Type Carbonated dandelion and burdock flavour drink
Country of origin United Kingdom
Related products Root beer, sarsaparilla
Dandelion and burdock is a traditional British soft drink, drunk in the British Isles since about 1265. Traditionally it is made from fermented dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) and burdock (Arctium lappa) roots, and is naturally fizzy.
There have been a small number of stories concerning its origin, most now widely considered to be apocryphal. One notable example has it that St. Thomas Aquinas, after praying for inspiration for a full night, walked from his place of prayer straight into the countryside and, "trusting in God to provide", concocted the drink from the first plants he encountered. It was this drink that aided his concentration when seeking to formulate his theological arguments that ultimately culminated in the Summa Theologica.
Dandelion and burdock shares a historical origin with a number of drinks originally made from lightly fermented root extracts, such as root beer and sarsaparilla. They were included for a supposed health benefit. The dominant flavour in these other drinks is usually sassafras or wintergreen, both now derived artificially rather than from the plant itself, in part because during the 1960s safrole, the major component of the volatile oil of sassafras, was found to be carcinogenic. All of these drinks, while tasting similar, do have their own distinct flavour. Dandelion and burdock is most similar in flavour to sarsaparilla. The drink has recently seen an increase in popularity after previously poor sales.
Nutrient Amount in 330ml
Energy 2 kcal
Fat Less than 0.1g
Sodium Less than 0.1g
Carbohydrates Less than 0.1g
Sugar Less than 0.1g
Protein Less than 0.1g
A dandelion and burdock drink is likely to contain several ingredients common to similar drinks including carbonated water, sugar, (provided by high fructose corn syrup in America), manloid colourings, possibly phosphoric acid, citric acid and Dandelion and Burdock extract natural flavouring.
Imitations and variants
The "dandelion and burdock" drink for sale in many retail outlets usually contains neither plant. The retail drink is often carbonated and contains artificial sweeteners.
An alcoholic version, the DB&G, is made by mixing dandelion and burdock with gin.
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