Soda Reviews

Squirt with Sugar

Let’s address the elephant in the room first.  The title of this review is really odd, but it fits the format of other common sodas I’ve reviewed that were sweetened with sugar.  Moving on.  So you wanna Squirt with sugar do ya?  Well I’ve got the bottle for you!  Seriously, look at that bottle.  Appreciate the corkscrew base and gaze upon the simplicity of the label.  This is one of the best soda bottles I’ve seen in a long time.  

Twist later married this bottle of Squirt.  Shortly thereafter a murder investigation began as the bottle had been drained of all life.

The beverage inside is obviously Squirt which is a citrus soda that favors the grapefruit.  I picked this up because of the interesting design and because I think a citrus soda has more to gain being sweetened with sugar.  Citrus sodas are some of the most refreshing out there and removing the syrupy feel of HFCS could really boost that refreshment factor.  I can’t wait to find out.

A mostly grapefruit aroma leaves the mouth of the bottle upon opening.  There’s a vague citrus smell as well, but grapefruit is clearly the key player.

Crisp, clean, cool.  Squirt made me write out words that you’d see in a 90’s advertisement.  My first sip brought in a punch of citrus taste that was tart but not overly so.  Oddly enough I liken the flavor to Sprite if grapefruit were the third ingredient.  Oh, and if Sprite were good.  SICK BURN! YEAH HIGH FIVES ALL AROUND! WOOOO!

The carbonation levels backing this taste were perfect as well.  Small groups of bubbles rush about my mouth making sure all corners have felt their fizzy wrath.  Once they vanish over the horizon it’s within a minute that my mouth resets and is ready to take another sip and experience it as if it were my first.  Like I said… crisp, clean, cool.  Oh yeah, it’s also very refreshing.  Let me just shoehorn that fact in here as well.  Speaking of...when’s the last time you used a shoehorn?

With all this good there is some bad.  Since grapefruit is the flavor at hand get ready for a little bit of bitter with each of your gulps.  It’s not really a big deal, but some might be put off a little bit by it.  Since it does taste a lot like Sprite you may be underwhelmed by your experience.  Even though I liked it I will say that it’s similarity to the lymon beverage did bring me down a bit.  Still a pretty great soda though.

Verdict - Buy a Pack

~A


Oogave Loca Ginger Ale

Been a long time since I’ve reviewed an Oogave product.  If I had to guess I’d say it’s been over a year.  If I had to look it up and give you an exact date I’d say June 5th, 2013.  Loca is the diet brand of Oogave and today I’ll be reviewing their ginger ale.  It’s an all natural 10 calorie drink sweetened with both stevia (boo) and agave nectar (yay).  I don’t think I’ve ever had a diet ginger ale so this should be an interesting experience.

Twist wanted to use the same Cypress Hill Gang joke as last time, but I wouldn't allow it.

Even though my sniffer isn’t at full functionality I can still discern the scent of ginger ale when I put my nose up to the can.  It’s a lighter aroma than Canada Dry, but perhaps the fact that it’s diet subdues the scent.

Upon first swig the ginger taste is very apparent, which is quite pleasing to my taste buds.  It’s not as sweet as most ginger ales, but if you’d read the first paragraph or even glanced at the picture of the can you could probably figure out why on your own.  The taste is light and easy to return to, leaving no syrupy feel in my mouth afterwards.

On the negative side of things it feels a little over carbonated.  It’s a rush of foamy bubbles with each sip.  Something I think would work better with a root beer instead of a ginger ale.  You can tell it’s a low calorie beverage without looking at the can.  The flavor, while pleasant, feels weakened and you get that diet vibe on the back end of each sip.  At no point does it taste chemical, but it may not be as rich as you would like a ginger ale to be.

All in all (a phrase I use entirely too much), Loca Ginger Ale is a great addition to the country of diet sodas, perhaps even the governor of a state.  In the world of sodas however it’s more along the lines of a nice next door neighbor.  Did that analogy even make sense?  Probably not, but I’m done anyway.

Verdict -  Buy a Bottle

~A

Xyience Xenergy Grape

Another beverage from the folks at Xyience and it’s supposed to help with both energy levels and hydration.  What I’ve got in front of me is a can of Xyience Xenergy Grape.  From my previous Xenergy reviews I know that this is going to be more of a Gatorade/Powerade type beverage in terms of taste.  Hopefully it stands out enough from the pack that I can reward it with a good review.  Personally I think it’ll taste alright, but not be anything to write about...even though I’m about to.  Here’s to me being wrong.

Twist was a Xyience major in college...the first time.

A stronger than suspected grape aroma jumps out of the mouth of the can.  Immediately my doubts are turned into cautious optimism.  Will a truly delightful grape taste be awaiting me instead of the somewhat watered down version I was expecting?

