Sprecher Strawberry Soda for Summer: An Intense Wild Strawberry Kick

Sprecher Strawberry Soda

Sprecher Strawberry Soda

When I was a little kid, I used to travel to my mother’s homeland, Finland, every other summer to see my grandparents and family. One of my favorite things to do in Finland each summer was to hunt for and consume the miniature wild strawberries that used to grow in the woods. They always tasted better than domesticated strawberries because they had such an intense, concentrated, heightened strawberry flavor.

The first time I took a sip of Seasonal Sprecher Fire Brewed Strawberry Gourmet Soda by Sprecher Brewery of Wisconsin, I had a Scandinavian wild strawberry flashback!

This soda, flavored in part by Wisconsin honey, is really sweet, so if you prefer dry, bitter or sour drinks, this one is not for you. But if you have a sweet tooth like me, you won’t mind the syrupy strawberry goodness. The brewery notes that all of its gourmet sodas are caffeine-free and gluten-free.

I think it’s cool that this soda is produced using a gas-powered brew kettle–how many other soda brands can say that?! As far as my research goes, this is a feature that makes Sprecher’s gourmet sodas truly distinctive.

Where I got my soda: North Market Street Pop Shop

Where you can get your soda: Sprecher Brewery Online Store


Goya Coconut Soda for a Hot Friday Night


Refresco Goya Coconut Soda

Refresco Goya Coconut Soda

Refresco Goya specializes in tropical flavored sodas and is part of the largest Hispanic American owned business in the United States. Once only available in specialty grocery stores, these sodas are now found in many mainstream chains like Wegmans, where I picked up my bottle.

Goya Coconut Soda is not as intense as some of the other fruity flavors this brand makes, so a person who wants a subtle soda rather than in-your-face fruit taste might prefer this one.

The flavor of this soda kind of builds up over time. My first sip tasted like a sugar bomb, all sweetness. My second and third sips were very creamy, very similar to a generic cream soda. Only on the fourth or fifth sip did the coconut taste finally hit me. Again, this drink is probably for someone who wants high sugar content and subtle flavor. If you don’t like vanilla, skip this one.

Although I find this soda to be tasty enough for cooling down on a hot Friday night, it’s not my favorite Goya offering. I actually am one of those people who wants an in-your-face fruit sensation when I try a new bebida.

So I will continue to forge ahead, sampling every new soda I can and hunting for a coconut soda that has a bolder flavor.

Where I got my soda: Wegmans

Where you can get your soda: Hispanic American specialty grocery stores and Wegmans

Chocolate Covered Maple Smoked Bacon Soda: Amazing or Abominable?

Chocolate Covered Maple Smoked Bacon Soda

Chocolate Covered Maple Smoked Bacon Soda

Wow. I still cannot get over the fact that Chocolate Covered Maple Smoked Bacon Soda by Real Soda actually exists…

Anyway…currently the top-selling flavor at the North Market Pop Shop in Frederick, Maryland (my local soda purveyor), Chocolate Covered Maple Smoked Bacon soda calls itself “breakfast in a bottle.”

I have to admit I was slightly intimidated by this product at first, but I can confirm for you that you can definitely taste the smoke and you can definitely detect the bacon. They stand out as two distinct notes in this sugary brew.

Others have remarked that they can only taste the chocolate element, which is funny to me because I taste more of the smokey bacon than the chocolate.

Real Soda makes “real soda in real bottles,” and this particular offering uses real, all natural cane sugar instead of that nasty corn syrup stuff. (Bubbles and Foam is firmly against corn syrup, ugh.)

If I’m going to make myself fat reviewing sodas, then by golly it had better be real cane sugar making me blimp out.

Anyway, this soda is definitely tasty and closer to the “amazing” end of the spectrum,  but in the end I prefer to ingest my bacon the old-fashioned way. The soda is a little too far on the sweet side for me, and I’m not sure if I’m comfortable with the notion of bacon as a liquid.

But if you want to be adventurous and delve deep into the world of sodas for an unusual flavor combination, this drink is the perfect place to start your explorations of the quirkier parts of the soda universe.

