Lo-cal (though not local, sadface, nor particularly affordable, sadface) sodas


A review of three low-calorie, "natural" sodas.


In third place . . . :

Natural Jones Soda is lucky I only tasted three sodas for this contest because it's kind of awful. I mean---tasting it Andronico's it was fine, but when you have more than a single ounce? Uck. The salesman talked me into the purchase. Besides being a natural low-calorie soda, he told me, it has fiber! Well! I bought it! Didn't think to check the ingredients for myself. Added caffeine? I feel betrayed. Not cool, soda salesguy. Not cool. Plus, it's too sweet in that icky nonsugar way and just doesn't taste very good. Currently only available in California.

In second place . . . :

Q is terrific. We picked this one up at Andronico's in the same visit we got the Jones. We only tried these two flavors, but they were wonderful. Just carbonated high-end juice, really. You can't go wrong with Q's citrus, clearly. I'm anxious to try their ginger. And maybe I'll finally get around to trying tonic water in Q's capable hands.

And our winner . . . :

DRY Soda manages to be all things I want. A soda that's as good at room temperature as cold. Comes in interesting flavors and comes at them from an interesting direction (once you've tasted one, you can recognize them all). Sadly, no store near enough sells them (we happened to be in Pinole when we bought them), but I'm fond. I want to try rhubarb! I want them to make celery! DRY is the right brand to finally produce a basil soda (I really really want a basil soda). But it's not just for flavors I've imagined that I choose DRY. Blood orange was a bit dull, but those other three flavors are clear winners. Buy DRY.

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