Soda Reviews

Phancy Soda Chanh Vietnamese Sparkling Limeade

Sparkling limeade.  Those two words together make me so very happy.  So of course I grabbed a can of Phancy Soda Chanh Vietnamese Sparkling Limeade when I saw it.  The green color of the can coupled with the fun flower-esque designs grabbed my attention as well.  

The fact that it’s made with real lime juice is an added bonus.  In fact, here’s the ingredient list:  Purified sparkling water, pure cane sugar, natural lime juice concentrate, natural lime extract, natural flavors, citric acid.  My brain is hyping this up to be the most refreshing, most delicious limeade I’ve ever had.  The only way it can fail is if the flavor is watered down.

Twist is wishing he hadn't removed his salivary glands.

The scent doesn’t seem like it belongs to a watered down beverage.  It smells as strong as any limeade I’ve had which just gets me to salivating even further.  Like some Pavlovian dog my mouth waters at the opening of the can.  I can wait no longer.

I LOVE THIS AND EVERYTHING ABOUT IT.  This is almost exactly what my mouth wanted to drink.  The sour, bitter, sweetness of lime is easily identified making for an incredibly realistic flavor.  Why shouldn’t it be?  They used actual lime juice which is what absolutely MAKES this beverage.  Yes, the carbonation is fun and makes for a lighter mouth feel, but it would be nothing if it backed up a watery attempt at limeade.  

Each sip reaffirms my love of this soda.  Phancy Soda Chanh Vietnamese Sparkling Limeade is truly limeade soda in as pure a form as I can imagine.  There’s not a sugary candy lime flavor, there’s not a syrupy sweetness, there’s not a cartoon lime, none of this is to be found.  This is limeade soda.  If you don’t like limeade, you don’t like this soda.  It’s that easy.  

The only downside I’m finding is that it’s causing additional saliva to build within my mouth.  Sadly that keeps the soda from being all that refreshing in the long run.  This additional saliva is causing me to smack my lips to try and reduce this sensation.  It’s a little on the gross side biologically, but I’m hardly bothered by it due to my love of the flavor.

I’ll tell you right now that I love this soda more than most anyone out there.  I love limeade, a lot of people don’t.  Like I said before if you don’t like limeade then you won’t like this soda.  If you like limeade then buy all of this you can find.  

Verdict - Buy a Pallet


This soda was purchased at World Market

Spiffy Cola

Cartoons from the 20’s and 30’s were kind of weird in a great way.  Have you ever seen a Mickey Mouse cartoon from the 20’s?  He’s kind of a jerk at times, playing the teeth of a goat like a xylophone or using a cat tail as a violin string.  He just got through the depression so some slack could be given, but there’s a darker undertone to cartoons of that time.  

Twist is showing fear.

The mascot on this bottle of Spiffy Cola has that same happy yet somewhat deranged expression on his face.  Slick hair, rosy cheeks, and a playful expression should be seen as fun, yet his eyes are cold and calculating as if you hint that something negative might befall you if you don’t enjoy his cane sugar sweetened Spiffy Cola.  According to the label Spiffy is “A Swell Cola Drink” and has been around since 1934.  There’s also a sentence on the side that reads:

“Striving to be world famous and quite swell, Spiffy delights the senses with the refreshing and invigorating taste of cola.  Enjoy and ice cold one today.”

You know what I like about that?  That Spiffy Cola doesn’t claim to be made just like it was “in the good old days”.  They’ve updated their recipe, but probably tried to keep their taste as close as possible.  Good for them for not having that nonsense on their bottle.  That’s just swell.

I don’t like that it’s a twist cap though.  Picky I know, but I don’t.  A robust cola scent travels quite easily from the bottle’s mouth.  Things are looking good for Spiffy Cola and I’m not just saying that to keep this disembodied head from haunting my dreams.

Good for Spiffy.  That’s a wonderful cola and soda in general.  A rich flavorful cola taste envelops my mouth with each swig.  It seeks out all possible oral crevices and fills it with one of the best colas I’ve had to date.  The carbonation fizzes right along side creating a fun mouth feel while simultaneously keeping this rich cola light and enjoyable.  Not since Pig Iron Cola have I had a cola that creates a taste this powerful.  There is a bit of a syrupy feel after each sip, but the flavor is too enjoyable for me to care all that much.  This syrupy feel causes minimal accidental teeth grit, if you know what I’m talking about.  

You know how around Thanksgiving and Christmas a lot of foods are richer versions of the original?  It tastes like Spiffy Cola is what you should be drinking at that time.  Who has time for Polar Bears and Coke when Spiffy Cola with its brash attitude, powerful taste, and creepy 1930’s cartoon head are around?

Verdict - Buy a Pallet


I purchase this soda at World Market

Blue Plate Special Peach Cobbler Soda

Twist is such a peach... well at least 7% of Twist is biologically peach.

I love cobbler.  In my world the order is: cobbler > pie > cookies > cake > cup cakes > cookie cakes.  My favorite cobbler is blackberry, but it most definitely must be coupled with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  Sadly, todays drink is not blackberry cobbler flavored.  Thankfully it’s peach cobbler flavored, or at least it claims to be.  According to the ingredients Blue Plate Special sweetens with cane sugar and flavors with vague ideas.  I’m sure it would take a special chemical combination to get a good peach cobbler soda, so I’m willing to let that slide… only if it’s good though.

