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We Try Q Kola, From the Makers of Q Tonic

It's funny how, when a product is widespread enough, it seems to taste only like itself. Kraft Mac 'n Cheese, for instance? The orange goo isn't particularly cheeselike; it just tastes like blue-box mac. Coca-Cola doesn't really show the distinct spicy, citric, vanillla notes that cola originally had. So what about something a little closer to the original intent? That's how Q Kola, the makers of Q Tonic, are marketing their new soda. More

Soda: We Try the New Sierra Mist Natural Strawberry Kiwi Splash

In writing this column, we tend to get most excited about smaller brands, the Sprecher Root Beers of the world: sodas that might not be at every 7-11, might not be available in every state, but offer something special. Still, every once in awhile we get excited about a bigger brand's offering. And we were pleasantly surprised by Sierra Mist Natural Strawberry Kiwi Splash. More

Starbucks Refreshers: New Energy Drinks from Starbucks

People across the country (and across the world) pack themselves into Starbucks locations each morning and afternoon with the goal of pumping caffeine into their veins. Others pop into convenience stores, highway rest stops, and drug stores in search of an energy jolt. Caffeine is big business, so it's no surprise to see a player from one arena cross over into another. Starbucks has already put out a number of coffee drinks, but they've now moved into another corner of the caffeine world, releasing a line of energy drinks, much like a Monster or Red Bull. More

11 Combinations You Can Make from the Coca-Cola Freestyle Machine

We're still a little bit obsessed with the Coca-Cola Freestyle machine... even after we tried all 100+ flavors. You know what the real fun is? Creating combinations. Nope, 127 flavors isn't enough for us; we want the mixing to begin. But since trying all 8001 hypothetical two-soda combinations from the Freestyle machine seems daunting even for us, we're just sharing a few of our favorites. More

Soda: Coco Rico, Puerto Rican Coconut Soda

Plenty of foodstuffs taste great in their natural form, but translate terribly to "flavors." (Banana-flavored Runts or Now 'n Laters couldn't taste less like bananas, right?) So does the notion of a coconut-flavored soda sound particularly appealing? We didn't think so, but were pleasantly surprised by Puerto Rican coconut soda Coco Rico More

Jones Soda's New 'Au Naturel' Line

"Au Naturel" can mean many things. It's handy when we want to make "naked" sound more sophisticated than vulgar. And in the world of food, it presumably means something derived from "natural" ingredients. But when it comes down to it, the definition of "natural" is a fuzzy one. Jones Soda just released their new "Au Naturel" line—three sodas sweetened partially with stevia, with 35 calories and much less sugar (7g) than a standard bottle. We've had a number of low-sugar sodas we've liked recently. How would Jones fare? More

DRY Soda: When You Want A Seltzer-Soda Middle Ground

We drink a lot of seltzer at Serious Eats—a lot. Helps hydrate between the short rib sandwiches, the cupcakes, and the wine tastings. But as appreciators of flavor, we're always trying to jazz it up a bit; recently, I've been on a cranberry-bitters-in-the-seltzer kick; others have long been fans of the "little bit of juice, whole lot of bubbly water" route. Which is why I think we all took to DRY Soda so quickly. This Seattle-based company makes not-too-sweet soda that's sweetened with cane sugar, in sophisticated flavors like rhubarb, cucumber, and juniper berry, at around 45-70 calories per bottle. More

Soda: 'Soda Pop Shoppe' Jelly Belly Flavors

It being Valentine's Day, we've got candy on the brain (and in the Serious Eats office). And we're both Jelly Belly fans, but had never tried their "Soda Pop Shoppe" flavors. The little beans sport flavors of Orange Crush, Grape Crush, Dr Pepper, A&W Root Beer, A&W Cream Soda, and 7UP. Here's the thing about soda-flavored candy; sodas have very distinct and often very familiar flavors. A 7UP tastes different from a Sprite, especially when you drink a lot of them. Would these jelly beans taste like the soda flavors they advertise? More

Manhattan Special Espresso Coffee Soda

Espresso Coffee Soda by Manhattan Special may look like a consciously retro hipster beverage—the flapper on the label, significant caffeine content, and cane sugar sweetener help. And it's made in Brooklyn's Williamsburg, natch. But no: this stuff is the real around-for-a-century deal, cranked out in Brooklyn since 1895. More

Soda: Do You Ever Mix Fanta and Coke?

Just about any kid with an empty tall cup and a soda fountain in front of her has probably tried mixing sodas. (All those options in front of you; how could you not?) But in Germany, soda-mixing isn't just for kids; mixing Coke and Fanta (or their equivalents) is so popular that the mix is sold in bottles (Coca-Cola's is called "Mezzo Mix", Pepsi's a "Schwip Schwap"). Are you a soda mixer? More

Soda: Big Red and Mello Yello

If you grew up eating any kind of candy, drinking any kind of soda, or generally consuming any substance advertised on Saturday morning TV, you have some sense of what "red," "yellow," and "blue" taste like. And the soda Mello Yello tastes just like yellow. So why doesn't Big Red taste like red? More

Soda: Will Dudes Really Like Dr Pepper Ten?

The two of us are pretty adaptable people, open to change and compromise. John's gotten Carey to love the Steelers, South Park, and WASPs who play racquet sports. Carey's opened John's heart to kale, New York City, and terrible TV dramas like Revenge. But diet soda? On that one, he's not budging. Could the new Dr Pepper Ten, their aggressively male-targeted diet soda, change his mind? More

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