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Soft drinks with balls

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Looking for beverages that are non-alcoholic that have strong and interesting flavours. Grace's ginger beer is one good example. Available in Ontario is another criteria.

Blended bevvies from ingredients would also be helpful. Cheers

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  1. Mr. Gouda's Ginger Beer is also a strong flavoured drink.

    Limonata is my favourite widely available lemon flavour soda.

    3 Replies
    1. re: middydd

      Believe it or not, the President's Choice "Jamaican Style Ginger Beer" has more spicy ginger kick than either Grace's or Mr Gouda's ginger beer. It's my fave!

      1. re: redearth

        Have to try it, thanks. Don't know how I've missed it, I've tried every other Ginger Beer I've ever seen sold.

        1. re: middydd

          By chance I had my first taste ofl it today. At first it tasted like Diet Sprite or Diet 7-Up (it's not a diet pop though) but then the ginger kicked in and kicked the sweetness out. I thought I was drinking carbonated, mild hot sauce! Ginger beer is one of those things I never got around to but will now try the other ones mentioned here for sure.

    2. Just remembered another, Bulk Barn sometimes has the GUS (Grown Up Soda) line, the pomegranate and cranberry lime are the ones I find most flavourful. And they're not too sweet.

      HomeSense has had Agrumi citrus sodas from Italy, they're tasty.

      1. Chinotto is kind of like an Italian cola, with a slightly bitter and strong taste. I can't say I'm a fan, but you might be.

        Not sure of the brand, but I've had a Sarsaparilla drink that can be found in several a Chinese food stores. It's the original flavouring agent for root beer, but the taste was fairly distinct from all root beers I have ever had. (Slightly sour/bitter too.)

        Pocari Sweat from Japan is not really strong flavoured, but interesting... however, its intention is to replenish electrolytes after exercise. Some people say it tastes differently to them after they just worked out, vs beforehand.

        Guarana Antarctica is a mellow tasting and mildly sweet, fresh tasting beverage from Brazil. However, it has a side benefit of a stimulant effect; the guarana berry extract is common in energy drinks after the legal caffeine limit is reached. I'd say it tastes closest to a citrus carbonated beverage, but unlike 7up, Sprite or Mountain Dew.

        1. Bawls (just kidding).

          Try some of the drinks at Chinese/Korean/Japanese supermarkets. Asparagus juice (smells like asparagus pee, tastes... like asparagus pee with sugar), green pumpkin juice, etc. are things I don't think I could ever enjoy, but they're definitely strong and interestingly flavoured.

          Then there's a lot of nice teas, interesting sodas, and some really great ones too, including one of my favourite beverages ever: CC Lemon.

            1. re: haggisdragon

              Second the Irn Bru! Also, if you ever see Dry Soda, try it! They are truly amazing - not sweet at all, and very interesting flavours...


              1. re: redearth

                I am trying to remember where I saw Dandelion & Burdock - the one with the natural flavourings. As a one-off try Cream Soda, another trad Brit / Caribbean drink.

                And it you want a drink with balls, try bubble tea.

                1. re: Paulustrious

                  D&B is available at most grocery stores and any british shops. I love the stuff something fierce.

            2. Yes? Hi! We saw the seafood soft drinks at the Asian markets. The Scallop Soda and the Crab Juice. We bet Vashi the toonie to try it but he made the chicken and ran out.

              Also sometimes you can find the interesting Soda\Juices at the Sugar Mountain. One time they had the Licorice Drink that was very good.

              1. Jamie Kennedy's lunch place, Gilead (King East, East of Parliament, S Side down a laneway beside Morning Glory) has birch beer and spruce beer. It's pricey at I think $6 per 750ml, but VERY novel stuff. A bit yeasty in taste, and a nice tree - like finish. Not too sweet and comes in a cool bottle.

                Gilead - duplicate
                4 Gilead Pl, Toronto, ON M5A, CA

                8 Replies
                1. re: shiro miso

                  I must try that. How does it compare to Boylan's birch beer? I love that stuff, but find it a bit sweet.

