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Soda Reviews #3

These sodas all have a lot of calories in them, but I made an exception because I thought they all sounded interesting.

Fentiman’s Rose Lemonade (Purchased at Rainbow Blossom)


I stopped by Rainbow Blossom the other day to look for an exciting soda when I ran into Brett Holsclaw. He recommended that I try this rose lemonade. When he mentioned that it was sparkling, I was intrigued. It did not disappoint! Sweet, but not too sweet, a little tart and with a nice floral taste from the rosewater.  At 130 calories, this is not the kind of soda I have in mind to chug all day long, but it was definitely interesting! Thanks, Brett!

Fentiman’s Shandy (Purchased at Liquor Barn)


I had a minor freakout while I was drinking this. When I bought it, I was intrigued because this was a mixture of 70% de-alcoholized beer and lemonade. It could be a great fake beer for me. Then my husband pointed out the information on the label that said it contains .5% or less alcohol. I tried to wrap my brain around the math. After visiting Fentiman’s website, it’s actually closer to .05% but the FDA requires all beverages like this to be labeled as such. So how does it taste? It tastes okay. Kind of sweet and the lemonade flavor is not particularly bright, but it’s nice to have an opportunity to enjoy a beer-ish flavor. This might be something I’d have once in awhile if I am missing beer. I don’t know if I can handle full on non-alcoholic beer. Calorie-wise, this is the same as the Rose Lemonade: 130.

Ting (Purchased at La Rosita Grocery on Westport Road)

tingThis is a Jamaican grapefruit-flavored soda and it was awesome! Sweet, but a little tart, and refreshingly crisp.  Even better, I drank some of it straight, and then mixed the rest with La Croix grapefruit flavored sparkling water and that combination was TOP NOTCH. It’s a little high in calories (150) unfortunately. Also, the new La Rosita grocery on Westport road is awesome. All kinds of interesting Mexican groceries, good looking bakery items, and there is a restaurant there with tacos that look to be super authentic (no vegetarian options, that’s for sure.)

Woong Jin Green Plum Drink (Purchased at Choi’s Asian Grocery)


I was hooked by the label design when I saw this Korean beverage. I couldn’t tell what the fruit was or what the label said, nor did I ask anyone at the store about it.  I have to say, I was a little disappointed when I opened this up and realized that it wasn’t actually a soda. No bubbles. The first sip I took seemed very sweet, too. The more I drank it, the more interesting the flavor became and the more I liked it. Afterward, I tried finding it on google and discovered that the flavor was green plum and it made sense. It tastes like you’d imagine: a plum flavor with a little bit of tartness. 100 calories. And the can is pretty.


soda reviews #2

Yeo’s White Gourd Drink (purchased at Choi’s Asian Grocery)


You know when you eat a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios or Honeycomb cereal and then the leftover milk tastes really sweet and delicious? That’s what I was reminded of when drinking this intriguing beverage. It also reminded me a bit of coconut water. There’s no carbonation going on here which was a bit of a disappointment and the calorie count was 100 per can. I can’t see myself chugging this stuff down on a regular basis (it’s a little sweet for my taste) but it was certainly an interesting experience! It was pretty cheap, too!

GUS (Grown Up Soda) in Dry Meyer Lemon. Purchased at Liquor Barn on Shelbyville Rd.


This might be one of the best sodas I’ve ever tasted. It has a goofy brand name, but it makes sense. Kids will think that this is gross. It is definitely dry and super bubbly and refreshing and made with real Meyer Lemon juice. At 60 calories a bottle, it’s not too bad and the lack of artificial sweeteners and chemicals is good. Down side is that it is fairly expensive. Still cheaper than a nice beer though. I was happy to see that this brand comes in some other flavors, too, which I will definitely be testing out.

