From strawberry milk to chai, some of the world's most unique soda flavors
Chai Cola, Taylor’s Tonics
This soda company brands itself as "America’s most innovative soda kitchen," and really, it’s a tough claim to argue considering that their line of flavors includes Maté Colada, Maté Mojito, Café Azteca, and Chai Cola. The latter features black tea, ginger root, and cinnamon bark among its flavoring agents.
Chocolate Sparkling, Suntory
Presumably, you'd have to be a real-deal, card-carrying chocoholic to be tempted to give this Japanese chocolate-flavored soda a swig. Then again, perhaps it would make an ideal ingredient for mixing chocolate egg creams.
Attention fans of St-Germain, heres a soda flavor youre bound to like. The unique, but intriguing flavor of this all-natural "surfsoda," from the Hawaii-based company is a combination of elderflower and the super fruit marula.
Caipirinha-Chili Soda, Sinalco
For those teetotalers, this Brazilian soda offers all the flavors of the country's iconic cocktail, the caipirinha, sans the alcohol.
Vermont Maple Soda, Vermont Sweetwater Bottling Company
If youre one of those people who loves maple syrup so much you claim you could drink it straight, heres a unique soda for you to try. The all-natural soda from the Vermont-based company is sweetened exclusively with Vermont maple syrup.
Cel-Ray, Dr. Browns
Way ahead of the curve on the juicing trend, this celery-flavored soda has been around since the 1860s. Prevalent in New York and South Florida, the drink can most commonly be found in Jewish delicatessens and restaurants. Made from celery seed extract, the flavor has been likened to a spicy ginger ale.
Tofurky & Gravy Soda, Jones Soda Co.
Jones Soda Co. is known for their variety of oddball specialty flavors. (Just consider the Thanksgiving Holiday pack "sides": Sweet Potato Soda, Pea Soda, Dinner Roll Soda, and Antacid Flavored Soda). But Tofurky & Gravy Soda? Only die-hard Tofurky fanatics need apply. In a taste test, we detected a "new toy" smell and "aspartame" finish.
Ice Cucumber, Pepsi
"Cool as a cucumber" gets the soda treatment in this drink, another unique limited-edition Pepsi product sold in Japan during the summer of 2007.
Pink – Strawberry Milk, Pepsi
Strawberry-flavored soda? Sure. But strawberry milk-flavored soda? Now that definitely crosses over into bizarre beverage flavor territory. The limited-edition drink was apparently released in, you guessed it, Japan in November 2011.
Calpico Soda, Calpis
Because one yogurt-flavored soda just wasn't enough, we present Calpico Soda. This carbonated version of the milk and lactobacilli soft drink is described by the company as having "a distinctive yet sweet and tangy taste" and can found primarily in Asian countries.
Coffee stouts and espresso-based cocktails have had such great success, but too bad the same can't be said for coffee-flavored soda. That is, at least, in the case of the short-lived Coca-Cola BlaK. Discontinued two years after its release, Anderson Cooper infamously spit the drink out on Live with Regis and Kelly. Let's just say it was no Manhattan Special.
How to DIY Flavored Sparkling Water So You Can Stop Shelling Out for LaCroix
LaCroix has totally taken over the beverage world. It&rsquos the perfect in-between for someone wanting to give up soda but desperate for something a little snazzier than water. It can be used as a flavorful mixer or sipped with lunch, and since it&rsquos sugar and sweetener-free, you won&rsquot have to deal with a sugar buzz in the afternoon.
Still, there are only so many flavors a company can make, and sometimes it&rsquos nice to use your creative energies to come up with something new. That&rsquos why we went searching for some killer flavor combinations to inspire you to make your own. While most of these use fruit and will contain some sugar and calories, they are so darn tasty &mdash and still so much more nutritious than soda &mdash that we&rsquore willing to make the exception.
From a no-added-sweetener orange cream to a sparkling citrus coconut, here are the sparkling water recipes you&rsquore going to be glad to know how to make.
United Sodas of America
In launching United Sodas in May of this year, CEO Marisa Zupan aimed to tap into the nostalgia tied to soda but give it a modern twist by offering a “spectrum of flavors from familiar to unexpected and surprising.” The variety pack delivers on that promise, with 12 options (toasted coconut, pear elderflower, and cherry pop among them) in chic matte cans that I would just as soon use as decor in my apartment as drink from. The sodas themselves are sweet and candy-colored, bold in flavor, and always have a little twist in a blind taste test, you’d inevitably get it half right, but the little bit of passionfruit in the young mango flavor, for example, would keep you from guessing the flavor entirely. My runaway favorite is blackberry jam, truly jammy rather than juicy, full of the concentrated berry flavor you’d find in a pie filling.
