Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Kickapoo Maliblu (Pina Colada)

I opened this at the end of class today:

Kickapoo Maliblu (Pina Colada)


Brand: Kickapoo Maliblu (Pina Colada)

Origin: Atlanta, GA

Purchase Place: Blue Sun Soda, Spring Lake Park, MN.

Sweetener: Sugar.

Review: I mean, it tastes like sunscreen. But also Pina Colada. It's not real drinkable, but it's OK in sips. It COULD be better with booze. But as is, it's a little weird.

Score: 4 out of 10.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Pop vs. Soda

This map seems pretty broad, but ABOUT right from what I've noticed while living in MN, eating out a few times in New Orleans, and visiting AZ and Las Vegas.

Pop vs. Soda

In out-state MN, it's "pop," but it's more "soda" here in the Metro.

Do you think this is about right?

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Sprecher Diamond Lychee Soda

"Lychee" is one of those flavors that I couldn't describe to you, but I'd know it if I tasted it. With that "knowledge" (or lack there-of), I cracked into this earlier today before class:

Sprecher Diamond Lychee Soda


I didn't know anything about Sprecher's "Diamond" line, but I found these fancier sodas in a Reddit thread:

Sprecher's Diamond sodas


Brand: Sprecher Diamond Lychee Soda.

Origin: Glendale, WI.

Purchase Place: Blue Sun Soda, Spring Lake Park, MN.

Sweetener: Sugar, Sucrose, and Raw Wisconsin Honey.

Review: This was sweet and smooth. There's a slight fruitiness to it that makes it quite drinkable. The "lychee" flavor is what I'd expected (sorry, I can't define that flavor well, but THIS was IT). There was a slight harshness in it's aftertaste, but that's the only negative thing I can say. I'd be excited to find those other 3 "diamond" sodas shown above.

Oh, and being it's Sprecher, I'm not surprised that honey is one of it's sweeteners.  They use honey a LOT (from what I can recall). This had THREE sweeteners, so it was good and sweet, but not TOO sweet.

Score: 8 out of 10.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Diet Sparkola Cola

I cracked into this last night:

Diet Sparkola Cola


Brand: Diet Sparkola Cola

Origin: Los Angeles, CA.

Purchase Place: Blue Sun Soda, Spring Lake Park, MN.

Sweetener: Sucralose.

Review: This had a pretty rich/deep flavor for a diet! It was a decent cola that had a bit of a berry flavor and a hint of cinnamon. Not bad! And quite good considering it's diet. (I wouldn't have guessed it was diet!)

Score: 7 out of 10.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Soda Can Cameras

Need something to do with your soda cans after finishing your drink?  Make a camera!






Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Sugar Plum Soda

I opened this in my classroom recently:

Sugar Plum Soda



Brand: Sugar Plum Soda.

Origin: Mukilteo, WA.

Purchase Place: Blue Sun Soda, Spring Lake Park, MN.

Sweetener: Cane Sugar.

Review: This is like a grown-up grape soda. It's not overly syrupy or sweet, and it has a little more depth to it. The flavor is a bit plum-like, but it's similar to grape. Unique, but not strange. Not a bad soda to be sipping during class.

Score: 6 out of 10.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Mr. Newport Lemon-Lime

I opened this over the weekend:

Generically OK.

Fun label.
A very formal label.


Brand: Mr. Newport Lemon-Lime.

Origin: Chicago, IL.

Purchase Place: Blue Sun Soda, Spring Lake Park, MN.

Sweetener: High Fructose Corn Syrup.

Review: There wasn't anything too special about this. It was generically OK. Just another nice lemon-lime with maybe a BIT too much of a slightly weird aftertaste.

Score: 5 out of 10.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Rosa's Arroz con Leche Sweet Rice Soda

Well, I still haven't cracked into the case I picked up last weekend at Minnesota's Largest Candy Store. But this morning, I grabbed this "interesting" sounding soda to bring to work with me:

Rosa's Arroz con Leche Sweet Rice Soda


Brand: Rosa's Arroz con Leche Sweet Rice Soda.

Origin: Camarillo, CA.

