July 4, 2005

Sam Hughes Reviews a fresh six-pack + 1

Dr Brown's Celery Soda:

While being treated to a fine turkey submarine sandwich at Katz's deli in NYC, I stumbled upon quite the soda goldmine. Only this soda goldmine was filled with stalks upon stalks of refreshing celery, all in the form of a carbonated beverage. In many ways I knew that I would enjoy this soda as soon as I saw it on the menu, but the extent to which I enjoyed it was a surprise. In terms of packaging, Dr. Brown gets a solid rating. The can is appropriately green, and the logo is classic in that I feel that I just trust the Dr. Brown name before I even pop the cap. After the first sip it was clear; this definitely tastes like celery. But it was the further sips that made this more than just some novelty vegetable beverage. The beverage is as refreshing as biting into a fresh celery stick, but its subtle sweetness is really what puts it on top. Again, this is isn't your every day kind of soda, possibly reserved for just a can once in a blue moon, but I can safely say that I'm anxiously awaiting that next blue moon.

Dr. Brown's Celery Soda:

8.5 Grifts out of 10

Soho Natural Lemon-Lime Soda:

Considering this soda's name, I was a bit taken aback when I found this soda in Boots convenience store/deli in State College, PA. The packaging is great on this beverage. I bought a 24 oz. tall can of it (a rarity in itself), whcih featured a sprawling cityscape of what I assume to be the Soho area of NYC. Also appearing on the can are the bold claims that the soda is natural because it contains "pure cane sugar." While that may be true, poking his head through right behind Mr. Pure Cane on the ingredients label was our old friend HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup.) Not having experienced many sodas that only use, or even use some can sugar, I can't say that I was impressed with this soda at all. It still left a nasty film on the top of my mouth like most mainstream sodas do, and the taste was nothing extraordinary which was a great dissapointment. At best, this is Sierra Mist dressed up in prettier packaging.

5 Rese's varieties out of 10


This beverage is known to me as a southern staple. While I've heard that the people at Cheerwine are trying to expand their market farther up the east coast, as far as I know you can still only find it in the south and I found it in a Chapel Hill, NC pharmacy. The packaging isn't terribly impressive, and the name of the soda still confuses me, but I guess it all has something to do with cherries because that is what it kinda tastes like. I'd say that that the soda has a Dr. Pepper like feel at its base but a much stronger cherry flavoring, however artificial, it is a nice change of pace. Normally I wouldn't give this soda above a six, but I was eating a good slice of pizza and pining over a really hot asian girl at the time, so...

7 hot asians out of 10

Honest Tea with Peach:

I was pleasently surprised when I stumbled upon this tea at the Savanna health food store in Atlanta, Georgia. I had heard good things about the Honest Tea brand and I'd say that these good things were well warranted. The packaging was very nice on this product. There is good informative information about the specific formulation of the tea and this packaging happened to feature the delightfil Opus from Berkely Breathed's Outland comics. As for the drink itself, this is the tea that Joes wishes he made (boom goes the dynamite.) The subtle sweetness of the cane sugar and peach puree go merely perfectly with the natural mixture of green and black teas. Not sweet by any means, but I'm being honest here, this is good tea.


China Cola:

Another nice beverage to come out of the Savanna health food store was China Cola. The apparent use of "imported Chinese herbs" made this a mysterious and exciting cola. The packaging didn't contain many thrills, but its yellow label and bold red font reminded me enough of the Chinese flag for me to be satisfied. The taste was what truly won me over as this is definitely the best cola I've ever had (which isn't saying much being only exposed to Coke, Pepsi, and generic brands.) The use of canse sugar helps relieve the sticky film that rests on the roof of my mouth when drinking normal cola and the use of mystical elements like "malaysian vanilla" and "tree bark" give this cola a darker and better taste even if I couldn't distinguish those specific flavors. Me Chinese, me play joke, me make much better cola than coke.


NEHI Peach Soda:

I plucked this peach from the state line gast station bewteen Georgia and Alabama. I was intrigued by the neon red/pink looks and by the fact that U had not seen it before. It had a nice label and font which was also what attracted me to it. I was tather offended by this soda's taste, however. It certaintly tasted like a peach, but unfortunately this peach was injected with 51 grams of high fructose corn syrup sweetened sugar which made it fairly difficult to swallow down this 12 oz. bottle. My colleague Joey proabably best described it as a freezy pop melted into a bottle and then carbonated. Just not a very enjoyable beverage.



So here it is; Coke's long awaited answert to Pepsi's very successful Mountain Dew citrus soda. I'm not sure exactly when this soda appeared on the market, but I saw it for the very first time today at the state line gas stattion between GA and AL. The packaging sticks out, but not ina good way. The font for the drink is some kind of bastardised mix of Peavy's and Vectorman's (Sega Genesis), and it comes off as rather cheesy. The package's claim that Vault "drinks like a soda and kicks like an energy drink is also rather dubious as the ingredients listed don't provide any more energy than any other highly carbonated soda. As for the taste, it isn't so bad. My colleague Jon probably best described it as "Mountain Dew mixed with Sprite. though I'd also throw the "Surge" brand name in there as a similar taste. While this is decent in its own way, this beverage doesn't distinguish itself the way that Dew does. I expect Vault to take some market share, but Dew drinkers will continue to do the Dew, and this mediocre beverage will not Vault over the competition as Coca-Cola wants.



Anonymous said...


plz review coca-cola zero so for i can decide to make purchase

Anonymous said...

what is your favorite soda then Sam? could you do a top 10 maybe?