Ok, we’re working with a couple of positives and a couple of negatives here.  Positive number one is the strength of the grape.  It is stronger than your G’s and P’s, but not quite as strong as a grape soda.  Even though it’s not carbonated there’s even a little bit of a punch to the finish.  It’s a very smooth drink and I would even classify it as refreshing.

The negatives, or negative in this case, stops this from being an above average drink experience.  With each sip I get a burst of Pedialyte taste.  Now while I’ve learned that many folks like the taste of Pedialyte I am not one of them.  This just opens up memories of when I was sick as a child.  You may have noticed that I use the Pedialyte comparison quite a bit when it comes to lifestyle beverages.  I think this is because their makeup is similar and their goal of hydration is the same.  Unfortunately I have negative thoughts regarding this taste so the review score usuall suffers.

In the case of Xyience Xenergy though I will give them credit for having a decent grape taste.  They do a really good job with their flavor even though they are sugar and calorie free.  So I at least recommend you pick up a can the next time you see it.

Verdict - Buy a Bottle

~A

This beverage was supplied to us by Xyience.

Wild Cherry Pepsi with Sugar

Twist will also give you some sugar.

I like Pepsi.  They’re not my favorite cola, but I can appreciate a Pepsi.  I especially liked the throw-back series and their use of real sugar.  Granted it’s not cane sugar; I believe I read once that it’s beet sugar.  All that same though it still makes for a better Pepsi.  Mike handed me a can of Wild Cherry Pepsi that’s made with real sugar.  To be honest with you I don’t think I’ve ever had a cherry Pepsi before.  Kind of odd that I’ve tried all these different sodas, but one of the more common flavors has eluded me.  So let’s give it a go.

Cola is still the primary aroma that comes off the top of this can.  My nose has to search harder than I expected to to get ahold of the cherry scent.  It’s unmistakable once I hone in on it, but it did take a little bit of searching.

That’s alright.  Thankfully the cherry flavor is present with the initial gulp.  As soon as the soda hits my tongue it immediately confirms the flavor listed on the side of the can.  It’s not as rich and vibrant as I’d like it to be, but I wasn’t expecting a craft soda experience.

As mentioned before sugar is the sweetener in this beverage...sorry, REAL sugar.  It makes it so the Wild Cherry Pepsi doesn’t hold on to my teeth and tongue with a syrupy slime.  It would have made it a fairly clean beverage it if weren’t for the cherry flavoring itself.  Cherry is a hard flavor to replicate honestly.  It either tastes too sweet, too strong, too weak, or medicinal.  In the case of Wild Cherry Pepsi we’re going down the medicinal road.  It’s not so obvious of a pharmaceutical taste that I cringe, but it’s definitely a flavor I’m visited by during cold season.

The “not quite right” of the cherry really breaks apart what could be an above average soda.  Since this is Pepsi we’re talking about here there was little chance it would be awful.  There has been too much market research to release something like that.  Instead what we get is a very average cherry cola which is sweetened by sugar, but marred by a fake cherry sensation.

Verdict - Buy a Bottle

~A

 

Fanta Grape with Sugar

I often complain that Texas doesn’t have the same number of soda makers than the Northwest seems to have.  We don’t even compare to the Northeast or the East Coast in general.  Austin is starting to come through on the soda end, but that’s just now picking up speed.  My complaints are usually silenced by someone saying “Don’t you get Mexican sodas in your grocery stores?”.  Yes, yes we do and I need to stop complaining because the sodas from Mexico are usually pretty dang good for a variety of reasons.  

Well don't you?

One of the biggest though is that they’re sweetened with cane sugar.  You can get a beverage that wouldn’t be anything but average here in the states, but the crisp sweetness of cane sugar can turn it all around.  That’s what I’m hoping for today in my review of Fanta Grape.

What’s that timeless saying?  Wanta Fanta?  Dontchu wanta, wanta Fanta?  After inhaling the sugary grape aroma that came pouring out of the top of this bottle...yes I do wanta Fanta.

This is an excellent example of a grape soda.  It’s sugary, but not obnoxiously so.  It’s artificially flavored, but keeps the fruit fun.  The taste doesn’t coat my mouth with grape nonsense, but allows a bit of a reprise between sips.  That of course is due to the sugar taking the place of high fructose corn syrup.  I do wish it had a bit more punch to it as I like my grape sodas violent.  I want my throat to burn a little.  I want to wince just the tiniest bit.  Fanta Grape is on the smoother side and the carbonation that it pairs with just sorta shows up at the end.

Some might turn their noses up at this sodas since it is a bunch of chemicals made to taste grape, but long time readers of the site know that’s right up my alley when it comes to grape sodas.  The flavor is strong although nothing I’m going to fawn over for the next few days.  It’s definitely a good soda and takes out it’s HFCS brethren easily.  Make it a little stronger and it’d really be a winner.

Verdict - Buy a Pack

~A