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Monday, March 30, 2009

Sprecher Ravin' Red

I like fruit. Not just fruit, but all sorts of fruit and fruit imitations. I like natural and artificial fruit flavors. The taste of a ripe, fresh nectarine is transcendent joy; artificial grape and cherry flavors in Popsicles are great fun.

This one claims to be "All Natural Cran-Cherry Soda with Ginseng." I'm game.

Where and when: purchased 3/28/09 at BevMo, Oceanside, CA
Color: pinkish-orange, slightly opaque. Small bits of sediment. The sediment chunks look denser than pulp.
Scent: Almost no scent. When smelled very carefully, a slight scent of cherry can be detected.
Taste: Oddly bland. There is a taste of cherry and cranberry (without much of the bitterness). There is an unpleasant initial taste, accompanied by a faint smell of metal. It’s not salty, but has a touch more sour, unpleasantly reminiscent of the heavy-saliva taste present in the Jarritos Tamarindo. It’s not that strong, though.
The cherry tastes very much like the bits of black cherry you get in Cherries Jubilee ice cream from Baskin-Robbins. The aftertaste is mostly cherry, and fairly pleasant—the metallic initial taste has faded. It is quite persistent. There’s very little cranberry. There is a persistent heavy, slightly greasy feeling accompanying the aftertaste, and I’m liking that less and less as it refuses to leave.

It’s worth noting that the tastes are relatively faint in this soda—it’s not very sweet, and the fruit tastes are not prominent. It’s not at all syrupy. While I think that a lot of sodas are too sweet and syrupy, this may be too much the other way. The Dry Soda line is also light, but much crisper. This has a not-so-pleasant mix of heaviness and blandness, like cherry Jello made at half strength and half sugared, but with added cornstarch. Yech.

Quaff rating: 2. It’s not that it’s hard to drink, but I just don’t see the point. I could get bored drinking this.
Cough rating: 2. The initial odd taste is not nice, and it leaves a vaguely greasy feel and taste for a while afterwards.

Note: 15 minutes later, the aftertaste is no longer cherryish, just slightly sour, but still heavy and unpleasant.

And the flavor, never flitting, still is sitting, STILL is sitting
On my bumpl’d tongue which lies betwixt my teeth and palate sore
And it feels as if it’s teeming with some squidgy slimy feeling
Which I can’t remove by screaming out for H2SO4
And the aftertaste which on my tongue lies as a rug on floor
Shall be lifted—nevermore!


  1. Doing a quick and dirty parody of The Raven, that’s nice.

    Rhyming “sore” with “H2SO4″, that’s above and beyond.

  2. I briefly glanced at this site a few weeks ago but headed back today only to end up reading though the entire archive of posts. Great stuff.

    I was wondering a little bit about methodology. I'm mostly curious about temperature. Are any of these good at higher temperatures? Cold can dull the flavor experience, and I couldn't help but to wonder how some of these would taste under differing circumstances.

    As I was browsing the site, a few non-soda thoughts came to mind. They might be mildly helpful.

    First, I would strongly encourage you to try and reorganize the righthand column. The combination of the post archive along with the large list of tags obscure helpful portions of the column such as the 'Guide to Reviews' and 'Weird Soda Sources' which are forced to the bottom of the page. Oddly this is less of an issue than it was a few hours ago as you've now posted review in April which collapsed the expansive list of March posts. I'd still suggest juggling the order of that column, however.

    Though it's meaningless, I thought that I'd note that the font size of the number of hits is quite a bit smaller than the text explaining the number.

    Pictures of the sodas themselves might be a nice addition, though I must admit I really enjoy the verbal descriptions. I was enthralled by the vivid word picture created in your review of "Dry Soda Co. Soda: Rhubarb". It'd be a shame to loose imagery like that for the sake a pathetic picture.

    Copy and paste might work well enough in Blogger as a means to get specialized but low frequency Spanish characters like é and ñ into reviews.

  3. Another thought: custom favicons rock.

    This sounds like an easy way to go about adding one. If you speak French (or can guess at the things you need to know), this walkthrough will probably work too.

  4. Excellent suggestions, Cameron, and I thank you for them.
    These sodas are all consumed cold, but you're entirely correct that some of them change significantly as they warm up. Perhaps I can work out a methodical way of assessing that in the future.
    I'm still working on optimizing the layout. I wasn't sure which features people reading the blog would find most useful, so your input is very helpful; I'll probably be revising it soon. Issues like that and the inconsistent text sizes arise partially from my inexperience with web programming, a situation I am trying to remedy. Thanks for the helpful links!

    I plan to start adding pictures soon, but I will try to not have them replace anything interesting.

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