                  1. re: SNACKeR

                    Hey there... much less sweet than Boylan's. Be VERY CAREFUL opening the bottle though -it's very fizzy stuff!! Enjoy. Hope you like it - wish I remembered the producer's name on the bottle... seemed like a very small outfit... I think from Quebec.

                    1. re: shiro miso

                      Thanks for the info. Sounds promising, I'll let you know what I think.

                      1. re: shiro miso

                        Talking about Marco from Quebec?

                        1. re: shiro miso

                          So I finally got a round to trying it, and yes, it was Marco's (http://www.breuvagesmarco.com/) from Quebec. It was very good and much different than any other birch/root beers I have tried. It was lighter in body, extremely fizzy, and had a definite yeasty flavour like real beer does. It was delicious, and I would like to try some of their other products. They list Provincial Fine Foods (3467 Yonge St. ) as a local retailer. I think this beverage would go really well with some gin.

                          1. re: SNACKeR

                            The Spruce does go well with Gin I used Hayman's Old Tom it was great. The stuff rockets out of the bottle like champagne fair warning! Bought a case at Provincial Foods 483 Church St next to Cumbrae's meats, killed two birds with one stone. Paid more for the spruce and birch beer than the meat! Haven't tried the maple its seasonal spring maybe.

                            481 Church St, Toronto, ON M4Y, CA

                          2. re: shiro miso

                            Sounds like "Marco Beverages", a small family firm from Montreal area, I believe.

                        2. re: shiro miso

                          That's Marco Spruce beer from Quebec. Love it

                        3. Love Grace's ginger beer. I come from a place where I grew up drinking it and Grace is by far the best!

                          I've seen some interesting pop flavours in West Indian and Sri Lankan grocery stores as well.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: TOchowgal

                            Also in West Indian Markets you will find 2 soft drinks that do not have 'balls' (sorry) and are pretty damn sweet, however while we are in Jamaica for the winter months we buy them all the time....they seem to be the thing to drink (other than Red Stripe) with Jamaican food....Try "Champagne Soda", tastes like Cream Soda but sweeter and also try "Pineapple" (a violent yellow/lime colour..actually looks like a 'highlighter' colour) not quite as sweet but both soda's compared to North American soft drinks are a major sugar rush! As other people have mentioned try the various brands of Ginger Beer (D&G, Grace, even their regular ginger ale tastes stronger than ours.....

                          2. You might try to locate some Jarritos Tamarindo. Try calling Perola's, or El Jacalito, I know they both have Jarritos in other flavours at least. Jarritos is a Mexican pop brand, they have multiple fruit flavours. Tamarindo is simply tamarind soda, tastes a lot like the tamarind candy you may have got with your bill at a Thai restaurant. It is only moderately strong in flavour, but I'd call it interesting and unique.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: maple99

                              Best Jarritos flavour ever! Highly recommended.

                            2. A soft drink with balls? When I saw this thread title I thought they'd started making Orbitz again. Phew. http://tinyurl.com/yzspmq

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: Gary

                                There's always Ramune, the Japanese soft drink. Alas, it only has one ball in it. And it's a marble at that.


                                1. re: Gary

                                  Suntory Capsela = Orbitz (except more cute). Available in Japan (and maybe here if someone imports it, though I doubt it).

                                  1. Thanks for the responses. Many interesting suggestions.

                                    1. Have you tried the Sumol beverages from Portugal? Not really strong flavoured, but they have some interesting flavours such as pineapple and passionfruit. I buy it at No Frills on Carlaw. If it's Portuguese, you know it has balls.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: foodyDudey

                                        I just remembered Sumol!
                                        I saw it at a Portuguese bakery in Ottawa last year. Was an "interesting" drink.

                                        Shoppers Drug Mart has some Italian soda in a glass bottle. They are quite good and fruity,also affordable.
                                        The 1 liter is on sale for $2 this week, I remember trying grapefruit,blood orange and there are 2 others.

                                        PC had a lytchee soda,it is good if you like lychee.

                                        If you go to Loblaws the health foods section has a bunch of interesting drinks.
                                        I like Knewtsons soda they are made with fruit juice and carbonated-tangering is nice but there are 10 others.

