We Taste Tested Rocket Fizz’s 18 Weirdest Sodas

Stalinade (not to be confused with Leninade) didn't win

Rocket Fizz is a chain of stores that boasts more sodas than you can count—so we didn’t really bother to. Last month, a visit to the Austin location produced three flavors that could only be sampled before being discarded (thanks, TSA!):

  • Barf! Soda (“Great chunky flavor!”) tasted like a mild peach, and was actually good.
  • Dirt Soda (“Shoveled & Bottled in the USA”) was like a very strong bitter tea.
  • Grass Soda (“Mowed & Bottled in the USA”) was soapy and green.
Lined up and ready to taste.

Lined up and ready to taste. Kaitlyn Flannagan for Observer

A couple of months ago a Rocket Fizz opened in nearby Levittown, which granted Observer an opportunity to bring the 18 most eye-catching bottles to the office and reward/punish our staff with a blind taste test. Some of these are produced by Rocket Fizz themselves, with several indie drink-makers mixed in (with links). Here were the results, from worst to best:

  1. Lester’s Fixins Ranch Dressing Soda: Smells like blue cheese, really gross like something turned in the bottle. Tastes horrific, again like blue cheese but not right for this context.
  2. Lester’s Fixins Sweet Corn Soda: Tastes just like corn and butter. Not anywhere near as good as those buttered popcorn Jelly Belly. Spot on but that isn’t a good thing in this case.
  3. Ginseng UP Original: This is actually a legacy brand, with a few different flavors in the line. The tag line “the root of all power” is great, but the flavor (though unique) is not. Instead it’s bitter and tastes like a certain medicine that is hard to place.
  4. Lester’s Fixins Bacon Soda: Not good. A woodsy flavor that almost tastes like drinking cologne. It is as if they ground up hickory chips used for barbecuing and flavored a soda with it.
  5. Lester’s Fixins Peanut Butter & Jelly Soda: Smells like a teen girl’s perfume. Medicinal and chalky, it was like chugging Tums.
  6. Tractor Soda Co. Lemongrass: Tastes like pure soap, and not the nice kind like, say, those old-fashioned flowery breath mints.
    Rocket Fizz's weirdest sodas.

    Rocket Fizz’s weirdest sodas. Kaitlyn Flannagan for Observer

  7. Dos Amigos Burros Churro Churros Soda: Like Chloraseptic. Nothing cinnamon whatsoever.
  8. Fidel Castro’s Havana Banana: Like those banana Runts candy that everyone either loves or loathes.
  9. Scotty’s Butterscotch Soda: Like cheap, bitter butterscotch candy. Worse than those little individually cellophane-wrapped ones that grandma has.
  10. Nuclear Orange Bomb: Simply a very watered-down Sunkist.
  11. Stalinade: Not to be confused with Leninade, get it? Barely had any taste. Like a diluted Cherry 7-Up.
  12. San Francisco Fog Soda: Like cheap sugar with a metallic note. Smells nice, however, and probably the coolest to display as it does look like bottled fog.
  13. Cock Cola: Just like RC or some other off-brand cola. Harsh on the back of the tongue. The name is clever if you’re a teen.
  14. Boylan Shirley Temple: Boylan is a popular second-tier soda company, but their Shirley Temple is almost impossible to find. Sweet, mild and innocuous. Does not taste like a real Shirley Temple, but would make a great mixer.
  15. Dos Amigos Rosa’s Arroz con Leche Sweet Rice Soda: Very mild, like a pure sugar-flavored soda. Not overly cloying.
  16. Reading Draft Grape Smoothie: Like a watered-down grape Jolly Rancher, which makes the sweetness very pleasant instead of overpowering. The beer-like dark bottle and classy label elevate this one.
  17. Sioux City Prickly Pear Soda: Smells quite perfumey. Tart, sweet and soapy. Like a lavender lemonade. This one is very good and unique.
  18. Ozark Mountain Bottleworks Ozark Mountain Lemonade: Smells and tastes like a tarter, more refined Sprite. Simply excellent. The best of the batch.
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