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.
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.