Mark Lazarchic, who owns Blue Sun Soda Shop, is into pop — all pop. His Spring Lake Park store sells more than 1,300 varieties of the stuff, from root beer and creme soda to pop that tastes like teriyaki beef. But what do they taste like? We asked Lazarchic for his descriptions, then formed our own very inexpert panel to get their opinions.
Spring Grove Rhu-berry
Spring Grove Soda Pop, Spring Grove, Minn.
Lazarchic: “One of the first craft sodas I ever drank.”
Our reviewers: “Somehow it’s both too tart and too sweet”; “Not getting the rhubarb here. Faintly medicinal”; “Fresh taste, but looks too much like cough syrup.”
FIZ Chocolate Covered Cherry Soda
College Club Beverages, Rochester, N.Y.
Lazarchic: “These guys actually nailed a soda tasting like a chocolate-covered cherry."
Our reviewers: “Smells amazing, tastes like a Charms lollipop”; “Way too sweet. It does make you think of the cherry on top of an ice cream sundae”; “A mouthgasm, but not in a good way.”
Virgil’s Black Cherry Cream Soda
Reed’s, Los Angeles
Lazarchic: “This is my favorite soda in the entire store. It just tastes perfect.”
Our reviewers: “Yum! Really beautifully balanced. It nails that ‘cream soda’ nostalgia vibe while transcending it”; “I’m into the idea, but it gave me diabetes, I’m pretty sure”; “I’m reminded of Pop Rocks.”
Twig’s Beverage, Shawano, Wis.
Lazarchic: “When have you ever seen a peach cobbler soda in your life?”
Our reviewers: “So sweet it’s like liquid cotton candy”; “Maybe on a pancake?”; “Too syrupy. Tastes like Aunt Jemima.”
Grand Mesa Grape
Rocky Mountain Soda Co., Denver
Lazarchic: “They don’t use any artificial colors. They don’t use any artificial flavors. So when you pour this grape soda out, it’s clear.”
Our reviewers: “Perfect amount of grape”; “Slightly more natural tasting, but maybe that’s just because it’s not neon purple.”
Deadworld Zombie Soda, Detroit
Lazarchic: “A cotton-candy-flavored soda. I just think that’s gross, but everyone should have to drink it.”
Our reviewers: “The bottle label scares me, but the flavor is oddly appealing”; “Not too disgusting”; “Very ... pink.”