After many dollars spent on bottled sodies around the city, I've decided to make a short little review list for those who also love sodie! Plus it will help me remember which ones I dug. This list will be expanded upon often! (Newer entries will be bolded.)BIRCH BEER/GINGER ALE/GINGER BEER
Elephant Ginger Beer: This Malaysian brew starts out mild, but then YOWZA! That's a spicy meatball. Made with real sugar and ginger. Found at the MGM Geetha Indian convenience store in Skokie, 4035 Main St. Goes nicely with a Mr. Sub. A.
Fever Tree Premium Ginger Beer: Although it's advertised as "A mixer to be taken seriously" on their website, it's delicious on its own. It's sweet, but just enough to make it palatable plain; what you taste is ginger. There are even little bits of ginger sediment floating around in there like sea monkeys. It's a little pricey for the size (6.8 ounces) but it's worth it. A+.
Pennsylvania Dutch Birch Beer: Tastes a lot like root beer, with a caramely note and peppery finish. Would be great as a float with caramel-swirl ice cream. A.
Reggae Country Style Brand Ginger Beer: Delicious! Very nice, full-flavored ginger beer that gets quite spicy at the end. Goes really well with a nice piece of spice-rubbed salmon. A+.CHERRY/RED/STRAWBERRY
AJ Stephan's Wild Strawberry: What a strawberry soda oughta be. Tastes like strawberries, imagine! without a sickly chemical aftertaste. A.
Boylan's Black Cherry: Way sweet and a little bitter. Could be more cherrylicious. Has a great bottle, though. B-.
Brain Wash: A belated jones for Halloween made me try this somewhat cherry-flavored swill. Robitussin, anyone? There's some crazy ingredients in here: buchu, gotu kola, skullcap, damiana, sage and jalapeño oil to name a few, although I can't taste herbs or spice. It's seriously fizzy with caffeine, which is why I drank more than two sips. After that, I realized it wasn't worth it. There is no reason to try this at home or elsewhere. F.
Diet Cheerwine: This tastes a bit like a cross between cherry Coke and root beer. Very tasty, strong, not too sweet. Looking forward to trying regular Cheerwine. A-.
Flathead Lake Monster Sour Cherry: Tasty in a kid's cough syrup kind of way. B.
V&V Wild Berry Energy Drink: This is a sugar-free energy soda, heavy on the Splenda. It is the scariest pop ever; about 1 hour after drinking it and for the next eight hours
, I constantly felt as though I were teetering on a ledge. D-.COLA
Afri Cola: Tastes a little like a flatter RC; not bad. Whatever you see on the 'net, Afri Cola does not have 250mg of caffeine, but is about average in that regard. But it comes in a sexy bottle. B.
Curiosity Cola: Wow, this is not what I expected. It tastes like something you'd take for consumption. Very heavy on the juniper; not much cola flavor. D.
Dr. Pepper (with sugar): Bottle is a nice 8 ounces instead of the usual 12. I can't really give a rating on this one since I didn't drink it in it's purest form. Recipe: 1. Desire Dr. Pepper. 2. Realize that Dr. Pepper is warm and place in freezer until perfectly chilled. 3. Forget you did that. 4. Remove frozen sodie from freezer and place in front of space heater and curious cat (optional) until defrosted enough to drink. 5. Enjoy slushy, Peppery treat and reminisce about Slush Puppies.CREAM SODA
Killebrew Honey Cream: Slightly bitter beginning with creamy finish, not very sweet but with nice honey taste throughout. A.GRAPE
Buddy's: Reminds me of grape Bubble-Yum. There are no real 'scores' in this section because grape isn't my favorite, so I don't think I can be fair. But I'd drink this again.
Goose Island: Not sticky like many other grapes, with winey notes and a pretty purple hue. Pie Dude: "that's what a grape soda should be."
Walt's: Yummy, but not fizzy enough for my tastes. The neat thing about this bottle: it's only 7 ounces. Nice. Pie Dude: "yeah, now that's
a grape soda."LEMON-LIME
Ale-8-1: An odd-tasting caffeinated sodie with an unmistakable ham aftertaste. Starts sweet, then gets a little bitter, then...ham?? C.
Lemmy: This sodie has been made of awesome since 1939. Less fizzy than most pops and tastes very much like lemonade. A-.
Ski: You complete me. This reminds me of 50/50, but with real lemon pulp floating around in a very non-pretentious green bottle. It's almost good for you! A.ORANGE
Excel Orange Soda: Tastes more to me like Hall's Honey Lemon drops, but not bad. B-.
Jack Black's Orange Stash: Not very strong, a little like fizzy Hi-C. But the cap has a message inside!: Here's our toast...Skull...Crossbones!
If anyone can explain this, please let me know. B-.NOVELTYJones Hanukkah Four-Pack:
In order from best to worst:
Chocolate Coins: Tastes like a phosphate. Delicious, too bad it's seasonal. A+.
Apple Sauce: Really tastes like applesauce. Great for fans of apple sodas. A.
Jelly Doughnut: Tastes like a random red pop, maybe with a hint of strawberry. B+.
