Thursday, May 21, 2015

Name Your Poison

Doug: Recently C.K. Dexter Haven revived Karen's post on Zingers or Cupcakes, three years after it was published! Now that's some fine spelunking you've done, m'boy!

Doug: In one of his recent comments, C.K. stated that Mr. Pibb was his drink of choice -- of course that spurs today's post, where we'll shift from sugary confections of the cake variety to sugary confections of the fizzy liquid variety!

Doug: First off, I have to ask -- do you call it "soda", "pop", or something else? Where I live it's always been pop, but when most other places I've traveled soda seems to be the more common term. Regardless, what's your favorite drink? Is there a brand you favor over others? Are there drinks you don't care for at all? And what about branching this into iced tea -- sweet tea, or unsweetened?

Doug: Personally, I'm a Diet Dr. Pepper guy -- that's my go-to. After that, it's Diet Coke. I've never been one of those hardcore "gotta pick Pepsi over Coke (or vice versa)" guys. I'll drink Diet Pepsi, but given a choice I'll reach for the Coke. I do not at all care for "regular" pop -- after years of drinking diet sodas the sugar-sweetened stuff is just too thick and rich for me. I'll drink a root beer, but really, just a few of those a year will do me. Same with the lemon-limes, like 7-Up or Sprite. I like them, but don't as a rule buy them. A treat every now and then is Diet Coke Lime -- I miss the lemon version. Does anyone remember Pepsi Light (which wasn't light, but was infused with lemon flavor)?

Doug: And to set your mind for today's conversation, here are some pop cans from the Bronze Age. Ah, the memories!


Martinex1 said...

I don't drink pop much anymore. I call it pop now, but that evolved over many years, as my family for a long time called it soda. Dr. Pepper is my go to, and I prefer it to Mr. Pibb (sorry CK). I definitely prefer 7Up to Sprite, because it seems milder. I forgot about Upper 10; that is a blast from the past. I like Tonic Water, but my family cannot stand it. Occasionally I drink Ginger Ale and prefer the Canada Dry version. My wife is from Michigan and she loves Vernor's which is a local ginger ale/cream soda tasting thing; I cannot stand it. Regarding Root Beer, I too drink it occasionally but don't like Barq's version. In general, I tried many times to drink the Diet varieties and it never stuck. More often than not, it is now coffee, unsweetened tea, or water. I do miss the glass returnable bottles of pop from when I was a kid though.

Edo Bosnar said...

Hm, I grew up in Oregon, lived in California later, and I've said and heard said both soda and pop; I tend to say pop more, but I never really noticed a major demarcation here.

As to the main topic, man, I love them quite a bit, but the post title is apt - they can be pretty poisonous, and as I get older I'm trying to cut down.
Anyway, my favorites are the colas, with Coke on top, although I don't mind Pepsi, and I really like RC, although I haven't had it in ages.
I also love Ginger Ale, preferring Canada Dry like Martinex, although Schweppes will do in a pinch. I also like tonic, and yes, cream soda - it's non-existent over here in Croatia, so when I was visiting my parents this past New Year's, I made it a point to go out and buy a can of cream soda. I like root beer, too, but only occasionally. And I can't stand any of the diet varieties.
I like ice-tea sweetened, just like hot tea (preferably with honey), but I don't mind unsweetened.

Anonymous said...

Martinex mentioned the glass bottles - Coke seemed to taste nicer from a bottle. Us Brits always say pop, never soda - when I was a kid the "pop man" would come around in his van once a week and my favourite pop was Dandelion & Burdock - I very rarely buy pop these days but when I do I still buy that flavour before any other. I've never tried iced tea - I prefer the hot variety.

Abe Lucas said...

Despite being the one who defrosted the old post (I've often wondered if that isn't a faux pas in blogging; I know you guys don't mind it), I rarely have the likes of Coke, Pepsi, or any lemon-lime sodas in the house. I do get the retro-looking Dr. Pepper in glass bottles as well as various small-name brands of birch, ginger, and root beer on occasion.

There's also some stuff called Inca Kola which sort of tastes like bubblegum that is readily available here in Miami, as is a delicious "Mexican Cola" made by the Jarritos brand.

Ginger ale...there's a brand called Vernors which manages to taste like a spicy vanilla..or something like that! The carbonation will make you cough if you happen to inhale deeply upon drinking it. Despite those effects, I recommend it. :)

Colin Jones: I've tried Dandelion & Burdock and it's delightful. Upon trying it for the first time, I thought that it "tastes like nostalgia"! There's a British Marketplace that sells it here.

I treat any soda I drink as a snack or dessert and almost never drink sodas with meals (except pizza). A far cry from my bad-old days of drinking and eating sooo much garbage as a kid and young adult (though thankfully I was never overweight(!)).