                                        Also Blue Sky soda and cola they have a "natural" cola.

                                        I used to also buy China Cola,that is sold in health food store and was made from herbs.

                                      2. Soda Pop Central usually have a good variety of sodas. They are in Whitby however their web shows whats available.


                                        1. You might want to try Goya Malta. Most stores stock Goya products in the Hispanic food section. But be warned, Malta is an extremely sweet Molasses-based soda - it's an acquired taste. But it's extremely popular in Mexico and Latin American countries.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: mwliechty

                                            Sorry, what I should have said is that Malta is a barley/hops-based soft drink that tastes like molasses.

                                          2. By the topic I thought you were referring to Orbitz.

                                            8 Replies
                                            1. re: Crispier Crouton

                                              Brio - the italian bitter soda.
                                              Also there is a new line of italian soda's from President's Choice. Have not tried them, they look similar to Orangina, which is a nice blend of citrus flavour and carbonation.
                                              Italian soda's from second cup are another option. You can pick your syrup flavour shot, which they basically add to carbonated water. They have alot of flavour options and you can tell them to add as much syrup as you want. I like their strawberry, peach and vanilla flavours.

                                              1. re: pancake

                                                If you are talking about PC Splendido Frizzante they are not a new product. I love the grapefruit but I don't see it on their website right now - only lemon and orange. The grapefruit is (was?) especially good with tequila and a salt rim, or with gin. But good on its own too. As for Brio, I prefer San Pelligrino Chinotto - slightly less sweet. There are other interesting bitter Italian sodas such as one I picked up once called 'Bitter' - like a non-alcoholic campari. It was too much for me, maybe should have mixed it with something.

                                                1. re: julesrules

                                                  I like the lemon one -- it's got the quinine in it so it's bitter, like Schweppes Bitter Lemon (which is dang hard to find around here).

                                                  1. re: mogo

                                                    Campbell's scottish foods in barrie 274 Burton Ave, (705) 722-6446 or Blightys 88 First Street, Orangeville, Ontario L9W 3J6 CANADA (in the Staples plaza) 519-942-2300 carry it.

                                                  2. re: julesrules

                                                    The PC Splendido Frizzante line is now (May 2010) back in the stores as a summer listing. They are all good, but the grapefruit is outstanding. Not too sweet (half the sugar as their line of Italian sodas) and with lots of good grapefruit flavor (a substantial proportion of real juice). Can be used instead of tonic with gin for a nice alternative to G&T, but great on its own -- and is wonderful mixed half and half with good orange juice.

                                                    1. re: RonaldP

                                                      Oh I didn't realise it was a summer thing, although I did find some in Wasaga Beach last summer! I don't like the newer Italian soda pink grapefruit at all, but I love this stuff. Good cottage drinking with tequila and a salt rim... called a "paloma" in Mexico. YUM. Good to know I can probably look forward to more next summer.

                                                      1. re: julesrules

                                                        It's still in some stores. They had a sale on it a few months back (which I commented on in the Wink thread) and I bought everything I could find, first at 99c then at 79c. Now it has returned at $2.19 at a couple of stores.

                                                  3. re: pancake

                                                    So far I've tried the blood orange and the coffee Italian sodas from the new Insider's Report, both are good, the coffee in particular is very refreshing.

                                                2. Tizer, also Lucozade (though the latter is hard to find: you can get Tizer at Loblaw)

                                                  4 Replies
                                                  1. re: Squeakycheese

                                                    Lucky Moose on Dundas has Lucozade, I got some with my TimTams

                                                    1. re: kiwiFRUIT

                                                      Wow great. Dundas and where? I have only found it in St. Jacob's Market, Kitchener/Waterloo.


                                                      1. re: Squeakycheese

                                                        A little east of Spadina, south side of the street.

                                                    2. re: Squeakycheese

                                                      You can find lucozade in most Chinese supermarkets.

                                                    3. I just noticed at the new Leslieville Cheese Market location on Queen west of Spadina they carry a few different root beers from Quebec. The flavours I remember are birch and maple. Though a little pricey at $4.50 for a (500ml ??) bottle, next time I'm in there I'll give one a shot to go with one of their tasty grilled cheese sandwiches.

