[sas-puh-ril-uh, sahr-suh-puh-, sahr-spuh-]
For the drink, see Root beer.

Sarsaparilla (IPA: /ˌsæspəˈɹɪlə/) (Smilax regelii and other closely related species of Smilax) is a perennial trailing vine with prickly stems native to tropical America and the West Indies. Its name (which is zarzaparrilla in Spanish) comes from the Spanish words zarza for "shrub" and parrilla for "little grape vine.

The name sarsaparilla can also refer to a drink made from the roots of the vine. The name "Sasparilla" is a common misspelling of Sarsaparilla.


The primary uses of sarsaparilla include the flavoring of beverages, and folk medicine.

In popular culture

  • In the The Smurfs comic strip, the Smurfs preferred food is sarsaparilla leaves.
  • In the animated series Wild West C.O.W.-Boys of Moo Mesa , a special recipe sarsaparilla is the most popular beverage served at the Tumble Weed Saloon.
  • In a later scene in the motion picture The Big Lebowski, the unnamed narrator asks the bartender if he has a good sarsaparilla.
  • In "Meet the Robinson" the old man uses it as an exclamation upon receiving his teeth.


External links

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