Don't care for iced tea; never have.

Doug said...

I brought up iced tea, but didn't state any preference! It's all-black (does one refer to tea in the same manner as coffee?), all the time. I don't care for any sweetener, lemon, or other flavors in my tea. And I really don't care for hot tea, whether with honey or not. I can recall as a child whenever I'd have a sore throat my mom would encourage the hot tea. I just never took to it. And it's not an association with sore throats -- I just don't like it. Adding, I also don't like cold or iced coffee.

As you could tell from the post, I do drink the diet versions of all pop. A once-in-awhile treat is A&W's Diet Cream Soda. Wow -- is that good. Like pouring fizzy vanilla down the hatch!


Redartz said...

Count me in with Martinex and Edo regarding the Canada Dry. However, root beer is my "pop" of choice. I like Barqs, but my long-gone favorite from youth was Mason's ("with the blue dot cap"). I don't really drink carbonated drinks very often, and can't drink diet (artificial sweeteners don't agree with my stomach!).Most often it's sweet tea, Snapple is a favorite.


david_b said...

Hmmm, really thought we'd ponder Dave Letterman today. He was at his best on NBC in the '80s. He will be missed.

Alas, today's topic..? Except for consumed lightly as a treat, I stopped soda/pop altogether a decade ago. Just didn't need it in my diet, and lately, I've whittled my food intake down to hardboiled eggs and cherry tomatoes for brkfast and lunch. My girlfriend is the most amazing chef, so I've asked several times to keep my portions down of late, but I digress...

If I do need something, I'll grab a classic Coke. I love the taste of high-end root beer, but it never seems to sit well in my stomach about 20min later. I tried one of those cherry Mountain Dews a year ago.., eeeyuck.

Much like Nancy Sinatra once commented, 'Nothing is more refreshing than a nice Coke with ice..'.

Never a tea drinker, just give me coffee. NO gourmet or flavored coffee either, Hills Brothers is just dandy.

Martinex1 said...

Colin, I really like the idea of a Pop Man coming around. We never had that in my neighborhood; just the Good Humor Ice Cream truck in the summer. Dandelion & Burdock sounds wild; never even heard of it; what type of flavor is it?

Doug, I am with you on tea and nothing added. My mother, on hot summer days, used to put a large kettle outside with water and about a dozen tea bags. By the end of the day, we would have "sun tea" as we called it.

I saw just today that they are bringing back New York Flavored Seltzer Water. I never drank it much, but it was popular when I was in college.

Do your movie theatres have the new Coke machines from which you can pull dozens of flavors? Coke Vanilla, Lime, Lemon, Orange, Cherry, Cherry Vanilla, etc etc?

When I was growing up, the local drug store had a pop vending machine right next to the comic books, so when I had 2 dollars, it was usually for 4 comics, a can of pop, and a Marathon Bar or Charleston Chew.

Doug said...

David B --

Any of our readers know they have the opportunity to write up a topic and submit it for publication. Thus far we've only received comics reviews. However, it was clear from the beginning that any Discuss, Open Forum, etc. type topics were welcome. I've not been a late night TV watcher for years, and until yesterday didn't know that last night's show was Letterman's final broadcast. I cannot speak for Karen.

Today's post has been in the queue for a week, but we'd have shuffled some things around for a temporally important topic.

I'm not upset -- just saying that anyone can help steer this ship with the simple drop of an email.


Martinex, sun tea is indeed a hit. But most of the time I'll just put a couple of large tea bags through the coffee pot and then dilute it. After a few hours of refrigeration, it's good to go.

And those wonderful machines dispensing a cornucopia of carbonated excitement are popping up all over -- many restaurants now feature them.


Edo Bosnar said...

Since David mentioned Mountain Dew, it reminded me of all the stuff I used to like. I remember when Mountain Dew was all the rage back in the late '70s and very early '80s - and also find it really odd that it's made a comeback in popularity in recent years.
I'll also readily admit that I used to love all the hypersweet "fruit" flavored sodas when I was a kid, especially the Crush line (orange, grape, cherry, strawberry, etc., etc.). Now and then, I'll drink a small bottle of grape Fanta or something similar, just for nostalgia's sake.
By the way, does anybody remember The Pop Shoppe? I understand that these were only available in certain states, and Oregon was one of them. It couldn't be found in all stores, and it was more common for it to appear at catered events, like wedding receptions, fund-raisers or church picnics. It was like LSD for little kids - little bottles filled with carbonated beverages in every color of the rainbow ... I remember some great sugar highs from that stuff ...

SteveDoesComics said...

I'm another one in the dandelion and burdock camp. We too used to have a pop van come round every Saturday, whereupon its driver would deliver a bottle of dandelion and burdock, a bottle of orangeade and a bottle of lemonade.

