For those of you who don’t live in the UK, you may not realise that for the last few years we’ve been living through some kind of miniature ice age, staring forlornly out of our condensated windows as the rain beats against the glass and makes small splashes in the puddles and churned up mud in the garden. Forced to wear bowler hats, carry out umbrellas, drink even more tea and talk about the weather even more than usual, we’ve shrank as a nation back from the outside, trapped indoors with our tins of baked beans, in-laws and over politeness.
But now at last, the great turtle, that most masterful of cricket bowlers in the sky, has at last relented and good times have come again. Sunshine in all its vitamin D dispensing glory has returned to this blighted kingdom and everywhere you look there is the sight of the lesser-spotted English-person peeping from their burrow, slowly divesting themselves of three layers clothing and exposing their anaemic skin to the risk of pink face.
Of course, in this household, such weather has led to a resurgence of soda making, drinking and fizz fueled procrastination. There has not been so much soda writing due to an onslaught of work from ‘real life’ and sadly now, with the procrastination over and my fingers poised over the keyboard ready to review flavours, I have just realised that my cannister of gas is flatter than a pancake and there is no opportunity to give a new flavour a fair taste. So instead, I’m going to do the next best thing and critique the drinks I’ve been sampling over the last month based on refreshment and summer entertainment value.
10) Root Beer – About as refreshing as a pot of honey, but with a flavour so keen it can erode teeth from 10 metres and make your tongue glow in the dark, Root Beer is the perfect kids treat. Best served with a dollop of vanilla and/or a wedgy from the school bully.
9) Apple – Evokes memories of summer days spent sipping Appletise in a pub garden and almost delivers on the promise of fruit refreshment. It’s over sweet, overpaid and over here, but claws back a place by burning your throat a little on the way down.
8) Peach – Smelling of roses and with delusions of grandeur (just ignore mention of green tea on this one), peach is a sophisticated drink you can pass around to wash down the barbecue and pretend like you shop in Waitrose or something.
7) Coke – The staff of life. Summer, Winter, Fall, Stand up. Coke is the all seasons, grand slam champion. Sodastream’s version isn’t the real thing, but freeze it to within an inch of its life, fizz it to explosion point, add a splash of lemon and close your eyes. It’s paddling pool time!
6) Lemonade – The boring friend that just wants to tell you the same story over and over again. Clean citrus tang, actually quite refreshing, drinkable in immense summer dehydration style quantities and feel like you’ve over lemoned yourself.
5) Cherry – Half drink, half boiled sweet, one third incendiary bakewell tart, cherry puts a smile on your face that will last through to dinner time and another bottle. So sweet, so tasty, so good.
4) Pink Grapefruit – Nothing like a real grapefruit, but with enough of a nod towards the citrus sour that it will cleanse your palette ready for a choc ice, a bowl of olives or a pink wafer. Nice colour, looks good with a cocktail umbrella, never tries to muscle in and overcrowd you with its flavour.
3) Cream Soda – If you took an ice cream and did some base alchemy on it so that it became a refreshing beverage as well as a whole scoop of butterscotch wonderment, you’d be about halfway to the value of cream soda. Last time I had a hangover, cream soda saved my life.
2) Orange – High fizz, high flavour, high refreshment. Orange isn’t the most radical flavour, but it doesn’t put a foot wrong. Offer this one to your guests who don’t like radical flavours and watch their eyes light up as the fizz tang hit of an orange cascade doubles them over with wonderment.
1) Red Berry – Woah, where did this one come from? That’s right, coming way out of left-field, this flavour takes everyone by surprise to win the summer refreshment challenge. Holds more fizz than anybody’s business and combines it with a clean one note berry flavour which encourages downing that pint glass in one, filling it up again and going for the record. The taste of distilled break dancing, mixed with cliff diving, smoothed over by a piano glissando that soars off into the distance, fading out of hearing, never quite peaking.
Surf’s up dudes, let’s go catch some waves!
Want to try a load of flavours in one go without breaking the bank? If so, why not pick up a multi-pack?