Sarsi (drink)

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Sarsi is a sarsaparilla soft drink, similar to root beer, available in most Southeast Asian countries. In the Philippines and Malaysia, Sarsi is known as the brand name associated with the drink.

Sarsi (brand)[edit]

A can of Malaysian F&N Sarsi.

Philippines[edit]

In the Philippines, Sarsi is a brand name for a sarsi drink manufactured by Cosmos Bottling Corporation, a local company that is now a subsidiary of Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines, Inc.[1] Cosmos Bottling Corporation was established in 1918, first known as Manila Aerated Water Company.[2]

Its unique taste that separates it from other Sarsaparilla based soft drinks (Root Beer) is attributed to the use of the sugar substitute, Saccharin. Even though in its "Regular" formula contains HFC (Hi Fructose Corn Syrup) or Can Sugar.

Malaysia[edit]

In Malaysia, F&N Sarsi (originally branded as Sarsi) is a brand name for a sarsi drink manufactured by the F&N Group. It is unrelated to the brand established in the Philippines.

Other brands[edit]

Hong Kong[edit]

In Hong Kong, Sarsae (沙示) is the most popular brand of the sarsi drink. It is manufactured and distributed by the A.S. Watson Group, which pioneered in carbonated beverages in Hong Kong.[3] 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.[4]

Mainland China[edit]

In China, the drink's introduction can be traced back to the 1920s, when A.S. Watson 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.[citation needed] Some of these were sold to Hong Kong and Macau as well. Asian Waters now seldom produces sarsi drinks.[citation needed]

Taiwan[edit]

HeySong Sarsaparilla (黑松沙士) . From left to right, Sweetie Energy with guarana extract, "Salty", and regular.

HeySong Sarsaparilla (黑松沙士) is the most popular brand of sarsi drink in Taiwan. It is manufactured by HeySong Corporation.[5]

It is available in three varieties:

  • Regular - regular sarsaparilla flavor.
  • Sweetie Energy - sweet and mellow, similar to A&W cream soda, but with added guarana extract.
  • Salty - significantly more salty and bitter aftertaste, like Barq's root beer in the US.

Vietnam[edit]

In Vietnam, the drink is one of the flavors (XáXi) sold under the Mirinda brand, bottled and distributed by Suntory-PepsiCo Vietnam Beverage (formerly, PepsiCo Vietnam).[6]

There are two local brands offering their own sarsi drink:

  • Chuong Duong SáXi by Chuong Duong Beverages.
  • Wonderfarm Zizy by Interfood Shareholding Company.

Thailand[edit]

Hi-Mark by Green Spot[citation needed], is the only known sarsi drink in Thailand.

Cambodia[edit]

In Cambodia, the drink is one of the flavors sold under the Fanta brand, bottled and distributed by Cambodia Beverage Company Ltd., a unit of the Coca-Cola SABCO Group.[7]


References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.philstar.com/business/2013/04/05/927003/cosmos-sets-delisting-psei
  2. ^ http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=2479&dat=20010912&id=OKhjAAAAIBAJ&sjid=hiUMAAAAIBAJ&pg=833,34120272
  3. ^ http://www.hutchison-whampoa.com/upload/en/about/journal/Sphere17-Then_and_Now_E.pdf
  4. ^ http://www.lovehkfilm.com/reviews/its_a_drink.htm
  5. ^ Jinn's Publishers et al. "Omoshiro Temakan Meguri No.4: HeySong Soft Drink Museum". Nãruhodo The Taiwan. Vol. 235. October 2006.
  6. ^ http://www.suntorypepsico.vn/en/product/mirinda
  7. ^ http://www.phnompenhpost.com/special-reports/coca-cola-celebrates-125th-anniversary

External links[edit]