Summer is almost over, there’s still some warm days left, you’re thinking, “might as well go for a soda.” It’s a classic summer sipper, upgraded by a few folks dedicated to real food, who appreciate the potential of a proper fizzy drink. From real tonic to authentic root beer, here are a few sodas worth going for.
Grapefruit Porter’s Tonic
In an attempt to keep busy over the snowy winter months, Cheezy Bizness food truck owner Nicole Fewell started making tonic from scratch, bottled it and named it after her son. Made with organic agave nectar, citric acid, cinchona bark, lemon, lime and lemongrass, the original flavour of Porter’s Tonic is sold as a concentrate in apothecary bottles at fine retailers around town to mix with soda water, and gin if you’re into that. For something extra citrusy and refreshing, try the grapefruit tonic.
Blumers‘ Black Cherry Soda
Calgary-based Minhas brewing produces Blumers old-fashioned sodas at its brewing company in Wisconsin, so while it’s not technically produced here, it is sold and distributed out of the company’s microbrewery in the northeast. Made with real cane sugar, the sodas are light, refreshing and not overly sweet. This is especially true of the cream soda, which is smooth with a hint of vanilla and just the right amount of carbonation. But the surprise hit is the black cherry soda.
(1314 44 Ave. N.E., 403-695-3701, minhasbrewery.com, @minhasmicrobrew)
The Grizzly Paw Brewing Company‘s Root Beer
The Grizzly Paw Brewing Company is local-ish. Located on Main Street in Canmore since 1996, it supplies plenty of Calgary eateries with micro-brewed sodas in old-timey flavours like orange, cream soda and ginger beer. The black cherry cola is on tap in its Canmore pub, and the excellent, slow-brewed root beer was formulated to taste as it would have during the days of prohibition.
(310 Old Canmore Rd., Canmore, 403-678-2487, thegrizzlypaw.com, @grizzlypaw)