I apologize for the late post. Hopefully most of you caught my Facebook message and were able to do today’s project if you wanted to, but I spent most of the day just exhausted and sick to my stomach (I think lunch didn’t agree with me) and I just couldn’t make it happen till after I had a decent nap, which was hard to get when I was fighting my stomach. But anyway, today’s project is/was to try a drink you’ve never had before. Bonus points for being something old or obscure. You know all those glass bottles everyone walks past in the soda aisle? Those are a good place to start.
As far as I’m concerned if you’ve never seen any form of advertisement for it, it counts as obscure. I decided to go with one I’ve never seen any brand of before and have only ever heard of in westerns and had no idea what it would even taste like, and bought myself that bottle of Sarsaparilla. Which I never would have even spelled properly, there’s a whole lot going on in that word that I didn’t know was there.
Earp’s Original Sarsaparilla, the one I ended up with, uses cane sugar rather than corn syrup like most sodas, so it’s a way healthier option and also safe for the big portion of the population with corn allergies. Despite its association with westerns I’m surprised to see it marketed as Earp’s since it’s the drink that would get you beaten up in a saloon if you ordered it instead of whiskey. But their website informs me that “a beverage this fierce is enough to rival even the meanest, darndest bandits in the seedy saloons of the great yonder.” They also let us in on the secret that the fight at the O.K. Corral was really about keeping the Earp’s Sarsaparilla recipe “out of the hands of the bad guys.”
In the 19th century Sarsaparilla was sold as a medicine for skin and blood problems. I have both, so I guess we’ll see if I’m miraculously cured tomorrow. I have a breakout trying to start on my forehead today, so it’ll be easy enough to see if it clears up any differently than normal. I’m guessing not, apparently if you take enough of it it makes you sweat, and I only intend to drink the one bottle and don’t tend to have much luck with sweat clearing up my skin anyhow. Wikipedia advises me sarsaparilla was also used to prevent venereal disease. I can’t help you out with whether that one works or not, I’m all good in that department.
I also found that Sarsaparilla is still widely available in some other countries, and that some of them, notably Australia, have a much different tasting sarsaparilla than we do here in the states. I know we have some Australian members and would be interested in hearing more about that. Ours tastes a great deal like Root Beer. Evidently US sarsaparilla isn’t made from the actual sarsaparilla plant but was originally made from birch oil and dried root bark from the sassafras tree. Now it might have original components or it might be entirely artificially flavored. The bottle I have says only “natural and artificial flavors.”
So while I’m probably not getting the real old-west experience, and doubt I’ll be getting any medicinal benefits, I’m enjoying the soda. It’s snowing here today (finally) but I can see where this stuff would be AMAZING served super cold on a really hot day. And I like to try new things. Hopefully you do too cause we’re gonna do lots of that when we can 🙂 Life is after all all about the experiences. Let us know what you decide to try and how it fairs!
A word about music: We include songs for a reason. Music helps us deal with the world, helps to soothe the soul, and gives us something else we can focus on when everything is too much. Listen to the songs we post. Even if you already know them. Listen to them like you don’t. Pay attention to the lyrics. Pay attention to what the instruments are telling you. They all have a message, they all have a purpose, they’re all chosen for a reason. If you like the song, please support the artist by purchasing the MP3 or Album that features it.
Today’s music can be found on Amazon.com:
Album: Sold for a Smile