'soft drinks' on Serious Eats

Drinking The Coffee Cherry: What's the Deal with Bai?

Packed with antioxidants, apparently an effective antidepressant, and a delicious wake-up call every morning, coffee is already a potent beverage surrounded by a media swirl of health claims (some dubious, some legit). So do we need a new drink made out of the "superfruit" that surrounds the beans we already have been roasting, grinding and brewing for thousands of years? And does it taste good? More

Pepsi Throwback Coming Back December 28

Due to popular demand, Pepsi Throwback is making a comeback. As you may recall, Throwback is Pepsi made with cane sugar rather than HFCS. Throwback will reappear December 28 for an eight-week run. If Pepsi Co. were a little smarter, it would extend the period through April 6, to cover Passover. See also: A Beginner's Guide to Passover Coke. See also: Rob Walker's piece on Mexican Coke. [via Kottke]... More

Video: Talking Soda Pop with John Nese of Galco's in Los Angeles

Cherry Coke Zero will sound pretty humdrum after you get a load of all 500-ish specialty sodas available at Galco's Soda Pop Stop in Los Angeles, a carbonation haven since 1897. Owner John Nese is very proud of his collection. Red Ribbon root beer is still brewed with sassafras root bark; Bubble Up is made with actual lemon and lime oils; Manhattan Special is a coffee soda that's been roasted in Brooklyn since 1897. Nese thinks diet sodas are for the birds, but admits that Stewart's Black Cherry isn't bad. This mini-documentary is part of Chow's Obsessives series. Watch it after the jump.... More

Tulsa Man May Have Found Early Version of Dr Pepper Recipe at Texas Antiques Store

Photograph from longhorndave on Flickr Bill Waters, a Tulsa man tooling around in a Texas Panhandle antiques store, discovered a very interesting Dr Pepper artifact in a ledger book he found and bought there: The recipe written in cursive in the ledger book is hard to make out, but ingredients seem to include mandrake root, sweet flag root, and syrup.It isn't a recipe for a soft drink, says Greg Artkop, a spokesman for the Plano-based Dr Pepper Snapple Group. He said it's likely instead a recipe for a bitter digestive that bears the Dr Pepper name.He said the recipe certainly bears no resemblance to any Dr Pepper recipes the company knows of. The drink's 23-flavor blend is a closely... More

The 10 Most Bizarre Soft Drinks

The blog Oddee has a roundup of the ten most bizarre soft drinks out there. My favorite: Diet Water: "Isn't that an oxymoron? Meet the Diet Water: all the flavor of regular water, only half the calories." Also on the list: gau jal, a soft drink made with cow urine (India); a Japanese drink with pig placenta as an ingredient; and an old favorite of ours, Kidsbeer (also from Japan), which we blogged about in summer 2007.... More

'Coca-Cola Classic' Changing Name Back to 'Coca-Cola'

Coca-Cola has announced that it's dropping the "Classic" label from its name in the U.S. The extra bit was added to the original formula's packaging in 1985, when the company introduced the poorly received "New Coke" line. Says Ad Age: But the word has gradually outlived its usefulness as the company has sought an increasingly global approach. The popular "Coke side of life" and new "Open happiness" campaigns have not used the word. "Classic" would have been used only in advertising specific to North America, said Scott Williamson, a Coca-Cola spokesman. Of course, we wouldn't mind if they went really old school and brought back the formula that uses cane sugar instead of HFCS as a sweetener. Related In Videos:... More

Soda Pop Stop: One-Stop Shopping for 450 Different Sodas

Americans are a bubbly bunch; they love soda, and that’s that. But when it comes to variety, most of the vintage brews and unusual flavors slip through the Coca-Cola cracks. Galco’s Soda Pop Stop, a soda shop based in Los Angeles, salvages and sells 450 of them (and ships them). The flavors link on the website allows for a quick perusal. I’m trying Sweet Blossom soda in Rose, Jasmine, and Elderflower. Anyone up for Mr. Q. Cumber? What soda flavors do you love or miss most?... More

In Videos: Dr Pepper Hopping on the Slow Food Bandwagon?