Latke: WTF? Perrier without the lemon lime twist. An insult to latkes; fried potato soda would be an improvement. (See this post
Looks Like Orange/Tastes Like Grape: Says what it is. Not an incredible grape soda, but a good basic one. Really neat, trippy label. B.
Orange You Glad for Change Cola: Another brainchild from Jones: Obama soda! Cola with a hint of orange. It's okay, but not my cuppa tea. B-.ROOT BEER
Americana Root Beer: Really fantastic brew. Vanilly, caramely, not too strong or too wimpy, a good old-fashioned taste. A+.
Barrel Brothers' Root Beer - Creamy Vanilla: Not bad, but not very root beery. It's very light and tastes like Cream Soda & Root Beer's lovechild. Disappointing as a root beer, but interesting as a cream soda; probably would be good for the crazy root-beer averse. C+.
Bawls High Caffeine Guarana Root Beer: Plain and simple with a slightly minty, herbal taste. A lot tastier than I thought it was going to be. It has 80mg of caffeine; with coffee at 95mg+, I don't know how this qualifies as "high caffeine" unless they're comparing with other root beers that generally have none. A-.
Dorothy's: Thoroughly mediocre. I've never had a root beer I didn't like, but this one is a definite C. Not bad, but it didn't stand out and had no interesting flavors, although the label is pretty good on it's own. Better in a float, but use some strong ice cream, like beany Breyer's.
Dr. McGillicudy's: Very herby with a hint of spice, though I can't place what herbs are in there. B+.
Fitz's: Wonderful. Old-fashioned taste, strong, creamy. I downed my half in about 3 seconds. Spicy without being mediciney. Reminds me ever so slightly of Oogie's Restaurant's brew in Peru, IL (best root beer EVER), but not quite there. A.
Goose Island: I probably had this one on it's own, and it was tasty enough, but brother, does it make a great float. It's so creamy and flavorful, but not overpowering, and pairs perfectly with creamy vanilla ice cream.
Millhouse: Simple, tasty beer just right for floats. B+.
Olde Brooklyn: Tastes an awful lot like cream soda. Good taste, but not if you're hankering for root beer. B.
OOgave: Not bad, but a little flat. Not as much bite as I like in a root beer. Made with agave nectar; comes in a few other flavors (found at Whole Foods). A-.
Route 66 Beer: Perfect root beer: caramely, licorice-y, slightly spicy and strong. Great for sippin'. A.
Triple XXX: Good, but not as good as expected with a name like that! B.
Wild Bill's Root Beer: WOW that is some fine root beer. Thick, not very fizzy, with a strong, unique taste. I think I taste mint, caramel, vanilla and cloves? The bottle is very unassuming with only A rare, smooth beverage
written under the name. I agree. A+.OTHER!
AJ Stephan's Raspberry Lime Rickey: Very sweet; like drinking raspberry pie with a twist of lime.
Always Ask for Avery's Swamp Juice: The label touts this soda as "totally gross" and "SODAsgusting" complete with a picture of a creature that looks like the lovechild of The Grinch and Mr. Burns. The color of the drink, if I may steal the words of Gordon Ramsey, makes it look like it came out of the Suez Canal. But I loved its cherry Jolly-Rancher/lime pixie stick flavor. This one would be a sure hit with the kids for Halloween. A.
Baron's: What? You love curry gravy? You'd drink it for dessert if you could??? Well now you can. But be warned: my non-Indian friend tried to buy this at an Indian-centric grocery and was promptly told: "That is not for you." F.
Dr. Enuf: An energy-boosting, vitamin-rich sodie that tastes like a less biting ginger ale. Quite tasty, but it also doesn't make you jittery or batshit. And since it's got vitamins, it's healthy too. A+.
Filbert's Banana: Such a delicious, artificial taste that reminds me exactly of a banana Moon Pie with out all that pesky chewing. A little bitterness in the aftertaste. B+.
Pakola Ice Cream Soda: I don't know why they call it "ice cream", as there is no ice cream in it. It tastes like a cross between cream soda and Pine Sol with a hint of saffron. D.
Snow - Cranberry Mint: There is no other word for this besides vile. The taste could only be better than antifreeze. I think this is what fruit-scented car air fresheners would taste like. F. (On second thought (2/09), this is better than Baron's; F+).
Snow - Mint: If you think drinking toothpaste would be great, this is the soda for you. That said, it might be okay with hard liquor, and lots of it. D+.
Waialua Soda Works - Lilikoi: I looked at the label plenty of times before I noticed it said Passion Fruit in tiny letters that almost matches the label. Despite the rather unpleasant scent, it's not a bad soda, but I'm not the biggest fan of passion fruit, despite really wanting to like it. C.
Winberrie's Country Wine Soda - Rosé: Just what you'd expect a fizzy rosé wine to taste like, although it's non-alcoholic. A-. Good with a nice prosciutto/fresh mozzarella/basil/oil & vinegar sub.ALCOHOLIC FIZZY BEVERAGES
Blast by Colt 45 - Strawberry Lemonade: If you like Kool-Aid and 7-Up mixed together with malt liquor, this is for you. It's too sweet, but it comes in 7oz bottles so you're not stuck with a lot. The nice part is it gets you nice and toasted in half the time. Plus, Snoop Dogg likes it. B.