Purchase Place: Blue Sun Soda, Spring Lake Park, MN.

Sweetener: Cane Sugar.

Review: I'll admit this was odd. The first sip was hard to get through because it tasted (and smelled) like drinking leftover water in the pan after making rice. That was strange! But once I got over that thought, I realized it actually tasted pretty good. Quite sweet. Like the sweetest liquid white rice you can imagine. It's not as milky/sweet as rice pudding, but THAT would be odd in a soda. This wasn't bad - not as bad as I thought it could have been. I'll give it an average score.

Score: 5 out of 10.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Family Trip to Minnesota's Largest Candy Store

My boys and I stopped by "Minnesota's Largest Candy Store" yesterday.

Minnesota's Largest Candy Store
My boys out front when we got there at 9 a.m.

Minnesota's Largest Candy Store
It was DEAD inside right as it opened!  I love that.

Minnesota's Largest Candy Store
My boys and their cousins by the Iron Man Hulkbuster suit!

Minnesota's Largest Candy Store
Hulk and lots of taffy!

Minnesota's Largest Candy Store
Pumpkin and pumpkin pie sodas.

Minnesota's Largest Candy Store
Wheeling around my case of assorted sodas in my mini cart.

Minnesota's Largest Candy Store
A panorama of the store as we took off.

Hanging out with some family a few miles farther south at the Scarecrow Festival at Emma Krumbees.

So I have a new case of soda to start on!  I have a few more left from Blue Sun Soda Shop (actually, nearly a case), so I think I'm stocked up for the winter.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Sioux City Ginger Beer

I opened this in my office between classes today:

Sioux City Ginger Beer


The odd thing is that the label contained hardly any more info than what's pictured above: just a barcode to the left (barely visible near the bottom of the label in that pic), and which states you can get a refund for the bottle on the right. No other info. Strange. So I got the rest of the info from Beverages Direct.


Brand: Sioux City Ginger Beer.

Origin: Whitestone, NY.

Purchase Place: Blue Sun Soda, Spring Lake Park, MN.

Sweetener: High Fructose Corn Syrup.

Review: This was pretty decent (and this coming from someone who doesn't care for ginger things). It had a good, natural bite of ginger (the kind that nearly stings the back of your throat), but then it almost finished smooth. That combo I like (a bite, but then smooth), so this was better than I figured it would be. It was like a ginger ale mixed with a slightly "thin" cola (but not in a bad way). If you are a ginger fan, check this out.

Score: 6.5 out of 10.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Hosmer Mountain Beverages Diet Root Beer

I opened this just before class this afternoon:

Hosmer Mountain Beverages Diet Root Beer


Brand: Hosmer Mountain Beverages Diet Root Beer.

Origin: Willimantic, CT.

Purchase Place: Blue Sun Soda, Spring Lake Park, MN.

Sweetener: Fructose and Aspartame.

Review: This wasn't that great. First of all, it had that "thin" flavor that many diet sodas have. Secondly, it had a burnt caramel flavor to it that was not appealing at all. Luckily, that flavor wasn't too bad because it didn't have much flavor. This was not very drinkable and well below average.

Score: 2.5 out of 10.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Route 66 Cream Soda

In my office yesterday, I opened this between classes:

Route 66 Cream Soda


Brand: Route 66 Cream Soda.

Origin: Chicago, IL.

Purchase Place: Lunds Grocery Store, St. Paul, MN.

Sweetener: Real Cane Sugar.

Review: This was nice and smooth the way a cream soda should be. There's nothing incredibly unique about this, but it's a solid/decent cream soda. It has a BIT of a sharper flavor at the end of each sip which is SLIGHTLY different, but otherwise, just a normal cream soda. I'll rank this just above average.

Score: 6 out of 10.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Saturday, September 15, 2018

O-So Strawberry Soda

I picked this up at Lund's last month, and it was time to try it out:

O-So Strawberry Soda


Brand: O-So Strawberry Soda.

Origin: Mukilteo, WA.

Purchase Place: Lunds Grocery Store, St. Paul, MN.