Using United Sodas as a mixer is a natural next step for the product in fact, according to Zupan, “One of the first things people say to me after they try a can is, ‘Oh, I’m gonna put vodka in that.’” The brand has published a few recommended cocktail recipes, but the poppy flavors and serious sweetness means that you really don’t need to add much more than a single spirit. I mixed mezcal with my can of extra peach (smells like peach rings candy and tastes like a floral sunset) for a beachy two-ingredient libation.
Surprising Food Combos for Big Flavor
Thrill your taste buds with surprising flavor combos from Lynne Rossetto Kasper, host of American Public Media's The Splendid Table radio show. Kasper shared a few secrets with WebMD -- starting with black-strap molasses drizzled onto prosciutto, ham, or salami. The complex sweetness of the molasses enhances the salty meat flavors. Wrap prosciutto around asparagus, melon, or figs for an inspired appetizer.
Tuscan Trout With Vinegar Sauce
A generous pouring of vinegar enhances the fish in Kasper's recipe for Tuscan trout. Her secret: boil down ½ cup of white, red, or balsamic vinegar to sweeten it -- in a pot with sautéed garlic, thyme, sage, salt, and pepper. Top cooked trout with vinegar sauce and garnish as you like (sautéed onions are nice). People in Northern Tuscany once paid their taxes with this delicious dish, says Kasper.
Ginger, Basil, and Pear
Southeast Asian cuisines team up fruit and fresh herbs. Ginger's sharp flavor adds sparkle, says Kasper, while basil is a great blending herb that lifts fruit's natural sweetness. Slice ripe fruit, such as pears, apples, melon, peaches, nectarines, plums, or grapes. Fold in grated ginger, basil, vanilla, and honey to taste.
Cucumber, Melon, and Fish Sauce
There's magic in bottled Asian fish sauce, which stimulates the fifth taste, called umami. This savory sauce heightens the flavor of everything it touches -- including fruit. Kasper recommends a drop or two mixed into a cucumber and melon salad. Or you can add two drops to spaghetti sauces, vinaigrette dressing, soups, stews, or marinades. "It smells like old socks," she admits, "but don't be afraid."
Grilled Chicken and Fish Sauce
For a mysteriously spicy grilled chicken that's far beyond the ordinary backyard barbecue, Kasper again calls on fish sauce. Blend ½ cup sugar, minced garlic, red chili powder, two tablespoons of canola oil, and two drops of Asian fish sauce -- the savory, mystery ingredient. Rub the mix on poultry and refrigerate overnight. Then grill or slow roast chicken at 300° F until crisp.
Radish and Watermelon
"Radish does a tap dance, while watermelon does a waltz," says Kasper of this odd food twosome. The sharp radish flavor offsets the sweetness and light of fresh watermelon. To make a summer salad or salsa, chop the twosome and blend with salt, pepper, and a little lemon or lime juice. Or replace the citrus juice with red wine vinegar and add red onions for another flavor accent.
Olive Oil, Feta, and Fresh Lemon
This is a classic Eastern Mediterranean flavor trio. Kasper says it works so well because the different flavors play off of each other nicely: salty and creamy feta cheese, fruity olive oil, and the acid nip of fresh lemon juice. She likes them pureed together and drizzled over a bed of romaine lettuce. An adventurous eater might jazz up a cut watermelon and radish salad with this creamy feta dressing.
Rosemary, Ricotta, and Fruit
This dessert pizza mixes sweet summer fruits with savory herbs and dollops of mild cheese. Bake pastry dough on a pizza pan at 400° F until golden brown and cool. Add 15 ounces of ricotta and 1 cup mascarpone, sweetened to taste. Top with berries, melon, cherries, plums, and nectarines. Sprinkle with rosemary, basil, black pepper, and sugar. Squeeze half a lemon over toppings.
Kasper draws out these deeply aromatic spices with a whirl in a coffee grinder. Use:
Next, add a few tablespoons of olive or canola oil and microwave for one minute to make the flavors blossom. Pour over cooked sweet potatoes, eggplant, peppers, cauliflower, or tomatoes.
Chili Pepper, Salt, and Sugar
This trio has many delicious uses, from American barbecue sauces to Asian dishes. The salt and sugar tame the fiery bite in chili peppers. Kasper's mix:
Rub it on grilled fish, meat, poultry, and veggies. Or dust it on sliced peaches and melons.
