In reference to
on the sarsaparilla soft drink, Cecil commented that the drink is still popular around Pittsburgh (yes, I know it was from 1977, thus possibly now erroneous)
but i have lived in the area around Pittsburgh off and on since 1975, and have never heard of anyone offering the drink.
OTOH, Cecil says that the flavors in sarsaparilla are a mixture of birch oil and sassafras bark. It then struck me… Wouldn’t he be referring to ‘Birch Beer’?
That certainly is popular all over Pennsylvania, and is marketed by many small distributers. (When I lived in Ohio and in Kansas, you simply could not find Birch Beer, as well as other things such as pierogies and scrapple)
Anyone know of any evidence of the sarsaparilla/birch beer connection?