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Soft drinks with balls

Snarf Jun 17, 2009 09:26 PM

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. m
    middydd RE: Snarf Jun 17, 2009 09:37 PM

    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
      redearth RE: middydd Jun 18, 2009 04:36 AM

      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
        middydd RE: redearth Jun 19, 2009 11:29 AM

        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
          DockPotato RE: middydd Jul 18, 2009 03:22 PM

          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. m
      middydd RE: Snarf Jun 17, 2009 09:43 PM

      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. iWoo RE: Snarf Jun 17, 2009 11:24 PM

        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. t
          tjr RE: Snarf Jun 17, 2009 11:38 PM

          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. haggisdragon RE: Snarf Jun 18, 2009 03:25 AM

            Irn Bru!

            3 Replies
            1. re: haggisdragon
              redearth RE: haggisdragon Jun 18, 2009 04:38 AM

              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
                Paulustrious RE: redearth Jun 18, 2009 07:29 AM

                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
                  elrik RE: Paulustrious Jun 18, 2009 08:08 AM

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

            2. i
              Indianguy RE: Snarf Jun 18, 2009 07:15 AM

              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. shiro miso RE: Snarf Jun 18, 2009 07:57 AM

                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
                  SNACKeR RE: shiro miso Jun 20, 2009 09:45 PM

                  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
                    shiro miso RE: SNACKeR Jun 22, 2009 08:08 AM

                    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
                      SNACKeR RE: shiro miso Jun 22, 2009 02:42 PM

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

                      1. re: shiro miso
                        BLM RE: shiro miso Jul 8, 2009 09:25 AM

                        Talking about Marco from Quebec?

                        1. re: shiro miso
                          SNACKeR RE: shiro miso Aug 28, 2009 01:18 PM

                          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
                            TheDewster RE: SNACKeR Dec 6, 2010 06:28 AM

                            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
                            quiney RE: shiro miso Aug 31, 2009 09:02 PM

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

                        2. re: shiro miso
                          TheDewster RE: shiro miso Dec 14, 2010 12:23 PM

                          That's Marco Spruce beer from Quebec. Love it

                        3. TOchowgal RE: Snarf Jun 18, 2009 08:03 AM

                          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
                            pearlD RE: TOchowgal Jun 19, 2009 05:10 PM

                            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. m
                            maple99 RE: Snarf Jun 18, 2009 11:24 AM

                            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
                              aser RE: maple99 Jun 20, 2009 12:01 PM

                              Best Jarritos flavour ever! Highly recommended.

                            2. g
                              Gary RE: Snarf Jun 18, 2009 02:27 PM

                              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
                                tbonetak RE: Gary Jun 18, 2009 02:32 PM

                                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
                                  tjr RE: Gary Jun 18, 2009 02:46 PM

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

                                  1. re: Gary
                                    sweetie RE: Gary Jun 22, 2009 10:52 AM

                                    Ha ha me too

                                  2. s
                                    Snarf RE: Snarf Jun 18, 2009 03:04 PM

                                    Thanks for the responses. Many interesting suggestions.

                                    1. foodyDudey RE: Snarf Jun 18, 2009 03:20 PM

                                      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
                                        MiriamOttawa RE: foodyDudey Jul 20, 2009 05:24 PM

                                        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. j
                                        jack_sprat_ca RE: Snarf Jun 18, 2009 03:42 PM

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


                                        1. m
                                          mwliechty RE: Snarf Jun 18, 2009 03:57 PM

                                          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
                                            mwliechty RE: mwliechty Jun 18, 2009 04:07 PM

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

                                          2. Crispier Crouton RE: Snarf Jun 19, 2009 07:38 AM

                                            By the topic I thought you were referring to Orbitz.

                                            8 Replies
                                            1. re: Crispier Crouton
                                              pancake RE: Crispier Crouton Jun 19, 2009 09:45 AM

                                              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
                                                julesrules RE: pancake Jun 23, 2009 01:42 PM

                                                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
                                                  mogo RE: julesrules Jul 19, 2009 11:23 PM

                                                  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
                                                    TheDewster RE: mogo Dec 6, 2010 06:30 AM

                                                    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
                                                    RonaldP RE: julesrules May 3, 2010 10:35 AM

                                                    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
                                                      julesrules RE: RonaldP Dec 7, 2010 06:10 AM

                                                      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
                                                        estufarian RE: julesrules Mar 7, 2011 11:32 AM

                                                        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
                                                    middydd RE: pancake Jun 23, 2009 04:51 PM

                                                    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. Squeakycheese RE: Snarf Jun 19, 2009 04:57 PM

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

                                                  4 Replies
                                                  1. re: Squeakycheese
                                                    kiwiFRUIT RE: Squeakycheese Jun 19, 2009 05:25 PM

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

                                                    1. re: kiwiFRUIT
                                                      Squeakycheese RE: kiwiFRUIT Jun 19, 2009 06:24 PM

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


                                                      1. re: Squeakycheese
                                                        Wahooty RE: Squeakycheese Jun 19, 2009 06:33 PM

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

                                                    2. re: Squeakycheese
                                                      aser RE: Squeakycheese Jun 20, 2009 11:59 AM

                                                      You can find lucozade in most Chinese supermarkets.

                                                    3. num nums RE: Snarf Jun 20, 2009 05:56 PM

                                                      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. scarberian RE: Snarf Jun 23, 2009 06:00 PM

                                                        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. f
                                                          fluffysouffle RE: Snarf Jun 23, 2009 06:57 PM

                                                          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. c
                                                            cpfan RE: Snarf Jul 11, 2009 12:24 PM

                                                            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
                                                              FrankDrakman RE: cpfan Jul 19, 2009 12:40 PM

                                                              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
                                                                TheDewster RE: FrankDrakman Mar 9, 2011 10:59 AM

                                                                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. mogo RE: Snarf Jul 19, 2009 11:29 PM

                                                              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
                                                                Fwagra RE: mogo Jul 20, 2009 01:02 PM

                                                                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. g
                                                                ghoti RE: Snarf Aug 28, 2009 05:06 PM

                                                                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. f
                                                                  fluffysouffle RE: Snarf Sep 23, 2009 11:40 PM

                                                                  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
                                                                    BlueTeam RE: fluffysouffle May 4, 2010 08:51 AM

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

                                                                    1. re: fluffysouffle
                                                                      TheDewster RE: fluffysouffle Dec 6, 2010 06:24 AM

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

                                                                      1539 Avenue Rd, Toronto, ON M5M, CA

                                                                    2. r
                                                                      richardclark RE: Snarf Dec 11, 2010 08:23 AM

                                                                      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. TheDewster RE: Snarf Dec 14, 2010 12:33 PM

                                                                        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. c
                                                                          currycue RE: Snarf Dec 15, 2010 10:26 AM

                                                                          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
                                                                            TheDewster RE: currycue Mar 7, 2011 08:04 AM

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

                                                                            1. re: TheDewster
                                                                              TheDewster RE: TheDewster Mar 9, 2011 10:58 AM

                                                                              Sorry it was Bellivoir Elderflower Presse

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