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A S Watson Sarsae

Numerous tast­ings of sar­si have proven that sar­si and sar­sa­parilla drinks bottled by Asian com­pan­ies bear very little resemb­lance to the taste of sar­sa­parilla bottled by Australian com­pan­ies. Nonetheless, A S Watson Sarsae is the most pop­u­lar brand of sar­si in Hong Kong and so worth a try.

The bever­age is a trans­lu­cent dark brown-red with a mod­er­ate effer­ves­cence and a sweet nose. Served chilled, a rock sug­ar sweet­ness emerges in the head ahead of a slight under­tone of acid­ity with hints of car­a­mel and vanilla emerges in the body and notes of win­ter­green come through in the backend before the rock sug­ar sweet­ness returns to linger on the pal­ate. As with most sar­si, there are no liquorice or sar­sa­parilla notes to bring the sharp­ness to cut through the sweet­ness. The win­ter­green, though, is less prom­in­ent in this bever­age than in those by oth­er brands, and so emphas­ises the sweet­ness here.

This can of A S Watson Sarsae con­tained 330 ml. It was bottled in China and pur­chased in Sydney, Australia in 2017.