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the story of Sioux City Sarsaparilla

in background, a close shot of a bottle each of dark brown Sioux City Sarasparilla and fuschia Sioux City Prickly Pear soda. in foreground "the story of Sioux City Sarsaparilla" and "

One of the most widely known "Sioux City" things actually isn't a Sioux City thing! If you've seen the movie The Big Lebowski, you may have caught this scene:

And Sioux City Sarsaparilla is real (and it really is a good one!) Here's the full story on Sioux City Sarsaparilla:

What is Sioux City Sarsaparilla?

Sioux City Sarsaparilla is the signature drink from White Rock's Sioux City line. In 1973, White Rock president Albert Morgan wanted to start a western inspired line of classic American soft drinks, with a frontier feel. He chose Sioux City as his inspiration! Sioux City Sarsaparilla is known as "the Grandaddy of all root beers" and has a creamy taste somewhere between root beer and cream soda. And it's the most bought sarsaparilla in the US!

a bottle of Sioux City Sarsaparilla with a grassy hill in the background

Is Sioux City Sarsaparilla made in Sioux City?

Nope. Sioux City Sarsaparilla is actually made in New York by White Rock Beverages! The company actually started not too far away from Iowa, in neighboring Wisconsin, but by the time the Sioux City pop line was created, they were firmly established as a New York company, staffed with New Yorkers to whom Sioux City sounded like the wild west!

Other Sioux City soda flavors

There are several other flavors in the Sioux City soda line including:
  • Root Beer: a more conventional (but totally delicious!) root beer flavor
  • Cream Soda: creamy, delightful and crisp
  • Orange Cream Soda: like an orange creamsicle in pop form
  • Prickly Pear Soda: a fruity, slightly sour soda that's the prettiest fuchsia I've ever seen in a food item. The prickly pear soda was my kids' favorite out of the ones we tried! I will definitely buy this again for myself, too. 
  • Birch Beer: I finally tried the Sioux City Birch Beer from White Rock in early 2022, and it's really good! It is more similar to root beer than I expected, but definitely with its own distinctive flavor that is a little lighter and lightly minty. 
  • Ginger Beer: think Canada Dry! Definitely a great choice if you love ginger (and for queasy tummies!)

Where can you buy Sioux City Sarsaparilla?

You can buy Sioux City Sarsaparilla all over the US, at a variety of grocery and specialty stores, and in Siouxland, you can get it at 
  • Fareway
  • Hy-Vee
  • Palmer's
I've also seen it being sold at the Woodbury County Fair in the Concord Mercantile in Old Town, as a fundraiser for local 4-H kids!

Is Sioux City Sarsaparilla any good?

Well, like any food or drink review, that's pretty subjective, but my answer is definitely yes. Sioux City Sarsaparilla is a crisp, flavorful pop that earns its nickname as the Grandaddy of all root beers. If you like root beer, you will like Sioux City Sarsaparilla. And for an authentically Sioux City twist, add some locally made vanilla ice cream from Blue Bunny to make an epic float! 

a root beer float in a short clear glass

Have you tried Sioux City Sarsaparilla or any of White Rock's other Sioux City sodas? Let me know in the comments which one is your fave!


  1. Their Birch Beer is one of the best on the market! Not wintergreen, but think Tberry gum. Birch bark flavor, not sarsaparilla bark.


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