Dr. Tima’s Honey Kola

Found another oddball soft drink at Whole Foods recently and, as usual, had to give it a go.

What’s better than HFCS? Real sugar. And what’s the best-tasting form of sugar? Honey. This stuff is wonderfully sweet without being overpowering. No caffeine, but we’ll give it a pass for that. There’s only one bottle in the photo because there’s only one bottle left. Highly recommended — next time you’re in the hippie supermarket, seek it out.

Brain Wash

After getting addicted to Black Lemonade, I have come to really like Brain Wash soda from Skeleteens…so it makes sense that they don’t make it regularly any more. Among its charms: It tastes a bit like Sweettarts; it apparently has jalapeno in it for bite (and it does have bite); it is strongly caffeinated; and seeing as how it is blue soda, it also turns your tongue blue.

It does something else too, which you find out some time after drinking it. I don’t want to give away the surprise but it freaked me out.

Skeleteens is reportedly only doing occasional batches of blue Brain Wash, and I’ve seen red online but not yet in real life. I get mine at the local BevMo, but you can sometimes find it here too. And even I’m not paying for the rare Microsoft edition.

Pepsi Natural

This caught my eye in Target tonight. I was looking for the WoW Mountain Dew Game Fuel (unsuccessfully, just as in the grocery store…is it really that popular?) and found Pepsi Natural instead. I only found one bottle of Pepsi Throwback and Dew Throwback so I figured I should grab this oddball while I could.

Aside from the unusual 12-ounce bottles, it’s mellower than the regular stuff, and has about the same amount of caffeine. “Natural” means real sugar, kola nut extract, and sparkling water. It’s a nicer taste, to my palate — a little sweeter at first but then tapers off pleasantly. Weirdest ingredient: natural apple extract, for color. I guess it would be clear (or worse, yellow) without it?

I’m pleasantly surprised to see the major companies jump on the boutique cola bandwagon, even if there are plenty of party poopers. I still miss Royal Crown Premium Draft Cola and will get Puma whenever I see it (which is not often, and BevMo is no longer any help to me), but this is an option that will hopefully have better distribution.

We have a winner

Yes. After so many years of searching and I’m totally not kidding, I finally found a worthy draft cola.

It’s not as strongly vanilla flavored as Royal Crown Premium Draft Cola (or is it? I don’t know, it’s been 12 years since I was able to find a bottle, and I’ve romanticized the stuff a lot), but it’s by far the only beverage that comes anywhere near what I have been looking for, and it’s the only draft cola I’ve been able to locate, period. It’s priced at 85 cents a bottle, which is no problem…until you find that shipping $10 worth of soda costs another $17. I need to convince the local BevMo to stock it (since that’s where I found out about Sprecher in the first place — maybe they can just add flavors to their next order).

But oh good heavens, I am so glad the search is over. The rest is just details.

Soft drinks

I drink hard liquor now and again but I still like funky soft drinks more. A Beverages & More (aka BevMo) opened up in my neighborhood this week and I was thrilled to find on a local shelf some of the stuff I’ve only been able to find through tiny internet soft drink shops. I’m still chasing a draft cola, but Jack Black’s Blood Red Cola is the closest I’ve found…and now it’s down the street, along with Crush, Moxie, Sioux City, Boylan’s, Faygo, and all those other old-timey, what-the-hell beverages.

Also, they sell Cabo Wabo. Cabo Wabo Blanco es muy whatever the word for “good” is.