Raw Onion Slices, Tamed
Mellow an onion's sharp flavor by thinly slicing a red onion into a bowl and tossing in one part salt to 1½ parts sugar. Refrigerate overnight. Kasper adds these onions to salads and slips them on top of burgers and sandwiches. Two-minute onion sweetener: Place slices or chopped onions in a bowl, sprinkle with vinegar, and microwave for 2 to 3 minutes.
Jicama and Mango
Jicama is a light, crunchy Latin American staple that tastes a little like an apple or pear. To create a Mexican-inspired appetizer, Kasper pairs it with mango, and seasons them with lime and chili pepper. Peel and cut jicama and two ripe mangoes into thin sticks. Sprinkle all sides with lime juice, salt, and chili powder. Lime adds tartness and, along with the mango's sweetness, helps tame the chili's heat.
Corn, Lime, and Chili
Corn-on-the-cob takes on a Latin flair when Kasper prepares it with lime juice and chili -- preferably a New Mexico variety. Blend:
- 1 cup lime juice
- 1 clove minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon ground, medium or hot chili
Mellow at room temperature for an hour. Spoon over hot corn-on-the-cob add salt or butter if desired. The sweet-tart duo mutes the pepper's heat, but also draws out its flavor.
Bacon, Onion, and Vinegar
Liven up salads and veggies with Kasper's mashup of smoky bacon fat, an onion's sharpness, and tart cider vinegar. Cook 3 strips of chopped bacon in 3 tablespoons olive oil. Drain bacon save 4 tablespoons of fat to stir fry a thinly sliced onion. Add 1/3 cup vinegar and boil. Add bacon, then dress the food.
Reduce fat: Use 2 teaspoons smoked, sweet Spanish paprika instead of bacon.
Balsamic Vinegar and Basil
Balsamic vinegar and fresh basil are two expressions of sweetness with a tart backdrop that always work well together, says Kasper. Pair these classic flavors in a Caprese salad of sliced tomato, fresh mozzarella, basil, and vinegar. Or splash this dynamic duo on peaches, melons, strawberries, vanilla ice cream, grilled fish, lamb, or cold chicken.
Surprising Food Combos for Big Flavor
- Steve Pomberg/WebMD
- Imagerie/Healthy Food Images
- Topic Photo Agency
- John E. Kelly/FoodPix
- Food Passionates/Corbis, Zoonar
- Paul Taylor/The Image Bank, iStock
- A Summer Time Grilling Guide/Splendid Table
- iStock, FoodPhotography Eising/Healthy Food Images
- Tom Grill/Photographer's Choice RF, iStock
- Adam Gault/Photographer's Choice RF
- Rua Castilho/Healthy Food Images
- iStock, Zoonar
- Dan Bachman/Photodisc
- Lynne Rossetto Kasper, host, The Splendid Table, American Public Media author, The Splendid Table's How to Eat Weekends.
- American Public Media: "A Summertime Grilling Guide From the Splendid Table."
- American Public Media: "A Spice-Scented Thanksgiving From the Splendid Table."
- Centers for Disease Control: "Fruits and Vegetables."
This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information:
THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the MedicineNet Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.
Crazy Soda Flavors on USA Soda Shop Tour
Want to return to those thrilling days of yesteryear when soda fountain drug stores and soda shops would be happy to whip you up an ice cream soda for 50È¼?
Well, you&rsquore not going find prices like that, but if you look hard enough in your travels across the country, you can still find some pretty cool retro soda pop shoppes&mdashand many are stocked with some off-the-wall soda flavors.
Pete Griffin recently took a tour of some of the top soda pop destinations in America and reported his findings on FoxNews.com.
One of the best of the retro shops can be found in Las Vegas. Rocket Fizz Soda Shop offers such choices as Buffalo Wing soda, which is described by franchisee Sheri Stewart as &ldquoa nice, crisp orange-flavored soda with Buffalo wing spice in it to give it that kick in the backside.&rdquo Rocket Fizz &ndash Vegas offers more than 300 types of bottled sodas, including Sweet Corn and Bacon flavors. The chain also has locations in California, Arizona and Nebraska.
The next stop on Griffin&rsquos soda shop itinerary was Lyons Soda Fountain and Bakery in Lyons, Colo., which is still around after 90 years. Lyons has used the same kitchen equipment it started with back in 1921. The fountain is best known for its ice cream sodas made with homemade ice cream-blended seltzer water. Among the favorite flavors are the &ldquoCanary Island&rdquo with chocolate ice cream and the &ldquoBlack Cow,&rdquo made with a blend of chocolate and root beer syrup.
The Davidson Soda Shop in Davidson, N.C., is a soda shop/diner that&rsquos been serving up soda drinks for 60 years. One of the all-time favorites of the locals there is the &ldquoBig &lsquoO&rsquorangehead&rdquo soda made with fresh oranges.
