A chilled fizzy sweet soda can be the ultimate refreshment. While the big names of the soda world may be loaded with artificial colors and flavors, some of the smaller players are making soda with natural ingredients and fabulous, honest flavor. Below are a few of my favorites.
I can't resist! My favorite grown-up sodas are the ones I make myself. Check out How to Make Homemade Soda and start creating the soft drink you've always dreamed of.
Fever-Tree mixers are, to put it simply, divine. Balanced, flavorful, sweet but not cloying. The name comes from the source of natural quinine (the chinchona tree commonly called the fever tree), the traditional medicine for malaria and the ingredient that gives tonic water its unique flavor. Most tonic water is flavored with manufactured quinine, not so naturally flavored Fever-Tree tonic. Fever-Tree brand also makes delicious bitter lemon soda (which has a bit of quinine in it—magical), ginger beer, and club soda.
Izze bills itself as sparkling juice rather than soda, but it belongs here because it takes the place of soda in any beverage line-up. It's sparkling, it's sweet, it's refreshing, and it has great flavor. Their low-sugar varieties are lovely, too, especially the unique and super-refreshing watermelon flavor.
1919 Root Beer is brewed in Minnesota and so far only available in the upper midwest. If you find yourself in a restaurant or bar that serves it on tap, be sure to try a glass to savor its old-fashioned, well balanced, rich flavor.