Taste Test: Jones Hanukkah Pack Sodas
Due to popular demand and the fact that we love trying weird foods and candies, The A.V. Club will now regularly feature "Taste Tests." Feel free to suggest disgusting and/or delicious new edibles for future installments: E-mail us at email@example.com.
Jones Holiday Sodas Hanukkah Pack
Yesterday, we explained the concept of the Jones Soda Holiday Pack of strange carbonated beverages produced in limited runs as a wildly successful publicity stunt. And we tried out this year's four-pack of Christmas-themed flavors. Today, we return to the well for the four-pack of Hanukkah flavors. Note: while the Christmas pack came with a cheap Styrofoam glider, the Hanukkah pack comes with a slightly less cheap (and no-assembly-required) plastic dreidel. We here at The A.V. Club's food-tasting labs highly recommend repurposing the traditional dreidel game as a drinking game. Just assign each of the four letters on the dreidel to a different flavor, spin the toy, and then force a person of your choosing to take a gulp of the appropriate beverage, depending on how much you like it and/or them.
Apple Sauce Soda
Taste: A fairly standard apple-juice flavor, with noticeable but not overwhelming cinnamon overtones.
• "It's got too heavy a taste for an apple drink. It's too thick. It's not as light as it should be."
• "It tastes like the juice from the top of the applesauce."
• "Not bad. Not great, just not bad."
• "It reminds me of Manzana. Ever been to Mexico? It's like Apple Coke."
• "The taste isn't very strong. It's got the essence of apple, but that's about it."
• "Oh, that's not bad! It just tastes like applesauce. I think little kids would drink this. Maybe in juice boxes."
• "I'm sure someone out there is already carbonating apple juice, but I have no idea why. What's the point?"
Jelly Donut Soda
Taste: Intensely sweet and vaguely fruity. Less like strawberry jelly than like a kids'-cereal version of strawberries. Imagine Captain Crunch Crunchberries in liquid form. With extra sugar drowning out the berry taste.
• "It's got the nicest color. It looks like Sofia Coppola's pink champagne."
• "Okay, I don't like this. There's definitely a hint of jelly. But it's disgusting, and I wouldn't recommend it."
• "It tastes like a lot of nothing. It tastes like sweet and nothing else."
• "Oh, it's SO sweet. And not in a good way."
• "It just tastes like simple syrup. It isn't fruity or anything."
• "The taste literally lasts half a second, and then there's nothing else there."
Chocolate Coin Soda
Taste: Less sweet than other Jones sodas, which is odd for a candy-based soda, but actually makes it somewhat more palatable. Something like watered-down chocolate extract.
• "Tastes exactly like Canfield's chocolate soda from when I had it as a child."
• "It's kind of musky."
• "It's like flat soda with a hint of chocolate. It needs more carbonation."
• "I've never had chocolate in soda form. I prefer it in chocolate form. But this does taste like chocolate."
• "It's more like Tootsie Rolls. It's adulterated chocolate."
• "It really smells like a Tootsie Roll. Or like cooking vanilla. Ugh. Fizzing and chocolate just doesn't make sense."
Taste: Unpleasant. Sort of like chewing on a musky Alka-Seltzer. Basically like a mouthful of chemicals that have nothing to do with potatoes, pancakes, or anything in the same region as food. And no sign of sugar to help the medicine go down, either.
• "Oh, ugh, I'm already gagging, and I haven't even tried it."
• [Instant spit-take into trash can.] "Oh jeez, I couldn't swallow that, it's that bad. Gross. I do shots at bars all the time, but I couldn't choke that down." [Coughing.]
• "Ohhhhhhhhh, that's bad."
• "It doesn't smell like anything, but it tastes like wet cardboard."
• "It just tastes like bad antacid."
• "I felt my throat closing as soon as I put it in my mouth."
• "It's like that juice that sits at the bottom of a bag full of rotting potatoes."
• "Oh, it's not very pleasant coming back up, either."
And with that, we had a taste-test first: Half the testers promptly slammed down their cups and ran for the kitchen, looking for water or bread to kill the flavor of what they'd just ingested. However, those of you who wish you weren't spending the holidays with your family in the first place may consider Latke Soda's room-clearing powers to be a terrific bonus.
Where to get them: Jonessoda.com.
Special bonus level: Again, I tossed all four sodas into a cup to create a Jones Soda Hanukkah Suicide. It tasted like a watered-down version of apple dipped in melted Tootsie Roll. Not terrible, exactly, but certainly not something the kids are going to be begging for in place of soofganiot from now on.