Soda smorgasbord

Photo by Tim Brown.
Photo by Tim Brown.

Bottle #1: Sioux City Sarsaparilla, Rating: 3/5

This thick and spicy carbonated root beer was mentioned briefly in the Coen Brothers film “The Big Lebowski.” Sioux City Sarsaparilla is the ideal root beer because the taste of sassafras is not overpowered by added sweetener, which in this case is cane sugar.


Bottle #2: Kickapoo Joy Juice, Rating: 3/5

This soda shares its namesake with a song by Tenacious D. Kickapoo Joy Juice originated as a fictional beverage drank by characters in the American comic strip “Li’l Abner” by Al Capp. Capp described Kickapoo Joy Juice as “a liquor of such stupefying potency that the hardiest citizens of Dogpatch, after the first burning sip, rose into the air, stiff as frozen codfish.”

While the soda is non-alcoholic, it contains a whopping 45 grams of sugar. The syrupy sweetness takes away from any grapefruit flavor in the bottle. The opposite of this soda would be a drink like Fresca that is less sweet. However, it does have a fun label and interesting narrative.


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Bottle #3: Bawls Guarana, Rating: 2/5

There is a special place in my heart for Bawls Guarana energy drink. This reviewer drank 40 bottles New Year’s Eve 2006 at a Diablo II tournament.

In hindsight I don’t know what I was thinking. The stuff tastes nasty.  It has a citric taste with a cream soda finish. The bottle left me thirstier than when I started. It is fine for a pick-me-up, though. I’d rater drink a cappuccino to get going.


Bottle #4: Waialua Soda Works Mango Soda, Rating: 5/5

Waialua Soda Works Mango Soda is a lightly carbonated, almost clear, mango soda sweetened with cane sugar.  The light mango flavor and mild sweetener is anything but an assault on the taste buds. It is refreshing and fruity.