Some of the best soda tastes are those you remember in a certain place, so regional sodas are a great way to enjoy a summer trip. You might not normally guzzle ginger beer or sip sweet tea, but as they say, when in Rome. We’ve come up with a list of ten regional sodas you’ll want to seek out on the road.
Eleven Regional Sodas That Pair Perfectly With a Summer Road Trip
When in the Natural State of Arkansas, you will likely be at, in or near a Walmart. After all, the first Walmart grew from a lone store in Benton, AR. Lucky for you, Walmarts now carry the classic, and once discontinued, Grapette. This is a sweet, purple shot of goodness that you won’t quickly forget.
When it comes to grapes, California is the master of the vinyards. The non-alcoholic Vignette Wine Soda comes in rose, red, and white and is a non-fermented and classy regional soda.
In Connecticut, Hosmer has been producing delicious sodas for decades. They carry a variety of sodas including root beer and cream soda, but also sell the more exotic: peach, pineapple and a sea-breeze-in-a-bottle cranberry.
Leave it to Florida to produce the strangest soda, but one you’ll find strangely refreshing: Mr. Q Cumber. This regional soda is a cucumber delight sold in green bottles and just as fizzy as you’ll need, either straight or as a gin mixer.
In Hawaii you can find a tropical regional soda from the Waialua Soda Works company. Pineapple is just the start; these pop sensations include Mango, Lilikoi and Kona Red.
Idaho has a root beer that combines a few old-timey western flavors with a touch of sassafras, licorice and wintergreen. BuckSnort root beer also offers a caffeinated version with a touch of espresso.
Illinois has mastered the art of lemon-lime flavor in the Green River soda. It began in Chicago a hundred years ago and probably inspired Mountain Dew to go bright green, or maybe that’s due to dying the river green on St Patty’s Day. Either way, it’s a step up from your usual Sprite or 7-Up.
Of course, Americans need their Sarsaparilla but times have changed and it’s not so easy to find any more. Fortunately, in Iowa Sioux City Sarsaparilla is still going strong and it comes in a variety of flavor variations including prickly pear.
9. Arizona and Texas
Topo Chico comes from Mexico but it has taken root in Arizona and Texas. This is soda water, usually comes in a glass bottle and has quite a cult following.
This list wouldn’t be complete without a cream soda, and the regional soda to beat is found in Missouri’s Fitz’s Cardinal Cream Sodas. They’ve added a touch of berry for a range of subtle flavors with a distinct creamy fizz.
Nebraska, a strange and rare regional soda tastes like no other: Goody Soda. It is sold in clear bottles so you can savor it’s bright yellow color. The flavor is a fruity blend of peach and pear and—hard candy? We don’t know, but it’s delicious and if you can’t make it to the heartland, Amazon will deliver.