences between these two popular beverages.


Sarsaparilla is a drink that has been made and consumed by Central American natives since ancient times. It is made from the extract of sarsaparilla, its root to be precise. This is a plant that is actually a vine and its roots are crushed and their juice converted into a drink called sarsaparilla. The reason why this drink became popular in old times was because of its medicinal nature that seemed to cure syphilis.

Root Beer

Root beer, as the name implies, is a beer made from several roots with sarsaparilla root being the prime ingredient of this beverage. Other roots commonly used to make root beer are cinnamon, licorice, wintergreen, vanilla, and so on. This is the reason why root beer may taste similar to sarsaparilla, but it is also available in many other flavors. Root beer can be alcoholic in nature, or it can be a soft drink.

What is the difference between Root Beer and Sarsaparilla?

• 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 that is popular in Central America.

The other ingredients in root beer include cinnamon, clove, licorice, vanilla, and wintergreen etc.


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