Of course, back then, our area also had a milk man, a bread man and a coal man. Sadly, such things no longer seem to exist.

Did America have rag and bone men? They were men who used to go around with a horse and cart, collecting your old junk while shouting, "Rag and bone!" in an incomprehensible voice, in order to attract your attention. There was always something oddly sinister about them.

Doug said...

Steve --

Only as a wee waif can I recall the milk man. At least in our community, they were a thing of the past by the early 1970s.



Abe Lucas said...

A root beer I fondly recall from my past was called "Frostie." I only ever saw the stuff at the soda machine--one of those faux wood paneled ones--located at the local public swimming pool circa 1980.

However, it is Mr. Pibb that is nearest and dearest to my Bronze Age-lovin' heart. Only at BAB can a conversation blossom from the mere mention of that lamented(-by-me) beverage. Needless to say, I appreciate today's post!

Doug said...

C.K. --

My uncle actually owned a fast food restaurant in the late 70s called "Frostie's" that sold that particular brand of root beer. We are about an hour south of Chicago. That is the only one I ever knew of -- I have no idea if he franchised it from a corporation. It's funny you brought that up!

And I think (although we all know how things can be misremembered) that I saw Frostie root beer in bottles at the grocery store back then.


J.A. Morris said...

For me, it's the storebrand equivalent to Coke Zero. Every now and then I'll treat myself to Vanilla Coke Zero.

Anonymous said...

I don't drink much pop (as we say in Canada) anymore; it always seems to give me heartburn. As a kid, I tried pretty much everything available, but I tended to go for the "lesser" brands: ginger ale (Canada Dry and Schweppes), Orange Crush (which also came in strawberry and grape, strangely), Fanta (orange, strawberry, cream soda), Fresca, Tab and Hires Root Beer. And here in Western Canada we also had Pic-a-Pop, but the less said about that, the better.

There are a few brands I've never tried (or even seen): Nehi, Mr. Pibb, Yoo-Hoo (which I think is some sort of carbonated chocolate?)

Mike Wilson

david_b said...

Gosh, Doug, you do sound upset.. I only made a single pondering comment, nothing more.

Still a great topic today.

Garett said...

My favorite now is A+W Root Beer. Barq's has caffeine, and I've been off that for a few years. As a kid I liked Coke and Pepsi, and for a special treat-- Tahiti Treat.

Yes Edo I do remember the Pop Shoppe, and also our local pop, Happy Pop. They had many unusual flavours that you couldn't get from the main brands.

Karen said...

Growing up in the central coast region of California with family that came from the south, we called all carbonated drinks "coke" most of the time, or maybe "soda." Which reminds me of this article:

I used to be a Coke fiend...ha, yeah. I've cut back considerably though. From multiple Coca Colas a day to one a day to now about 2 a week. But it is Coca Cola and only Coca Cola for me. Can't stand Pepsi. I do like those machines you find at the theaters and Five Guys. I like to put just a squirt of orange or cherry coke in and then fill it up with regular Coke, so there is a little hint of fruit flavor.

My main drink though (besides a lot of water) is iced tea. Black tea, with just a bit of sweet and low (like half a packet in a 24 ounce cup). I am completely addicted to tea. Must be some of my southern heritage coming through.

Anonymous said...

Martinex, I really couldn't describe what Dandelion & Burdock tastes like (dandelions and burdock ?) but it looks like Coke and perhaps that would be the nearest thing in flavour but it's a unique taste - obviously not an international one though.

Anonymous said...

When I was a kid I'd drink any fruity soda. Any variety of orange or grape would do, but what I loved was fruit punch soda. There was a corner store that got this brand that I can't remember the name of. It was a little more expensive than Coke or Pepsi but it was much better. They had a few uncommon flavored, like the aforementioned fruit punch as well as birch beer. I didn't really like most colas but I loved cherry Coke and Dr. Pepper. I was also a huge fan of cream soda and ginger ale.

Anyone remember flavored ginger ale from Schwepps or Canada Dry. Schwepps dry grape ginger ale was awesome.

I don't go for soda much anymore, but I like playing around with the multi-flavor sofa machines some of you have mentioned. My current sweet drink of choice is iced coffee. I prefer Dunkin' Donuts to Starbucks, and a local cafe to everywhere else.

- Mike Loughlin

Humanbelly said...

Man, the days when my work-load's the heaviest are the days I miss the best conversations-!

