I’m a sucker for packaged foreign foods, like Mario is a sucker for gold coins and princesses who always get captured. It’s like I’m a less adventurous Anthony Bourdain, not willing to consume things that produces bodily fluids or things that are still alive.

I’m not sure why I get a kick out of packaged foreign foods. Perhaps it’s because they don’t have any English on them or because they’re measured in metric units or because I have a product review blog and am willing to stick almost anything into my mouth for reader approval. Whatever the reason, I was excited when I ran into this mysterious bottle of Sarsi at my local Filipino market in the refrigerated cases among the 20-ounce bottles of Pepsi and Coke.

At first, because it was stocked next to the cola juggernauts, I thought it was the Filipino equivalent of Pepsi and Coke, but after prying off the non-twist bottle cap and taking a sip of it, I was surprised to find out that it’s a root beer, albeit a flat tasting root beer that wasn’t very sweet.

According to Wikipedia, Sarsi is the number one root beer in the Philippines, outselling common American brands like Barq’s and Mug root beers. While the initial taste of Sarsi was like root beer, its aftertaste wasn’t as pleasant. If Barq’s Root Beer bites, then Sarsi grabs your hair, shoves your face into mud, and uses your tongue as a bulldozer. Its aftertaste was very earthy and it reminded me of the disgusting herbal toothpaste from Thailand I reviewed a few weeks ago.

I may not like the taste of Sarsi, but I do love the fact that it comes in a thick glass bottle that I can use to pretend I’m living in the 1950s with my leather jacket and pack of smokes rolled up in my t-shirt sleeve, and whenever the Sharks come by, I’ll shatter the bottle, turn it into shiv, and stab my own tongue with it, which would probably result in a taste in my mouth that is equal to or greater than Sarsi’s aftertaste. Although the bottle looks tall and would make a great shiv, it doesn’t hold a lot of liquid. If my metric conversion is correct, 240 mL is roughly around eight ounces, which is less than a can of soda, but my tongue can only tolerate those eight ounces of Sarsi.

Item: Sarsi
Price: $1.50
Size: 240 mL
Purchased at: A Filipino market
Rating: 4 out of 10
Pros: #1 root beer in the Philippines. No High Fructose Corn Syrup. Glass bottle makes a great shiv. Trying foreign products.
Cons: Flat root beer flavor. Not very sweet. Need a bottle opener or James Bond villain Jaws to open it. Only 240 mL. Aftertaste is earthy and is like shitty herbal toothpaste.

28 thoughts to “Sarsi”

  1. Interesting fact: during the 1980s, “soft drink” beauties invaded the Philippine movie industry. They were called as such because they used famous softdrink brands for their monickers. They were Pepsi Paloma- for Pepsi, Coca Nicholas-for Coke, Melo Sadiwa- for Mellow Yellow and Sarsi Emmanuel- for Sarsi.

  2. Marvo and Mario are only one letter away from being the same name. Perhaps its your name thats causing this addictive behaviour.

    I suggest you change it to Raoul for a couple months and see if you feel better.

  3. I didn’t believe you for some reason, so I asked my Filipina friend if what you said was true. She said, “I used to drink that. It’s like rootbeer, like – sarsaparilla. Sarsi. lol” Oooh!!! I think I like it better now because the name is awesome. Actually, this means it actually does have english on the bottle so it takes the excitement out of drinking something exotic. 🙁

  4. 1) is it anything like moxie? (if so, i’m very very sorry)
    2) isn’t 8 ounces *supposed to be* a serving?

  5. I hate root tastes disgusting. On another note, for some reason the bottle reminds me of RC Cola. Do they have that in Hawaii?

  6. I was just gonna ask if it’s like moxie!!! That shit is god awful! They have it in Maine all over the friggin place! I was visiting my dad there and he told me to try it

  7. @jujueyeballs – 10 cents? I guess it’s good to know that a US dollar can actually buy you something in a foreign country. Lots of shitty root beer.

    @armauld – Raoul? I’ve always been partial to Rico or Sebastian.

    @Heidi – Well technically Sarsi isn’t an English word, so I am still excited by it.

    @ultradave – I agree. But I didn’t have to spit it out, so I had to give it a four rating.

    @dramastically – Thanks for the update. I still don’t know why some people on Road Runner and using a Belkin wireless router can’t view TIB.

    @Starcasm – If it was broken in half with pointy edges, it would be the opposite of cute.

    @momokee – I have actually had Moxie and this was definitely worse than Moxie, but to be honest, I kind of liked Moxie.

    @Natalie – We used to have it, but I haven’t seen it anywhere recently. But I would choose RC Cola over Pepsi and Coke.

    @mandy_Reeves – It’s worse than Moxie, but as I said above, I kind of liked Moxie.

    @Bubu – Still, with airfare as expensive as it is, $1.50 seems reasonable.

    @skibs – What? You missed a review? That makes me cry. 🙁

  8. “Sarsi grabs your hair, shoves your face into mud, and uses your tongue as a bulldozer. ”

    Sounds like a really bad script for some sort of fetish porn.

  9. The girls will think you’re foxy if you chug-a-lug your Moxie
    and never show the pain.

    (The Wicked Good Band, “State ‘O Maine”)

  10. Looks like a sex toy. Come to think of it, your last three reviews have been sexually suggestive. The nippular yogurt bites, the mound-shaped burgers, and now a phallic soda.

  11. I hate flat soda!!!! I tried the walmart cola in the red can I found it to be better then coke or pepsi which surprised me.

  12. I like Sarsi actually. I don’t drink soda at all, and I only have this once a year but I like it. I like its flatness and nonsweetness (which is why I dont drink soda in the first place, sugar and the bubbles bother me).

    Maybe it’s because I’ve grown up with it too.

  13. @DJ – The only way girls will think I’m foxy is if I put on a leather vest and assless leather chaps.

    @luckinflux – That sound entertaining, but it also sounds German.

    @Reprobate – Than I must review a taco!

    @momokeen – OMG! I just realized that a 3 looks like testicles. Ha!

    @neil – Hmm…I thought Wal-Mart cola would be blue.

    @kaii – Mmm…sugar.

    @Chuck – The only way that will happen is if it’s stuck up too far.

    @bort – I am not qualified for anything, like bus driver, stripper, POTUS, insurance salesman, software developer, porn director, venture capitalist, and gem thief.

  14. I buy Sarsi when I need to have a sugar buzz. I don’t know why but when I get it… I get giggly. o_o
    And the price went up. Sarsi’s now 20 cents where I get it here…

  15. err, rootbeer? i didn’t know that, and i drink it from time to time, it’s my coke replacement, when i can’t find coke. XD

  16. I’ve seen it before in the Philippines, but have never had it. Thanks for the review – I think I’ll probably stay away. I still think you should look into a colonics review. I’ve got a guy who would be happy to clean your pipes.

  17. de-lurking from your blog to say that sarsi was never supposed to be as fizzy as regular rootbeer.

Comments are closed.