On the west coast you can find Galco&rsquos Soda Pop Stop in Los Angeles. It outdoes Rocket Fizz in terms of bottled soda flavors, offering nearly 500 different choices including a cucumber flavor as well as such classics as lemon-lime Bubble Up.
In the Midwest, soda seekers can head for the Southside Soda Shp and Diner in Goshen, Ind., to try such selections as the &ldquoGreen River,&rdquo an ice cream soda with a green-carbonated phosphate that will leave its mark on your tongue.
Does this not sound like the perfect summertime road trip for soda lovers and/or nostalgia buffs? Crank up the Beach Boys and don&rsquot forget to pack the extra large cooler.
For more insights and innovations check out CultureWaves®, the place to go for the latest observations in the World Thought Bank &ndash events, ideas, trends and more. Add your own thoughts about anything in life &ndash entertainment, design, technology, well-being and, yes, food trends. And, take a look at a few of our other Hot & Cool Food Trends.
Off-Brand Drinks That Taste Better Than the Real Thing
Ah childhood, when nothing could ruin our day faster than running home from the school bus parched from an afternoon of four square or tetherball only to throw open the fridge and find. Dr. Thunder.
Though we whined and complained that we could taste the difference, our mothers stood firm that the too-sugary-not-sugary-enough-just-tastes-wrong feeling we were experiencing was all in our heads.
But was it? Does soda really taste better when it's a "brand"?
One German study suggests that brand name soda does taste better, but not because of a better drink recipe. Brand-name drinks actually have a physical effect on our brains. Researchers gave test subjects the same soda four different times, labeled as Coke, Pepsi, River Cola (a generic German soda), or a brand they said they were testing called T-Cola. All of the subjects expressed a preference for the cola labeled Coke or Pepsi.
Interestingly, when the scientists scanned the subjects' brains using MRI technology, drinking what they thought was name brand soda created activity in the reward center of their brains. But drinking what they thought was generic soda triggered activity in the medial orbitofrontal cortex of test subjects' brains, the part of the brain used to make value judgments.
Scientists believe that when we use "brand name" products, we already assume that they're of good quality, so the part of our brain used to assess whether something is worthy of appreciation shuts off, so we take more pleasure in the experience.
So even if we're sure that we could always taste the difference between our favorite soda and an impostor, the study proves that we probably can't. So if you want to save a buck or two, click through our slideshow to see some off brands that have proven to be just as satisfying as the more recognizable stuff, either through blind taste tests or enthusiastic fan bases. Think you could taste the difference?
Traditional Coca-Cola Cake
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!
If you've enjoyed a Southern meal at Cracker Barrel, you've probably seen this tasty treat on the menu. The good news is that it's not too difficult to replicate at home! Fair warning: It tastes very sweet.
Get our recipe for Traditional Coca-Cola Cake.
12 Surprising Things to Add to Your Bath [DIY Bath Recipes]
1. Green Tea Bath Recipe– Simply drop 5-10 green tea bags into your bath while it’s filling. Soak & relax.
Benefits of a Green Tea Bath- The minerals in green tea are well known for their powerful anti-aging benefits, which will replenish & restore balance to your skin. Green tea also has natural antioxidants, which aid in detoxing your body from natural pollutants.
2. Honey Bath Recipe- Pour one cup of honey into your bath while it’s filling. Honey can be mixed with powdered milk in your bath for added benefits (see milk bath recipe below). Soak & relax.
Benefits of a Honey Bath- Historians believe that honey has been used topically as a healing agent for over 10,000 years! Adding honey to your bath will moisturize, soften and sooth dry skin. The natural antioxidant properties in honey will help detox your body while you soak.
3. Jello Bath Recipe-Select your favorite flavor of sugar free Jello, add ½ box to your running bath. Enjoy the sweet scents, soak & relax.
Benefits of a Jello Bath- Soaking in Jello will not only make your skin smell delicious, it can work miracles on dry skin. Jello comes in various flavors (and scents), which are known to affect the mood. According to research, our mood can be lifted when we inhale fruity scents like watermelon and cherries, this is due to a endorphin-dopamine reaction. Since scent reactions are personal, have fun experimenting with different flavors to find your mood elevating scent!
4. Milk Bath Recipe– Milk baths are best with powdered milk. Add two cups of powdered milk to your bath while it’s filling. Feel free to add honey, lavender or Epsom salt along with the milk for added benefits! Soak & relax.
