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Black Cherry Soda


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Filial Unit and I got carryout from Curry Mantra 2 this evening, and, inspired by Nevin's article, held an impromptu cross-taste of two black cherry sodas.

I stopped by Total Wine this evening, and got him a six pack of Dominion Black Cherry Soda (now based in Dover, DE; not Ashburn, VA) for his occasional pre-homework sugar rush. Also in the fridge was a Boylan's Black Cherry Soda (before anyone calls Child Services, I've recently started encouraging Matt, after a lifetime of no soft drinks, to use them as an "occasional beverage" rather than as a "daily thirst-quencher").

He was half-way through the Dominion, and we were half-way through dinner, and it dawned on me: "Hey, how would you like to have your first cross-taste?"

I broke out the Baccarat Champagne Flutes (no, honest, I did), and poured him both, side-by-side, blind. Bear in mind that at this point, he'd already had half of the Dominion, so there was an inherent flaw in the methodology.

He took a sip of the first drink, and said nothing. At that point, I knew he had it right.

Then, a sip of the second, and immediately said, "This the Boylan's."

Well, not only was it cooler in temperature (a dead giveaway given the flawed methodology), it was just *everything* better - more depth, more flavor, more oomph, more balance, slightly more richness - the only thing Dominion arguably had was a slightly darker color and a bit more sweetness.

Unless you're Hal, it's impossible to have a palate memory for things that you taste once a year, and there just was no way to know how vastly superior the Boylan's was to the Dominion, unless you tried them side-by-side.

Do try them side-by-side, and let me know what you think. It was the difference between an A student, and a B student.

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Black Cherry soda was quite popular growing up in PA.  I used to drink a can a day of A-Treat Black Cherry soda.  It's a fake flavoring and is basically a duplicate of Dr. Browns, which I also like quite a lot.  Kutztown Bottling Works in PA makes some quite good sodas including a good version of black cherry soda.  You could probably pull together a huge comparison of different brands and see what is best.

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In the Middle East, according to my daughter, the most popular "soft drink" is fruit syrup made from real fruit--cherry, blackberry, mulberry--mixed with sparkling water. Marco Polo fruit syrups are available at Rodman's and Shemali's, et al. The syrups are made with sugar, but no artificial flavor or color. (These kind of syrups are often made in Eastern Europe, where they are also very popular.)

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Zora; when I was on my no-alcohol binge, that was what I did a lot. Check out the Shrub & Co. stuff - it's amazing.

Don: I think that's exactly the thing. Sodas can be great! But drinking them constantly isn't good. I know I'm not doing well with my Coke Zero love, but I'm 37 years old and already battling (now) diabetes, low Vitamin D, and high cholesterol, especially triglycerides. But I save some very good sodas for very occasional use.

(And, maybe ironically after my college career, almost never for mixing. :D )

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