mustard and miscellany

A story of love and hate

Schu’s Soda Sampler: Zevia Ginger Root Beer September 28, 2012

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Schu’s latest soda experiment…

Every now and then the health movement thing works. Mind you, it’s brief, but it works. And then I’m harshly reminded why I have no real interest in the health movement. Because the health movement has no regard for the health of my taste buds.

There’s a fairly new designer diet soda brand in some supermarkets. It’s called Zevia, and it’s “all natural,” whatever the crap that means. Because Zevia is an “all-natural” diet soda which proclaims ZERO calories and NO sugar in, yes, all CAPS on its cans, that means it can charge about two bucks more for a six pack than regular diet sodas with aspartame. Because you see, aspartame is bad, and therefore an all-natural diet soda is good.

Well, Zevia does have 20 mg of sodium, which admittedly is way better than the 35mg from a can of Diet Pepsi that is perhaps not-so-gradually deteriorating the pathways to my heart, but it also has 7g of something called erythritol. It’s this new cutting edge sweetener fad that some propagandists hope sweeps the world, just as it’s apparently swept China.

Zevia also has a Stevia extract in addition to citric acid, natural flavors (perhaps my favorite ingredient non-descript), wintergreen oil, anise oil, lemon oil, orange oil and ginger extract. I should note at this point those are the ingredients for Zevia’s ginger root beer. The company has other trendy health-nut flavors as well.

What’s perhaps the most remarkable given the company’s push toward trying to create a healthy, natural alternative to processed diet sodas, is that Zevia’s ginger root beer (and its black cherry drink, which I’ve also tried) tastes nothing like ginger, or root beer (or black cherry, for that matter), but it certainly tastes a lot like Clorox. Or, I guess, what I imagine Clorox tastes like, since if I actually tasted Clorox I probably wouldn’t be writing this blog, although it would be really cool and after-lifey if I did.

Zevia and the great stone monster Damaijin hanging out together

So to review: if one combines erythritol with the herbal sweetener stevia (proof that herbs might be okay for your bong, if you’re into that sort of thing, but a really bad idea for your soda—and no, I have no plans to try hemp in carbonated form any time soon—even if it’s to support some struggling up-and-coming pop manufacturer from Amsterdam), the mixture tastes like bleach.

Maybe Zevia will help freshen my clothes. It certainly did nothing to refresh my taste buds.

Aspartame, I’m coming home.

Schu