Most grape-flavored things don't taste like grape at all—they taste like purple. Commercial grape soda walks the line between the taste of real grapes and sugary artificial flavor. Grape soda should be the non-alcoholic, fizzy sister to wine, but instead it seems to be the least appreciated of the sodas. I've had a soft spot for this deep purple, bubbly beverage since childhood, so I was inspired to make a DIY version that has a more natural flavor.
'grape soda' on Serious Eats
Grapico, born in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1914, moved to Alabama in 1917 and has been produced there since. Though flavored artificially, the soda skyrocketed to early fame with advertisements that implied that it contained real grape juice (complaints from real grape-juice vendors led to eventual charges from the Federal Trade Commission that forced Grapico vendors to adjust their advertising). Today, the soda enjoys a cult following among Alabamians almost equivalent to that of Cheerwine in the Carolinas.
Anyone who drinks a lot of grape soda knows by now that most of the stuff tastes about as much like actual grapes as Coors Light tastes like actual beer. Still, grape soda can be refreshing on a hot summer day, and like all things, we wanted to know which was the best. We gathered 9 brands of grape soda and ranked them all. Did your favorite claim the top spot?