This past weekend I saw a piece on HOTLIPS Soda on the Cooking Channel.  All natural soda made by some pizza shop owners in Portland.  Alright, sign me up.   I wanted to get some, but I hazarded a guess that they would not be sold anywhere close to where I live, because the Tampa Bay area is a barren wasteland of strip malls, old people, and really old people, where nothing interesting ever happens.  But in a complete coincidence, on a trip to a recently discovered deli/restaurant/market, I happened by several bottles.  Huzzah! said I.  No shipping charges!

I’ve never had an all natural soda before.  Actually there’s a very strong possibility that I may have never consumed an all natural anything.  Even my blood is colored with Red #5.  So this was a whole new experience for me.  I hoped my body would not reject it. 

The company prides itself on using local fresh fruit from the Northwest, bottled and sodafied in a simple, straightforward way.  The sodas are made with only a handful of ingredients, none of which end in “-ine” or “-mate.”  That seemed suspicious.  Is it even possible to make food products with things found in nature?  I don’t think we’ve developed that kind of technology yet.  I mean pears and cane sugar and lemon juice.  That’s dirty hippie talk.

Popping the bottle released an authentic and delightful aroma.  That’s right, delightful.  It smelled like pears!  The taste was smooth and fruity without being overpowering.  It’s carbonated, but not heavily so.   There was a tiny, tiny hint of tartness, which was nice. And the soda was not overly sweet.  The sweetness of the pears themselves seems to be doing most of the work.  I’ve been weaned on globs of HFCS since birth, so my taste buds had to recalibrate to process all of this naturalness.  They are just now beginning to reach equilibrium again.

What I really liked about the soda was that it felt very light.  My mouth didn’t feel sticky or disgusted with itself after I drank it.  My mouth’s been very depressed lately.  I caught it listening to Smiths’ records the other night (I didn’t even know I owned a record player).

I like this soda.  It was a refreshing pick me up on what I considered to be the first real fall day in Florida.  Fall in South Florida is when the temperature dips below the three thousand degree mark.  You notice the cool weather immediately because you don’t have to hydrate yourself several times to walk the thirty feet from your apartment to your car. 

It was a little pricey at over two and a half bucks, but since it’s crafty, artisanal-type fare, I’ll let it go.  The people on the TV box seemed like nice folks.  Plus, I don’t live too far from Walt Disney World, so I’m used to soft drinks in the $3 to $90 range.

Can’t wait to try the other flavors.

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