                                                      1. I went to a West Indian take out place and they carried regular Coca Cola bottled in Trinidad. It was made with real cane sugar, bottled in a glass bottle and I can tell you the difference in taste was very noticeable from the corn syrup plastic bottled crap we usually get. Unfortunately the bottle was small and nursing this sweet concoction without gulping it all down took a lot of will power.

                                                        1. Well it seems as though GuS Soda might be up your alley. It's marketed as a "grown-up soda". I just got one at the Bulk Barn but I'm sure you could find them elsewhere.

                                                          1. Vernors ginger ale. It's gingery. But not like some that I got in Montana a few years ago that was made in New Jersey. Vernors is definitely available in the Niagara - Hamilton areas, and probably Windsor.


                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: cpfan

                                                              I've certainly found Vernor's at a number of north Toronto and burbs groceries, but the supply is hit or miss - you might find it one day and not the next. My suggestion is ask your local grocer if they ever stock it.

                                                              And for a slightly less sharp drink, but still delicious, try mixing Vernors half and half with chocolate milk. Really great!

                                                              1. re: FrankDrakman

                                                                Highland Farms and Pusateri's always have it.

                                                                1539 Avenue Rd, Toronto, ON M5M, CA

                                                                Highland Farms
                                                                850 Ellesmere Rd, Toronto, ON M1P, CA

                                                            2. You can get concentrated syrups like Ribena (black currant / cassis flavour) at most Chinese groceries. Also, IKEA carries some nice elderflower and lingonberry syrups that you can mix with soda water or whatever you like.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: mogo

                                                                You can get Ribena at Loblaws or most anywhere.

                                                                I just tried the President's Choice's new coffee-flavoured Italian soda. Good, but not great. Still a little too sweet, and almost a rootbeerish flavour.

                                                                In NYC, I tried a great coffee soda called "Manhattan's Best" or something like that. It was really good and had a pure coffee flavour. Does anyone know of any other coffee sodas out there?

                                                              2. Kinnie - a bitter orange and herbs soft drink from Malta, somewhat like Chinotto. I remember buying it years ago from a NoFrills in the west end and Malta Bake Shop on Dundas W., but haven't had it in years and am not sure if they still carry it. The Kinnie site does say they distribute to Canada.

                                                                1. Just found "Dry Soda" at The Big Carrot on the Danforth in the following flavors: kumquat, lavender, rhubarb, lemongrass, and juniper berry. I think they were about $2.39 a bottle.

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: fluffysouffle

                                                                    You can also find "Dry Soda" at School restaurant in Liberty village.

                                                                    1. re: fluffysouffle

                                                                      Pusateri's carries the line expensive but the vanilla is good.

                                                                      1539 Avenue Rd, Toronto, ON M5M, CA

                                                                    2. Try Hey Song sarsaparilla. It's my favorite soda, it's a lot like rootbeer but more tasty and less sugary.

                                                                      You can get it in the larger Chinese supermarkets like T&T and they also serve it on Dundas street in Chinatown at Asian Legend restaurant.

                                                                      1. Sidral Mundet a Mexican apple soda very refreshing, available at many mexican eateries and in bulk at Highland Farms on Rutherford rd and 400.

                                                                        Highland Farms
                                                                        3300 Rutherford Rd, Vaughan, ON L4K 5Z2, CA

                                                                        1. Thanks for bringing back this thread. I've been meaning to add "Crodino" to it. Had the pleasure of trying it at Queen Margherita Pizza. It comes in a small 100ml bottle, is yellow and is quite bitter, but sweet. Tastes like a mixed drink without the alcohol. I believe it's made by the same company that makes Campari.

                                                                          Queen Margherita Pizza
                                                                          1402 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4L, CA

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: currycue

                                                                            Just tried Belliveaus Elderflower Presse awesome soda pop like St germaine's elderflower what a mixer!

                                                                            1. re: TheDewster

                                                                              Sorry it was Bellivoir Elderflower Presse