Benefits of a Milk Bath- Did you know Cleopatra’s beauty was attributed to her love of milk baths? Milk contains lactic acid, which is packed with skin softening properties that leave skin feeling smoother and more resilient. The lactic acid in milk acts similarly to the alpha hydroxyl acids found in expensive skin creams, which dissolve proteins that bind dead skin cells together. Milk baths are also great for soothing burns and skin after spending too much time in the sun!
5. Olive Oil Bath Recipe- Add three tablespoons of olive oil to your bath while it fills. Soak & relax.
Benefits of an Olive Oil Bath- When mixed with water, olive oil has the ability to soak deep into your tissues and rejuvenate them. Olive oil baths aid in building a stronger immunity to viral and bacterial infections. Olive oil will help maintain the collagen in your skin, keeping skin looking supple for longer. This reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Bonus: After giving birth, regular oil baths have been known to help regain strength. The minerals in olive oil can also help your uterus shrink back to its normal size much faster post baby.
6. Epsom Salt Bath Recipe-Add 1/2 cup of Epsom salt to running bath water. Epsom salts can be mixed with olive oil, milk and baking soda for added benefits!
Benefits of an Epsom Salt Bath- Historically, Epsom salts have been known for their powerful ability to relieve aches, pains and sore muscles. The nutrients in the salt break down the build up of lactic acid, which causes muscle pain. Soaking in a bath of Epsom salts will also help reduces muscle inflammation.
7. Oatmeal Bath Recipe– To avoid turning your bath into a giant bowl of porridge, place oatmeal into a tea ball or similar enclosure. Drop into your running bath, soak & relax.
Benefits of an Oatmeal Bath- Oatmeal acts as an excellent, all-natural skin softening addition to your bath. You’ll find oatmeal in a myriad of store bought bath products because it’s a great remedy for itching, irritated skin.
8. Lavender Bath Recipe- Fill a tea bag with dried lavender or put a few drops of lavender essential oil into your running bath. Soak & relax.
Benefits of a Lavender Bath- The natural properties in lavender are famous for their ability to relieve stress & tension. Lavender will also help to reduce inflammation of stiff, tired muscles. Soaking in a relaxing lavender bath will help relieve tension knots that build up over the course of a long, stressful day.
9. Lemon Bath Recipe-Squeeze and drop 5-6 lemons into your running bath. If you don’t have lemons, 3/4 cup of bottled lemon juice will work just as well. Soak & relax.
Benefits of a Lemon Bath- Lemon baths are especially refreshing in hot weather. The healing agents in lemons will refresh & revive tired skin. Lemons will also cool the skin, and help tighten large pores!
10. Ginger Bath Recipe- Add one tablespoon of fresh, chopped ginger to your running bath. Soak & relax.
Benefits of a Ginger Bath- Bathing in a bath of ginger will ease sore muscles, eliminate toxins from the body. The natural anti bacterial properties in ginger will help sweat out colds, flues, and congestion. Adding ginger to your bath on a cool day will raise the temperature of your skin and make you feel warm & toasty.
11. Baking Soda Bath Recipe- Add 4-5 tablespoons of baking soda to your running bath. Mix baking soda with salts or milk for added benefits! Soak & relax.
Benefits of a Baking Soda Bath- Baking soda acts as a gentle, soothing agent which will sooth & calm irritated skin. Baking soda baths are great for relieving the irritation caused by pesky bug bits.
12. Cinnamon Bath Recipe- Cinnamon sticks are more convenient, but powder will work just as well. Drop 3-4 sticks of cinnamon into your running bath. If you don’t have sticks, place ¼ cup of ground cinnamon in a cheesecloth and drop it into your bath.
Benefits of a Cinnamon Bath- Cinnamon baths have been used for centuries as spiritual purification in many cultural traditions. The natural properties in cinnamon will remove toxins from the body (especially after an illness). This powerful spice also acts as a natural disinfectant & astringent, helping to cleanse the body. Cinnamon baths will invigorate the spirit and elevate your mood. Just like ginger, cinnamon baths will help raise your body temperature on a cool day!
Which DIY bath recipe will you try first? I’m going for the Jello =)
The Positives: Tamarind is an absolutely refreshing choice for a flavor because it's so unique and indescribable yet it's absolutely delicious. It fizzles as it goes down your mouth and tastes unlike any other soda that I've personally tried.
The Negatives: This is one of those sodas that one moment you'll love, and the next moment you'll loathe it. There are certain times in which you'll enjoy the drink and want more, but then you'll take one sip and feel so disgusted by it.
Overall: It's an actual tossup. It is both a perfect ten and an absolute zero because of how varied the experience is of drinking tamarind soda.
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