It’s a slippery slope when you have a blog with no real direction or flow and end up reviewing private label soda. I am not sure where I am sliding to but I’ll let you know when I hit bottom.
The good people at Avery’s Beverage out of New Britain, Connecticut have been pumping soda since 1904. Back then birch beer was what kids craved the most but they also dug baked apples and black licorice so who knows? Lucky for us, tastes have evolved and now Avery Beverages offers over forty five different flavors. That’s swell but I am only reviewing five specialty sodas. The Totally Gross Soda (IT’ SODAsgusting). And why, you may ask? I’m not going to answer that.
Blue Raspberry/Orange Toxic Slime! I am always on the fence about blue soda. Well, blue anything. It never seems to completely translate as an actual fruit but rather a bunch of mixed chemicals and sugar. The color is alluring, I can give it that but when it comes to a flavor I compare it to what I imagine a puree-ed TV remote with sugar. Completely alien and the absolute definition of artificial.
The glimmer of hope I saw in Toxic Slime, besides the amazing beaker with an eyeball and femur bone floating in it, was the fact there is orange flavoring to cut the plastic aftertaste. And it kinda did! But in a way that I was not expecting. Instead of an over-sweetened plastic taste it was an over-sweetend plastic cream. Weird, no?
Strawberry/Blue Raspberry Monster Mucus! Ah shit, the two flavors science can not figure out how to duplicate. Ignore the fact blue raspberry is Rubus Leucodermis and for what ever reason it has become a mainstream flavoring that, as seen as above, has no discernible fruit taste. Strawberry suffers the same fate.
Monster Mucus confuses the palate and sends it into a chicken or egg dilemma because when you take a swig, you are waiting to see what flavor will hit first but neither does. In an unexpected twist, they both cancel each other out and you are left with the sugar water in those wax candy bottles.
Also, you may notice a soda stain on Gary Busey’s face. I had a catastrophic accident and some of this awful juice spilled on him resulting in me making a noise similar to the time I slipped and fell in a grocery store. “NNGGNOOOOO!”
Kiwi/Pineapple Bug Barf! I had high hopes for this one because it had neither blue raspberry or strawberry. I walked into this soda review completely blind because, if memory serves me right, I have never tried kiwi or pineapple soda. Makes you wonder why two delicious fruits aren’t represented more in sodas. For some reason I feel Fanta fans might think I am from the planet Bleeptos. Tomatoes are also a fruit.
My high hopes were dashed onto the rocks of reality. Every time I think, “this has to be amazing” I remind myself not to get too excited and refer to the Pepsi Clear incident of 1988. I was hoping for a tropical tart blend of an exotic island but it was overpowered by all-purpose cleaner.
Strawberry/orange Zombie Brain Juice! Here we go again. I already know what the recipe is and brother, I ain’t going to like it. I do, however, dig the brilliant red. Also, the cute zombie strolling around with his cap peeled back waiving hi to us and does not leave anything to be desired. Speaking of which, I haven’t really paid that much homage to the amazing artwork on these bottles. After all, why do you think I spent $16.95 for five of these?
Yeah, I spent damn near $4 a piece on these.
As to be expected, the Zombie Brain Juice is a mix of pixi stix and regret. The wild mix of unlike flavors doesn’t do much justice to the gross themed soda. I have no idea why I thought these would be anything more than over-sweetened artificially colored carbonated beverages but for the price, maybe I held out for something better tasting.
Pineapple/Orange Kitty Piddle! Okay folks, this is the one I have been saving for the last review! And for good reason. First, to name a soda after cat piss is pretty hilarious. Especially for all you cat owners out there who know the best “fuck you” from a cat to its owner is through cat piss. I know this.
Along time ago in what feels like another lifetime, I was in the military. When I wasn’t off in another country or having to sleep in a mud pit for weeks of training, I had a little abode to call my own. And somehow this abode came with a cat named Snooter. As a new resident to his domain, he pissed on all of my uniforms and I went to work not noticing but throughout the day the smell became stronger and stronger. At one point we were all on the floor trying to locate the source of this oder and before lunch, I figured out that it was my pant leg.
I came home immediately to change but soon discovered that furry asshole pissed on all my uniforms in some sort of cat territorial thing. I airborne qualified Snooter.
Kitty Piddle. While it is the best of the five, I will say it is 100% Sweet Tart juice. I don’t mean that in a bad way but I also don’t suggest that anyone should consume it. Maybe if you ran a toddle fight club this would be a good “pre-fight” drink but other than that, I really advise you to just leave cat piss for the little box.
So, in conclusion I must say the concept of “Totally Gross Soda” is just aces. The artwork is cute and original, the colors fantastic and originality of the flavor mixing was great in concept. The only problem I had was the fact I am almost 36 years old and reviewing kids soda in the hope they would some how taste good. What can I expect from nuclear blue drinks now that my taste buds have evolved to not hate sardines? I can be harsh on individual flavors but never forget that deep down, I get it. It’s for an eleven-year old who thinks farts are funny.
I give Avery’s Beverages an A++++ for creativity and beyond that for still having the gusto to put out slim margined target markets for kids. I love that and I love this pure American company.
One last thing, I have finally found the finale to the dreaded champagne review my buddy Ben and I did. For some reason I could not upload this damn part which, in my opinion, is the best of the three. Partly because it was around 3am and all sense and sensibility waved bye-bye about two hours before. Watch and learn about Cupcake Champagne and I swear, I’ll never bring it up again.