A new marketing campaign for everyone's favorite medically themed soft drink. It seems that surveys have found that drinking carbonated drinks more slowly makes for happier soft-drink drinkers. As an avid soda drinker myself, I have to echo those findings. Of course, I'm not sure if slower drinking really lets you "savor the flavors" or just helps you avoid swallowing too much air—never a comfy feeling. Whatever the reason, Dr Pepper has enlisted NBA superstar Julius Erving to jump-shoot the message home. [via So Good]... More

Japan Fights Off Summer Heat Exhaustion with Eel Soda

Since eel is supposed to give you an energy boost, the Japanese encourage eating lots of it during the summer to combat natsubate, or heat lethargy. In fact, there's even a specific day called Doyo Ushi no Hi during late-July, when temperatures are at their hottest, dedicated to eating unagi, or grilled eels. So leave it to the country who bats nary an eyelash at strange flavor combinations to come up with eel soda. Called Unagi Nobori (which translates to "Surging Eel"), the beverage contains eel extract and vitamins commonly found in eel. Yellow in color, the carbonated drink apparently has a similar taste to unagi. It's like an energy drink and liquid meal hybrid!... More

Pepsi Blue Hawaii Rides the Waves to Japan

I share Marvo of The Impulsive Buy's sentiment: "I’m allergic to cocktail umbrellas and drinks that make me look like a drunk sorority girl ready to flash her boobs when a video camera and Joe Francis come by." Hence I, like Marvo, have never experienced a Blue Hawaii cocktail, consisting of rum, pineapple juice, blue Curacao, sweet and sour mix, sometimes vodka, and always a festive paper umbrella. Maybe I'd enjoy the Blue Hawaii better in soft drink form. This summer, Pepsi unleashed the limited-edition Pepsi Blue Hawaii. Sorry, unlucky Americans—it's only available in Japan. Marvo got his hands on a bottle and reviewed the drink, describing its color as "Smurf-like," and the pineapple and lemon flavor combo as "really... More

Choose the New Mountain Dew: Demographics and Soda Preferences

In case you haven't been following how the crucial Dewmocracy race is shaping up across the nation—the race in which we all come together to decide among Mountain Dew Voltage, Supernova, and Revolution—well, So Good blog has been handicapping the proceedings. So Good proprietor John Eick revealed yesterday that Voltage (blue raspberry) was winning in every single state and had even analyzed results in several states: So why all the hate for the strawberry melon Revolution? Well, don’t be fooled. There appear to be some interesting regional taste preferences. I can’t discern the national trend, but the strawberry seems to be running ahead of the wild berry in large parts of the Southwest, Midwest and Southeast. For example, in... More

It Was Almost the 'Dr Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band'

Robb Walsh tells serious eaters everything they could possibly want to know about Dr Pepper in a brilliant piece of reporting and commentary, including these facts: There are now three local Texas bottlers making the original Dr Pepper with pure cane sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup (which Walsh objects to just on principle). Visitors to the original Dr Pepper bottling plant in Dublin, Texas, can buy 20 cases for "personal use"Bootleggers and legit concerns are now distributing said Dr Pepper in convenience stores, gas stations, and even in upscale Texas grocery store Central Market Walsh had passers-by blindly taste both kinds of Dr Pepper. Younger people thought the original Dr Pepper tasted weird. Walsh himself likes to cook... More

Red Bull and Cola Sitting in a Tree

That svelte Red Bull can won't just contain fluorescent yellow stuff anymore—it could have brown liquid in there too! The brand is launching a "strong and natural" cola alternative with crazy ingredients like mustard seeds, ginger, cloves, licorice, orange and cardamom. Following suit of Pepsi Raw and Retro, this could be part of a growing "healthier" pop trend. Maybe I want phosphoric acid in my cola, okay, Red Bull?... More

Can Coca-Cola Benefit Anemics?

The soft-drink giant asked researchers at the UK's University of East Anglia to test a theory that the fizzy drink might help prevent anemia in women: Sixteen women volunteers are being asked to eat cheese and tomato pizza and then drink Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, or mineral water to see what effect the drinks have on the way the body absorbs iron. Dietary iron deficiency can be a factor in anemia. Photograph from Meanest Indian on Flickr... More

Cherry Coke + Cherry Coke Zero

Coke decided to relaunch Cherry Coke this month and they did it by hiring the design team behind Rocawear—hip-hop legend Jay-Z's uber successful clothing brand—to redesign Cherry Coke's packaging as well as creating that of the new Cherry Coke Zero. I think Cherry Coke's palette of pinks and cityscape are really pretty, but Cherry Coke Zero's packaging is rather clever—the same cityscape in black, and cherries with holes (zeros) punched into them. (You can read more about Cherry Coke Zero over at BevBoard or discuss it in our Serious Eats: Talk thread.)... More

Dead Sodas

Dead Sodas: A Tribute to Soft Drinks No Longer With Us. X Entertainment's salute to the short-lived, forgotten and misbegotten beverages foisted on us in the past, featuring classics like Crystal Pepsi, Surge and Orbitz. [via roboppy del.icio.us]... More

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