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Thums Up for Indian Cola

Rather than go head to head with the marketing machines of the big boys, the Parle group sold Thums Up to Coca-Cola in 1990. The labels of the two colas might seem similar, but Coca-Cola Classic and Thums Up do actually have quite distinct flavor profiles. More

What To Do With a 17-Year-Old Can of Pepsi Kona? Drink It.

The Summer of 1996 was a good time for me. The Sony Playstation and the X Games were still novelties, Beck's Odelay was on the boom box, Beavis and Butthead were about to Do America, and Pepsi test-released a coffee/cola hybrid called Pepsi Kona in my region. Granted, I wasn't an avid coffee drinker back then, but any kind of new soda was an exciting prospect to me. More

Hot Stuff: Agrarian's Cherry Cherry Bomb Bon Soda

The Cherry Cherry Bomb Bon from Agrarian Ales is a soft drink flavored with a neighbor's cherries—but the real secret ingredient is the cherry bomb chili peppers bursting with sweet and savory flavors and a mild heat. This pink-hued soda opens with a burst of fruity sweetness but the distinct sweet-hot chiie flavor gives it a wild kick, and the bubbles lend longevity to its tingling effect. More

DIY vs. Buy: How to Make Your Own Orange Soda

Most orange soda has more in common with orange the color than the fruit, but that doesn't stop me from craving it. The reason I drink soda isn't because I think it's full of vitamins and minerals. I drink it because it tastes good. My idea of the perfect orange soda is the fast-food fountain Orange Crush and Sunkist that I grew up with, even though as an adult I know it's just a bunch of corn syrup and artificial flavoring. Luckily, DIY orange soda delivers the same satisfying combination of sweet and tart you get from the commercial version without the questionable ingredients. More

Snapshots from Hong Kong: Boiled Coke with Ginger and Lemon

Boiled Coke with ginger and lemon started off as a popular cold remedy in Hong Kong, but now it's a popular anytime drink that's found at pretty much all Hong Kong diners. As a first-time, not sick drinker, I found it surprisingly pleasant. The cold and fizzy are gone, but you're left with sweet, spicy, a little tart, a smidge medicinal—all things that would feel restorative on a cold day or in a stream of warmth going down a sore throat. More

Sioux City Soda Gets Fancy With Prickly Pear and Cherry Mint

Sioux City's excellent sarsaparilla is famously name-checked in cult favorite The Big Lebowski, but in reality, the movie's 1991 setting would have made it practically a brand-new product, and not the weathered and time-tested brand the mustachioed cowpoke narrator seems to be looking for. Goodness knows what Sam Elliott's seen-it-all range rider would think about Sioux City's latest additions to the line. More

Essential Sodas: Jarritos Tamarindo

In the years following World War II, as Coca-Cola climbed to international superstardom, Don Francisco Hill had an idea. A native of Mexico, a country long enamored with aguas frescas made from water, sugar, and fruit, Hill envisioned a line of Mexican-made soft drinks that would capture the same fresh and simple flavors. To me, tamarind (the second-best-selling of all Jarritos flavors) is the be-all and end-all, the single must-try, the Alpha and the Omega of the venerable collection. More

Sugar-Sweetened Sodas from Dublin Bottling Works, Makers of Dublin Dr Pepper

Decades ago, when most soda manufacturers made the switch to high fructose corn syrup, Dublin Bottling Works—a small plant in central Texas that has been producing carbonated drinks for over 120 years—was a rare holdout. They vowed that the Dublin Bottling Works would stick with Texas-made Imperial sugar in the Dr Pepper they produced, simply because they liked the taste better. In 2012, the culmination of years of lawsuits and demands by Dr Pepper's corporate arm led to the revocation of Dublin Bottling Works' license to the beverage. With many other companies, the story would have ended then and there, but DBW wasn't about to lay down and die. They could no longer make Dr Pepper, but they rolled out a dozen-strong line of new vintage-themed soda flavors—all sweetened with cane sugar. More

Morning Becomes Dew: We Try Mountain Dew Kickstart

If nothing else, Kickstart—the new breakfast beverage from Mountain Dew's fortress of extremitude—wins points for sheer ambition. Positioning itself as "a fresh alternative to the age old morning question of 'coffee or juice'" (for people who have never heard of every other beverage in the world, I suppose), it promises to provide a highly caffeinated spike to your usual morning routine of ski-jumping, body-surfing, or radical commuting. More

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