Where I got my soda: North Market Pop Shop 

Where you can get your soda: Chocolate Covered Maple Smoked Bacon Soda (Amazon)

A Peach of a Soda: Peach Nehi

Peach Nehi Soda

Peach Nehi Soda

Established in 1924, the Nehi Soda brand (now part of the Dr Pepper Snapple Groupis famous for a bevy of fruity sodas, including past flavors like grapefruit, watermelon and “Sangria.”

Grape Nehi typically gets all of the attention; the character Radar O’Reilly in the popular TV series M*A*S*H chugged it in lieu of alcohol, for example. Although grape might be the star, my favorite Nehi flavor by far (of the limited options still available) is peach.

The coral color is cheerful, the vintage long-necked bottle is stylish, and the peachy flavor makes me think nostalgically of humid summer picnics and runny, sticky popsicles and Atlanta, with all its peach themed streets, a place that renowned for being hot.

Sadly, some of the most amazing Nehi flavors no longer exist, like the Nehi “Upper 10” Lemon flavor with lithium, advertised as a “jolly good mixer” in 1934, and touted as a great substitute for coffee. I bet it was!

Where I got my soda: North Market Pop Shop

Where you can get your soda: Beverages Direct

Sidral Mundet Apple Soda, A Mexican Favorite for More Than 100 Years

Sidral Mundet Apple Soda

Sidral Mundet Apple Soda

This weekend I stumbled across a bottle of Sidral Mundet apple soda, a Mexican and Mexican American favorite beverage since 1902. After sampling it today, I can see why Sidral Mundet has been bottled and consumed for so long!

The first three ingredients are carbonated water, natural sugar (which can be hard to find these days, at least on the American market) and apple juice, so this is not one of those fake apple sodas (although if you read through Bubbles and Foam, you will see that I like some of those fake apple sodas too.) To me there was less of an apple taste and more like a hint of natural grape to it, but it was a light soda, not too syrupy or overwhelming.

The drink continued to fizz in my mouth with every sip, a fun effect that made me feel like I was drinking Pop Rocks (albeit naturally flavored Pop Rocks.)

I also like the classic long-necked glass bottle; I might repurpose it as a casual vase to hold a long-stemmed red or white rose later on.

Where I got my soda: North Market Pop Shop

Where you can get your soda: Locations where the product is available are listed on the Sidral Mundet website.

Ramune Japanese Plum Soda

Ramune Plum Soda from Japan

Ramune Plum Soda from Japan

You’ve got to admire a soda that comes with special instructions on how to open and drink it properly!

I recently enjoyed some refreshing Ramune Plum Soda imported by Sangaria, a type of Japanese “marble soda” that must be popped open by dislodging the glass marble from the throat of the bottle. When you drink Ramune, you have to tilt the bottle so the glass marble will drop into an indentation, otherwise it will block your flow of soda.

The bottle comes with a special plastic top that you snap in two. One part serves as the instrument to dislodge the marble. Beware, you should do this on a flat, steady surface so you can apply as much pressure as needed to pop the marble. When it pops, the soda releases a loud cloud of fizz. Kids will love it (although you might have to pop the marble for them).

Ramune in Japan comes in so many wonderful flavors–we cannot get them all here in the United States. Some flavors available in Japan in the past included lychee, bubble gum, yuzu, pineapple, curry, wasabi and octopus!

Having been to Japan once, I can solemnly swear and attest the Japanese make some of the best sodas and snack foods on earth, if not the absolute #1 best snacks and beverages on earth. The flavors are so daring and imaginative! The packaging is always so cheerful and beautifully designed. I can’t get enough.

Where I got my marble soda: Wegmans

Where you can get your marble soda: Wegmans

Finally Found My Favorite Green Apple Soda!

Capone Family Secret Green Apple Soda

Capone Family Secret Green Apple Soda

Green apple is by its very nature a tart flavor, which I fully understand; however, most green apple sodas on the market today are way too acidic and therefore too physically painful for me to actually drink. Despite many past disappointments, I valiantly forged ahead, trying each and every green apple soda that crossed my path, hoping to one day find a winner that I could actually enjoy. I wanted a green apple soda that was slightly tart, but not overwhelmingly so.