Sweetener: Cane Sugar.

Review: This wasn't an overly sweet soda. It tasted a bit "adult." In fact, I'd NEARLY call it a "strawberry rhubarb" soda because of it's flavor and lack of super sweetness. I'm not complaining - I'm just noting that if you like a syrupy sweet soda, then this isn't for you. If you like more depth of flavor, then give this a try. I'll rate this just a bit above average.

Score: 6 out of 10.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Vanilla Hi Ball Energy

I did a triathlon 2 weeks ago, and these were being handed out at the finish:

Vanilla Hi Ball Energy


Brand: Vanilla Hi Ball Energy.

Origin: San Francisco, CA.

Purchase Place: Maple Grove Triathlon.

Sweetener: None.

Review: I saw a woman at the race dumping hers on the ground, so I didn't have high hopes. Turns out, she was 100% justified. This was horrible. It tasted like the worst possible version of La Croix water. The vanilla flavor was OK, but NOT in an unsweetened carbonated water drink. Gah. It needed about 50 grams of sugar to be drinkable. Disgusting. I only could manage a few sips of this.

Score: 1 out of 10.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Lift Bridge Root Beer Pork Roast

Over the weekend, I made a pork roast in the crock pot. And I sweetened it up with root beer:

Pork roast with root beer.
A roast split in half, with an onion and season on top. Ready for some root beer!

Pork roast with root beer.
With most of that can of root beer added.

After 4 hours on high, it was tender and pulled apart well. I saved the onions and juice, shredded the meat, put the meat back in the crock, and added back about half the liquid until it was moist enough. Tasty and sweet!

Friday, August 31, 2018

Lift Bridge Mini Donut Cream Soda

In the name of having just been to the State Fair, it was time to try this glorious can:

Lift Bridge Mini Donut Cream Soda


Brand: Lift Bridge Mini Donut Cream Soda

Origin: Stillwater, MN.

Purchase Place: Blue Sun Soda, Spring Lake Park, MN.

Sweetener: Natural Sugar.

Review: This was odd... but pretty good. It was cinnamon and sugar flavored, much like mini donuts. And it had the creaminess of a cream soda. I was trying to put my finger on the flavor, and I realized it's a bit like a snickerdoodle cookie... which is a bit cinnamony and sugary as well. It's a pretty decent flavor, and QUITE sweet. So you have to like sweet sodas to like this.

Score: 7 out of 10.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Lunds Soda Selection

I was at Lunds in St. Paul yesterday, and I noticed they had really added to their individual bottle soda selection:

Lunds Soda Selection

In the past, they had maybe a few bottles, and then a few options of 4-packs or 6-packs (as you see on the right in this photo). But this was a LOT more individual bottles than I'd seen before. I picked up 2 to try at home (an "O-So" and a "Route 66"). Thanks Lunds!

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Judge For Yourself! Root Beer

I opened this up tonight:

Judge For Yourself! Root Beer


Brand: Judge For Yourself! Root Beer

Origin: Gardena, CA.

Purchase Place: Blue Sun Soda, Spring Lake Park, MN.

Sweetener: Cane Sugar.

Review: The side of this bottle said "So good it should be banned." And "Judgement day cometh to those who have lost their fizz." Good stuff. The taste? Well, it was OK. It was a bit heavy on the anise for me, but had a nice frothy head. It was just OK - nothing great, but still drinkable. So I'll give it an average score.

Score: 5 out of 10.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Blueberry Whistler Soda

I've had some issues with Whistler sodas not holding on to their seal. So this soda is one that I picked up earlier this summer before it had time to really lose its carbonation:

Blueberry Whistler Soda


Well, the amount that was lost in this bottle wasn't a good sign from the start. And guess what? It was TOTALLY FLAT. Blue Sun Soda really needs to check something on their Whistler bottling machine because they are NOT holding seals!


Brand: Blueberry Whistler Soda.

Origin: Spring Lake Park, MN.

Purchase Place: Blue Sun Soda, Spring Lake Park, MN.

Sweetener: Sugar.