As native Michiganders, we were also among the tribe that grew up calling it "pop". BUT- during early child-hood, we'd visit my Mom's family in northeastern Arkansas every couple of years (in the soul-baking blast-furnace of their summer heat, mind you), and all of our cousins and relatives referred to all carbonated beverages as "sodie"-- which took some getting used-to. There was also a little local bottler there that produced these chocolate and vanilla lightly carbonated beverages that were clearly what YooHoo (unsuccessfully) aspired to be-- and may have been the most delicious, lost-grail bottled beverage I ever tasted in my life. My grandpa bought me four (!!!) of them over the course of one slow afternoon, which absolutely spoiled my dinner, which was a wonderful blessing in disguise for anyone acquainted with my Grandmother's bean & okra based cuisine. . .

But I digress wildly. . .

My favorite personal beverage has always, ALWAYS been chocolate milk. The first rather ridiculous benefit of adulthood for me was that it meant I could have chocolate milk whenever the flippin' heck I wanted to. For breakfast, even-!

Of the sodas (which we call them now, having lived in the mid-Atlantic region for about 30 years at this point), SO MANY of the ones mentioned have some specific tag of memory-- a and a very specific taste attached. Coke tastes different with potato chips than Pepsi. Tab rivaled aspirin in its level of bitterness. The sharp, sweet revival that the can of grape Nehi from the gas station (mid-paper route) could provide. The surprising sweetness of RC Cola without the acrid bite of Coke or Pepsi. Dr. Pepper had NO DISTRIBUTION in our region for most of my early childhood, so it too was a huge treat for those Arkansas trips, 'cause it was ubiquitous down there-- I'd probably say it was my favorite "regular" soda because of that.
Oh man, a HUGE taste memory from college: Mr Tony's Canadian Club sub w/ double meat and cheese and a liter of Mello Yello---- and that drink was the specific beverage chaser that created the oral nirvana. Well, and then there were the tiny "free" cups of FLAT pepsi that used to come w/ Domino's pizzas back then-- for some reason, they tasted best at about 3:00 a.m.

Hires root beer was just awful, in me & Bryan's honest opinion ("Tastes like seawater!" was our refrain)-- but we may have been spoiled because the only fast food chain in our little town was an oft-closed A&W. . . and that foamy root beer on tap is simply unparalleled by any off-the-shelf bottled product.

Nowadays, though, the sodapop consumption is dialed 'way, 'WAY back-- and I do recognize how truly bad it is for ya. It was a fun vice-- but one I don't mind too much leaving behind. (You'll have to pry the chocolate milk straw out of my cold, dead fingers however. . . )


Anonymous said...

Down here in T & T any carbonated beverage is called a "soft drink" or "sweet drink". As for me, my choice of fizzy stuff is usually Coca Cola, non-fizzy would be iced Earl Grey tea.

Mike 'fizzy boy' from Trinidad & Tobago.

Edo Bosnar said...

HB, I totally agree about the A&W root beer served in the restaurants themselves (back in the '70s/early '80s). That was simply the best root beer ever...

Redartz said...

HB and Edo- quite agree about root beer on tap. In the town where I grew up there was (and still is) a terrific place called Gene's Root Beer. They are known for hot dogs and fries, sundaes and more; but especially for their fantastic root beer. Any time I'm back in the area, a trip to Gene's for a frosty mug is a must...

Anonymous said...

I went on a 2015 New Year "diet" which is mostly I'm down to ONE soda a day ( I need a little caffeine), only water or REAL fruit juice after that, a little bit smaller meals ( but the same stuff I ate before) and instead of "FAKE" foods for snacks I'll eat REAL fruit or nuts (unsalted, preferably) and since Jan 1- today May 22, I've gone from around 220 to job is physical labor, the only exercise I've gained is I can walk farther and riding my bicycle is ALOT easier and funner. I hate to toot my own horn, but after the first two weeks of stomach shrinking, it was easy. Soda was the number one factor, going from drinking (probably) a gallon of soft drinks a day to just one can. PEACE

johnlindwall said...

Edo: Yes I remember the Pop Shoppe! We had one here in San Diego when we were growing up. We would go as a family and fill up the with way too much soda in those little bottles. I remember that that had a carbonated fruit punch flavor that I loved.

Does anyone remember Cactus Cooler? That was a rare find in So Cal in my day. The only place I knew to get it was Straw Hat pizza, so it was a rare treat. I think I see it in grocery stores now.

I recently revived my love affair with RC cola, and also infected my son with that feeling.

Growing up we called it "pop" because my Mom was from Wisconsin, but over the years I've switched to "soda". Having relatives in Michigan, we had exposure to Vernor's Ginger Ale which is a departure if you're used to Canada Dry but is very good, for sure.

Bubble Up! Totally forgot about that one! 7-Up seems pretty uncommon these days -- is it gone? I liked it's non-sugary citrus taste much more then Sprite or (gag) Sierra Mist.

Mr. Pibb was not found in our area but we could get it on cross-country road trips. I always liked Dr Pepper better though.

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