Zero Calorie Honest Fizz “Professor Fizz” Cherry Flavor (purchased at Whole Foods)


This drink had a lot of promise. I really like cherry flavors and was hoping for a nice tart cherry flavor. Zero calories was a plus as well as the fact that it claims to contain all natural ingredients. Unfortunately, this is one of the grossest sodas I have ever tasted. This beverage cannot seem to decide if it wants to taste like a tea, a cola, or a cherry drink. The Stevia sweetener was way too sweet and had a strange, off putting aftertaste. Not recommended!

Refreshing Carbonated Chinese Herbs Drink (purchased at Choi’s Asian Market)


This is a tiny bottled drink from Korea. It looks more medicinal than “fun soda” and I was intrigued. The only ingredients in the product I recognize are Menthol, Cinnamon, and “Aromatic Carbonated Water.” It was definitely refreshing and minty but had an odd aftertaste similar to licking the back of a postage stamp. I think I felt more energized after drinking this, but it might just be in my head. 25 calories per bottle.


Soda Reviews #1

I quit drinking alcohol almost three months ago. No, I’m not pregnant. Overall it’s been a very positive change, but sometimes it’s hard, especially when there is a social gathering revolving around alcohol. Plus, I used to LOVE alcohol. All of it. Wine, craft beers, cheap beers, good bourbon, cocktails, etc. I miss exploring different flavors and varieties. Which led me to look for some alternatives.

Soda is bad for you, we all know this. But I figured if I’ve managed to cut out one big habit, I might as well enjoy a different but less problematic one. Which led me to investigate what interesting options might be readily available in my own town- Louisville, Kentucky.

The ideal sodas I hope to find:

•Low in calories/sugar **

•Not too sweet (or not sweet at all!)

•Has some sort of kick or unusual flavor combination happening

**I will make an exception for a full on sugary/syrupy soda if it looks particularly exciting or unusual

#1 VIMTO (Purchased at Anar Food Mart, Westport Rd.)

soda1This is a soda manufactured in the United Kingdom but the back label of the can was all printed in Arabic. The flavors here are grape, raspberry, and blackcurrent. There was a regular and a “Lite” version. This soda looked very promising, but I was a little disappointed upon tasting it. Kinda of reminds me of Big Red crossed with cough syrup. Maybe the non- “Lite” version is better. I have to mention that Anar food market was really neat. Lots of delicious looking foods. I did come across a Goat Milk Soda which was both fascinating and somewhat horrifying sounding. I’ll save that one for a later review when I start to run out of other options.

#2 Barritt’s Diet Ginger Beer (Purchased at Liquor Barn, Shelbyville Rd.)


This ginger beer promised a kick, but what I experienced was more of an overly sweet chemical taste with some ginger flavor lurking in the background. Kind of disappointing. Once again, maybe the non-diet version is better.

#3 Sprecher’s Low-Cal Root Beer


Now this is a damn good soda. This root beer is 30 calories for the whole bottle. The sassafrass flavor is nice and sassy and not too sweet. No weird chemical-y flavors going on here. This might become my new beer replacement. I also like the German beer-garden inspired label design. The only downside to this product is that it’s on the expensive side. Still cheaper than a bottle of good real beer, though.

#4 Q “Superior” Ginger Ale (Purchased at Whole Foods, Shelbyville Road)

soda4Okay, this is the kind of obnoxious looking product that I would have definitely made fun of before I quit drinking. Though the label is nicely designed, it looks very pretentious. And it’s also crazy expensive for a soda. That said, this might be my favorite soda discovery yet. It’s slightly dry, not too sweet with a super spicy ginger flavor. 50 calories per glass. Makes a wonderful substitute for a white wine. I drank it out of a champagne glass and it was awesome. No shame here.


Signs in India




















Ants and other things

I was supposed to be out taking reference photos for a couple illustrations I am working on when I got sidetracked and started taking pictures of some other things I saw, too:


Ready to start taking photos again.

So I’ve been away from this blog for awhile.  I taught black and white high school photography for two years and while that was interesting, it took away my interest in doing my own photo adventuring and posting. Long story short,  I’m ready to come back! Here’s a couple recents from a rainy morning.






Go West!