Review: The flavor was good, but it was dead flat, and that's just so annoying. From now on, I'll get Whistler sodas and drink then within the week. Heck, I might open one at Blue Sun Soda to make sure it's actually NOT flat right off the bat. Again, the flavor was nice - it reminded me of the blueberry "chips" that are in blueberry muffin mixes. But it was hard to get past the flat-ness.

Score: 6 out of 10.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Photos from the First "Minnesota Soda Festival"

Yesterday morning, my boys and I stopped by the Minnesota Soda Festival at Blue Sun Soda. It was raining when we got there as it started at 10 a.m., so it was pretty quiet at that time:

Minnesota Soda Festival at Blue Sun Soda
Soda sampling on 3 sides of the back of the building.

Minnesota Soda Festival at Blue Sun Soda
The Whistler Soda bottling machine inside.

Minnesota Soda Festival at Blue Sun Soda
Bottles and flavoring (to the right).

My boys playing some pinball inside.

Again, very quiet at 10 a.m. when it was raining.
There's Charlie in the orange, and Henry in the green playing Skee Ball.

Minnesota Soda Festival at Blue Sun Soda
The rain had stopped out back, so we headed out again! (They had food trucks there too.)

Minnesota Soda Festival at Blue Sun Soda
Of COURSE the boys wanted to try the "gross" sounding sodas (that are actually quite tasty).

For the soda tastings, you purchase tickets for 25 cents each, and then get a tiny shot of each kid of soda that you request. (I believe there were better prices if you wanted to try/drink a LOT.) Here's my boys getting their first sips of "Zombie Brain Juice:"

Minnesota Soda Festival at Blue Sun Soda
I tried the purple "Unicorn Yack" which showed a barfing unicorn. Tasty!

Minnesota Soda Festival at Blue Sun Soda
Charlie asking for more at the Whistler stand.

Minnesota Soda Festival at Blue Sun Soda
More people and families showing up.

I bought $3 worth of tickets (so 12 sips). I really only had 1 all to myself (the Unicorn Yack), and the boys had the rest as I tried tiny sips of theirs. We had 2 kinds of Dad's, a few kinds of Spring Grove, some Frostie root beer, the "gross" flavors above, Whistler above, and we ended by sharing some Virgil's.

Minnesota Soda Festival at Blue Sun Soda
They had a few different bouncy things there, and even though they were wet, lots of kids were in them.

Minnesota Soda Festival at Blue Sun Soda
More and more people showing up around 11:30.

It was a fun time, and luckily the weather turned around quickly enough to not ruin the whole day for the event. And Charlie had a great time with their famous Soda Jerk Billy who was ALL personality - he got his finger "stuck" trying to clean out an empty soda bottle, and Henry (my older son) yanked and yanked and couldn't pull it off for him. But Charlie zipped it off with one easy try, and felt like a stud. Then Billy did it again. It was cute.

Thanks Blue Sun Soda!

Friday, August 3, 2018

New Superheroes at "Minnesota's Largest Candy Store"

Last weekend, we stopped by Minnesota's Largest Candy Store. When we were there last (in Sept of 2017), there was a round room addition that wasn't quite finished. And we saw a life-sized Hulk that my boys loved (see link to see photo).

This time, my Iron Man loving 4-year-old LOVED bumping into the Hulkbuster armor:

Superheroes at Minnesota's Largest Candy Store
Life-sized (11' high) with light up repulsor beams, arc reactor, and eyes.

Superheroes at Minnesota's Largest Candy Store
Batman characters and the Silver Surfer. 

Superheroes at Minnesota's Largest Candy Store
Thor, Spiderman (hanging upside down), and DC characters (Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and the Flash).

Superheroes at Minnesota's Largest Candy Store
In the new "round" room, the Millennium Falcon was hanging from the ceiling.
And Star Lord, Groot, and Baby Groot were above the door.

Candy in the new round room, with part of the Starship Enterprise on the far left.

Back in the "old" part by the checkouts. This is 4 aisles of soda, or about 1/2 their selection.

I didn't get any soda, but I hope to be back later this month NOT on a weekend to stock up - it was BUSY when we were there!