The Brunching Shuttlecocks Ratings

Soda Flavors

It says something about modern society that our most popular soda doesn't taste like anything in particular. I mean, I imagine there might be a passing resemblance to cola nuts, but I don't know anyone who'd be in a position to verify such. I once read an ingredient list of flavorings that supposedly go into the cola experience, and it was ungodly long and obscure. It made those complex food magazine recipes for stuff like pheasant au goulet--the ones that require you to have a separate knife for each body part of the pheasant and that require you to know that Bulgarian coriander is actually a breed of sheep--look like boxed mac and cheese by comparison. C-

Actually, there's a wide variety of sodas which I lump carelessly under the "lemon-lime" category with no regard for whether they actually contain lemons and/or limes. Basically, if the bottle and the liquid inside are both greenish, and it's not ginger ale, it's lemon-lime. Fresca is lemon-lime in spite of tasting like grapefruit, and Mountain Dew is lemon-lime in spite of being made out of squeezings from the adrenal glands of snowboarders. C

When I was working at McDonald's as a teenager--I had a computer to pay for and some sins from a past life to work out--I noticed a cup of orange soda sitting next to a cup of orange juice. The soda was an intense, bellowing shade of orange, the sort that keeps crossing guards safe. The juice, by comparison, was a limp yellow, the shade of yellow that tells you the arm's going to have to come off. That's when I realized that we, as a culture, have no tolerance for natural colors. We want our whites to phosphoresce, our pinks to vibrate, and our orange soda to humiliate our orange juice. B

I actually drink more diet soda than sugar soda, not so much out of a desire to diet than a desire to not be on a sucrose high every moment of every day. As a lover of all things grape and artificial, I have been constantly disappointed by the difficulty of getting diet grape soda in California. One of the few perks of moving to the South is that you can get diet grape soda here, but only Diet Rite white grape soda, which tastes right, but it's not purple! What, I ask you, is the point? Whom, I ask you, are we fooling? It's grape soda, I neither want nor need it to look good in a champagne flute. A

Cream Soda
I like foods that don't actually contain the ingredients in their name. Grape Nuts don't contain grapes or nuts, cream soda doesn't contain cream, Ritz crackers don't actually contain an upscale hotel, and so forth. The neat thing about cream soda is that it actually tastes vaguely creamy. Vaguely. B

Root Beer
My big problem with root beer is that someone informed me a while ago that it tastes like toothpaste. I wish she hadn't said that. I had gone some twenty someodd years without noticing the connection, but once I was enlightened, there it was. I still like root beer, sure, but now every time have I have one there's that brief moment of wary recognition. C+

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