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All-time best sodas

In Scottsdale, AZ we have an incredible soda shop, so I'm on the lookout for your recommendations for the very best. If it's available, they probably have it. I'm open to ANYTHING. Plus, what is sanbitter?

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  1. Vernors!! best ginger ale ever

    6 Replies
    1. re: gaiadi

      Vernors is the best widely available ginger ale, but Blenheim's medium or hot is better.

      Hires or A&W is the best root beer.

      1. re: Kelli2006

        Agreed - Blenheim is by far and away the best ginger ale on the market today... or ever. Don't waste your time with all those bottles from Jamaica. If you can't find Blenheim locally, it's most certainly worth mail ordering.

        San Pellegrino has a lemon soda and an orange soda that it pretty good. For some strange reason, the canned version is better, IMO.

        1. re: HaagenDazs

          I keep San Pellegrino Limon on hand. Great over ice with a splash of Maker's Mark and a sprig of mint.

          1. re: flavrmeistr

            Aren't they the best mixers?! Now try the Blenheim with a splash of Maker's.

          2. re: HaagenDazs

            HaagenDazs, I can get it locally at a beverage store, but the sell a 6 pack for about $7.50. I have been know to buy a few bottles locally but I always bring a case or 2 home when I visit my sister in Asheville NC. Blenheim's goes extremely well with the vinegary pork BBQ that is served in the Carolinas.

            I have had Jamaican ginger ale but it seem like they have sacrificed balanced flavor the extreme ginger heat.

            1. re: HaagenDazs

              Is that in a green can?!!! I LOVE it!
              -jennyfur

        2. Sprecher's Root Beer = made with real vanilla and honey

          2 Replies
          1. re: Nukedli

            funny, that's what I grabbed today before reading any of the responses

            1. re: amkirkland

              Sprecher is the king of root beers, I have not tasted anything close

          2. My all time favorite: Hires Root Beer, in a bottle. I haven't seen it for a while. I heard it's available by a retro bottler but it's not the same. I think the last real batch was from the mid '80s???
            Anyone know if it's still available?

            3 Replies
            1. re: ML8000

              Hires was the best I'd ever tasted until the '70s, I believe it was, when the use of sassafras root was forbidden. This connection is one I've never seen publicized; all I know is that suddenly that minty undertone went away, and it became just another everyday rootless "root" beer. Damn shame.

              1. re: Will Owen

                My fond memories of Hires was from a tap at the Woolworths on third avenue around 67th Street in Manhattan...served in a paper cone in a a green plastic zarf. Alas, Woolworths is gone as well.

                1. re: iwanchow1

                  I remember trying out a Hires home brew/bottling kit in the 70s - blew a few bottles up

            2. Dr. Brown's Cream Soda. It's still made and available some places in the Northeast and at many Jewish delis but would be shocked if in Scottsdale.

              7 Replies
              1. re: laylag

                They definitely have it, but I think I've even seen it at Starbucks

                1. re: laylag

                  Dr. Brown's is available at AJ's, a supermarket here in Phoenix/Scottsdale. They make a diet version, which is nice for us trying to watch the sugar intake.

                  It's good stuff. :)

                  1. re: mamamia

                    I only do the diet whether I'm on a diet or not. I've never seen the merit in blowing 200 calories on a soda when I can have the same thing (or close) for 0 calories.

                    1. re: laylag

                      I hope all you diet soda devotees realize that there are a lot of us who can't handle chemical sweeteners. So check with us, please, before serving up your usual beverage. It's socially awkward to take a sip or two of something, let out a "GAAAHK!, and inquire "uh, is this artificially sweetened?"

                      1. re: laylag

                        I want-a add, (from Sharuf comments) if the stuff is decaf, I definitely need to know. Otherwise, it may suddenly become nappy time with the crash -n- burn for this humanoid.

                        BTW- Its also not about calories, but sweetener induced water weight gain.

                        1. re: laylag

                          I agree! I rarely drink carbonated beverages at all anymore, but I used to add milk to either diet chocolate or orange soda and pretend it was a melted ice cream float or creamsicle.

                          My all-time favorite non-diet soda is a good fountain egg cream, made with chocolate syrup, selzer and milk.

                      2. re: laylag

                        I've bought many Dr. Brown's flavors -- including Cream Soda -- all over the USA. It's widely available here in Kansas City where I've bought it at least since the mid-1970s and I've even bought it in small towns in Idaho.

                        However Dr. Brown's Cel-Ray is pretty much a northeast specialty. Not to say I've not ever found it west of the Mississippi, but certainly it's a rare occurance and typically in a kind of specialty grocery or cafe that is either owned/operated by former New Yorkers or particularly caters to former New Yorkers. I know a lot of former New Yorkers in Arizona. Not all end up in Florida anymore.

                      3. Hansen's Orange Cream Soda- I used to work at a mostly vegetarian cafe in Topeka, KS of all places (if you've been there you know what I mean!) and we carried tons of organic sodas, including 9 rootbeers- the orange cream soda was my absolute favorite and I haven't seen it in a store since!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Katie Nell

                          Wild Oats carries the Hansens Sodas. The creamy root beer is our favorite!