At long last I have found the green apple soda that seems specially crafted just for me; there is just enough of a sour kick, but not so much acidity that I feel like I’m eroding the skin off my esophagus: Capone Family Secret Green Apple Soda.

Made in Illinois (of course!), this green apple soda is refreshing and bright without any burning sensations. It’s sugary as all sodas are, but within reason. It’s the perfect balance of sweet and sour. Plus, who doesn’t love a product that evokes the gangster elan of Al Capone? It’s irresistible, really.

Where I got my soda: North Market Pop Shop in Frederick MD

Where you can get your soda: Your favorite soda retailer, or send a query to the company at the website listed above

Soda Pop Motherlode in Frederick Maryland

North Market Pop Shop

North Market Pop Shop located in Frederick, Maryland.

In the mood for some chocolate covered maple bacon flavored soda? Want to add a twist of irony to your next house party or shindig by serving your guests some icy-Cold War Leninade? Or do you miss the unusual, almost painful flavor of Moxie cola from Maine? If you answered yes to any of these questions or you’re just a soda pop fiend, a motherlode of soda is available for your sipping and guzzling pleasure at the North Market Pop Shop in Frederick, Maryland.

This delightful, petite shop in historic Frederick stocks a whopping 115 different varieties of soda, including 24 varieties of root beer alone!

You can also stop in for some thick, gooey, locally made ice cream, a hot dog, or some hot cider on a cold winter’s day. As you probably already guessed, you can also score an ice cream float here, albeit in a flavor combination you have probably never experienced before.

A limited amount of seating is available out front where you can also ogle the creative storefront window (which currently

Wall of Soda at North Market Pop Shop

Wall of Soda at North Market Pop Shop in Frederick, Maryland.

contains a delightful mix of retro toys interspersed with colorful soda bottles).

Walking into the store, you might experience childlike glee and have to suppress yourself from jumping up and down with excitement, or else you might feel petrified, overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of fizzy beverage options arrayed before you.

Don’t worry, you are encouraged to mix and match, so take home a 6-pack for less than $15. The friendly and informative staff can recommend some options if you can’t decide what you want. Pick up a convenient bottle opener while you’re there, too, and you are all set, ready to embark upon your journey of carbonated bliss.

On a final note, Jolt cola lovers, North Market Pop Shop stocks not just one but two varieties of Jolt, so you can resume your ill-advised addiction now! This hard to find uber-caffeinated cola has been the inspiration behind thousands of term papers authored in the middle of the night; one could say it was the original “energy drink” of the 1980s. Please drink responsibly!

North Market Pop Shop

237 North Market Street in Downtown Frederick


Oogave Watermelon Cream Soda

Oogave Watermelon Cream Soda

Oogave All Natural Watermelon Cream Soda

Hunting through my local Target store for fun new things to try for lunch this week, I came across this Oogave Watermelon Cream all natural soda. I’m always intrigued by soda flavors I have never experienced before, so I instantly snapped up not one but two bottles, and I’m glad I did.

My enthusiasm was piqued by the fact this is a product flavored with agave, a substance which has a low glycemic index (in other words, agave syrup is less likely to make you fat than cane sugar.)

Ironically, to me the soda neither tastes quite like watermelon nor quite like cream, but that’s okay because I love this stuff. What it reminds me of most is some of the mixed berry soda sold in Finland, where I spent many of my childhood summers guzzling pop and downing licorice ice cream cones.

The best way to describe the pop’s flavor is “fruity bouquet.” I know that’s not specific enough for some of you, but other words that came to mind the first time I drank Oogave watermelon cream included “refreshing,” “sparkly” and “pink” (which it is). Yes, somehow this soda tastes pink!

At any rate now I am excited to try any other Oogave flavors I can find.

Where I found my soda: At my local Target store.

Where you can find this soda: Click the link in the first sentence of this review to connect with Oogave and learn which stores near you stock this lovely drink.