I love the taste of sarsaparilla. It's a key flavor in root beer, and I know Aviation Gin has some in it, but I've never seen it used in a food. Are there any ways to cook with it?


4 Answers 4


You can make a great great BBQ sauce with:

  • Some sarsaparilla (..or root beer)
  • Pureed, drained tomatoes
  • Some soy sauce
  • Spicy Mustard
  • Dill
  • Little vinegar
  • Other spicings to flavor

Add the sarsaparilla a little at a time and just mix in half your base at first so you can work the flavor out as you go. Simmer 5 or 10 minutes and let cool. Make it really thick. Put that on some ribs, chicken wings or steaks...mmmm. tasty.

I've also had some Chinese and Thai food that had some and turned out pretty good. Not sure if it was 'authentic' but good.


Yes, you can smoke chicken with sarsaparilla.


Well, I found an article titled "What local chefs are doing with sarsaparilla" with three example uses. Though in all three the sarsaparilla is used to flavor a liquid rather than as an actual ingredient, only the first one is a drink, the other two are "Sarsaparilla quail" and "Sarsaparilla skate wing."

(I've did some further Googl'ing, but the dearth of recipes in which sarsaparilla is used as an ingredient rather than as a flavoring seems to suggest it's not something you'd wish to eat on its own, unless you're a Smurf.)


I've used sarsparilla as a liquid for cooking rice in. One slow cooking recipe which I use is 600ml sarsparilla, one and a half cups of rice along with chicken drumsticks. Put them in a slow cooker and cook on high for three hours - the rice comes out delicious.

My grandfather used to make sarsparilla drinks (similar to root beet) in Cardiff (Wales) in the early 20th century, so I'm told.

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