In the Philippines, it is the oldest and one of the most popular root beer brands on the market. It replaced Coca-Cola's Barq's in most fast food chains. Sarsi, then owned by RFM Corporation's Cosmos Bottling Corporation, was sold to Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines, Inc., which became a subsidiary of San Miguel Corporation in 2001, but was sold in 2006. Its main competitor is Mug from PepsiCo. Their wide distribution to supermarkets and sari-sari stores, and their pricing made them the most available, and hence most-popular. Sarsi can be found in many Filipino stores.
In Mainland China, Sarsi's introduction can be traced back to the 1920s, when Watson's began producing Sarsi in Shanghai and Other Chinese cities. In the 1930s, Li Zhiyang (李智扬), Li Guanling (李冠玲), Huang Youtong (黄油桶), Liang Hanqi (梁汉奇), and Wang Zhensan (王震山) were among eleven people who had worked in Watson's Canton and founded Asian Waters in Guangzhou to continue producing Sarsi there and in other mainland Chinese locations. Some of these sold to Hong Kong and Macau as well.
Asian Waters now seldom produces Sarsi drinks.
The HeySong Sarsaparilla beverage is available in three flavor variations:
- Regular - Regular Sarsaparilla flavor.
- Sweetie Energy - Sweet and mellow, rather like A&W cream soda, but with added guarana extract.
- Salty - Significantly more salty and bitter aftertaste, like Barq's root beer in the US.
In Hong Kong, Sarsae is distributed by AS Watson where it is sold in a can.
The drink was the central plot device of a 1985 film called It's a Drink, It's a Bomb (starring George Lam, John Sham and Maggie Cheung), about a hand grenade disguised as a Sarsae cola. Its explosive power is activated once its ringpull is released.
Tesco also has a brand of sarsi, available in their supermarkets.
In Vietnam, Wonderfarm, a household brand owned by Interfood Shareholding Company, produces and distributes a sarsi drink under the 'zizy' trademark. The zizy sarsi drink has cherry flavour added. Sarsi is spelled xá xị in Vietnamese.
The Chuong Duong Beverages Joint Stock Company also makes a sarsi drink.
- Jinn's Publishers et al. "Omoshiro Temakan Meguri No.4: HeySong Soft Drink Museum". Nãruhodo The Taiwan. Vol. 235. October 2006.