The scent that punches my nose is more peach than cobbler.  It’s impressively peach though, to the point where it’s easily comparable to the real thing.  This makes me happy, but a bit worried that the cobbler taste won’t be as strong as it needs to be.

That’s peach soda.  There is very little if any cobbler taste.  There is very little if any ice cream taste.  There is a whole lot of peach taste.  Second to only Big Peach is the strength of the fruit flavor created by Blue Plate Special.  It doesn’t taste too sugary; the carbonation levels are low but appropriate.  All in all it’s a pretty good peach soda.  

It does hang around my mouth a bit longer than I’d like it to.  Thankfully the after taste is pleasant enough that I don’t really mind.  Overall it’s a solid beverage, but it’s not peach cobbler.  No cinnamon, no all-spice, nothing.  Such a shame.  If this had even the slightest hint of cobbler taste I’d rate it one level higher.  Alas it does not, so be aware of that fact.

Verdict - Buy a bottle


This soda was purchased at World Market

Soda Boy Strawberry Cream

I've never heard of Soda Boy soda.  I’m sure there’s several sodas out there that I haven’t heard of, but I figured I’d know about something called Soda Boy.  Either way today I’m reviewing a bottle of Soda Boy Strawberry Cream.  The smirking kid in the way too small blue hat assures me that it’s a “Quality Beverage”.  I’m sorry, but I don’t trust him.  It could be a quality beverage, but his face just screams Tom Sawyer mischief and I’m not all that keen on painting fences.  

Looking at the ingredients I see that Soda Boy uses cane sugar as a sweetener.  Perhaps ol’ Tommy S. wasn't lying about quality.  It also includes natural AND artificial flavors.  How very vague!  Why do I have this bucket of whitewash in my hand?

Twist has the heart of a Soda Boy...literally.  Don't ask.

Before I open and huff this I must say that the color of Soda Boy Strawberry Cream is a delightful pink with just the faintest hues of purple.  It really is an attractive soda to the eye.  Hopefully the scent is equally enticing.

The kid on the bottle is wearing a blue cap and the bottle cap is BLUE!  I love it!  Why didn't I notice it sooner?!  Anywho, an aroma that smells of strawberry Nerds leaps out of the bottle and starts assaulting my nostrils.  It’s quite pungent and has me a little worried that the sweetness will overtake the strawberry cream flavor.  My wife says it smells like when you just open a Kool-Aid packet and the powder goes up your nose.  She’s accurate in her assessment.

For a first sip that was really average.  It tastes of sugar, strawberry, and cardboard.  It’s an over candied strawberry soda which is really unfortunate.  The cream is completely overshadowed by the sugary strawberry taste.  Strawberry cream can be done correctly and when it is it’s wonderful.  In the case of Soda Boy Strawberry Cream all you taste is the sugar.  On the plus side it’s not a very syrupy soda.  Strawberry sodas are usually sugary syrupy messes and Soda Boy is half way there.  

It also has a taste that I can only describe as cardboard like.  Some sodas to me have a cardboard aftertaste, I honestly don’t know why, and this is one of them.  Orange Frostie’s also have this taste to me at the beginning of each bottle, but by the end of it I’m craving more like it’s giving me control of time and space.  Sadly, Soda Boy Strawberry Cream’s cardboard aftertaste isn't going away.

This isn't a terrible soda, but it is a sugary mess.  Perhaps if the carbonation were stronger the sweetness would be cut enough for this to be more enjoyable.  I’d still pick up another Soda Boy soda.  I need SOMETHING to drink after painting this fence.

Verdict - Buy a Bottle


This soda was purchased from World Market

Bibita Aranciata

I have no idea what’s in store for me.  In front of me sits a bottle of Bibita Aranciata which has a woman making kissy faces at a glass of, what I can only presume is, Bibita Aranciata.  I think Paoletti makes this beverage as it’s another word on the label.  The ingredients suggest that this is a carbonated orange juice type beverage which would explain the amount of sediment I see floating in the bottle.  When in Italy…

It certainly does have a citrusy scent, or would that be a scintrus?  New words aside the aroma that arrived at my nostrils was somewhat inviting.  I’m looking forward to my carbonated OJ in hopes that its better than Orangina.  That’s not to say Orangina was bad, I’d just like this to be better.

One of Twist's middle names is Paoletti... no relation.

It’s tingly on my lips and has a brisk citrus taste.  The carbonation is small, but fierce which helps with the sharpness of the orange flavor.  Oddly enough it doesn’t remind me at all of a sparkling orange juice.  It’s more in line with a citrus soda that happens to have orange juice in it.  This allows the flavor to be crisp, light, and somewhat refreshing.  

Upon taking a larger swig the orange juice flavor seems to also have a grapefruit side-kick as there is just a touch of bitterness to each sip.  Now by reading the ingredients we know that there isn’t any grapefruit in here.  I’m just telling you what I taste.  

On another surprising level I didn’t even notice the copious amounts of sediment I saw earlier.  I figured at the very least they would alter the mouth feel, but alas they did not.  So I guess I became a little smarter today.  Bibita Aranciata is a sparkling citrus beverage from Italy and one I would recommend you try.

Verdict - Buy a Pack


This beverage was purchased from World Market