Channeling the flavors of childhood without the sugary side effects, natural sodas keep the fizz while eliminating harmful preservatives. Instead, these sustainably sourced drinks call upon organically grown ingredients for the freshest in flavor. The following is a selection of six sodas that combine light sweetness with a bit of zest for a satisfying substitute to that classic can of Coke.
Hot Lips Soda
The 100% local, fresh ingredients packed in a bottle of Hot Lips bring the best of the Pacific Northwest straight to your lips. Recycled glass bottles house some spectacular essences, and we're partial to the velvety Boysenberry—a rare flavor in the soda world—which is made from fruit out of Western Washington's Willamette Valley.
Belvoir Fruit Farms
Handcrafting cordials since the 70s, Belvoir Fruit Farms creates perfectly balanced sodas that reflect their freshly picked contents. The assortment of fizz-filled "pressés" actually quench your thirst while tingling your palate with the delicate flavors of elderflower, lime and lemongrass, cranberry and English apple, among others.
Created by Bruce Cost, the author of "Ginger East to West", Fresh Ginger Ale is arguably the purest ginger drink around. The lightly carbonated soda is made exclusively from fresh ginger and cane sugar, and is left unfiltered with a rich, full-bodied flavor profile. While perfectly good solo, the drink shines when paired with a plate of fresh sushi or mixed with a measure of gin.
The century-old soda maker Fentimans prides itself on a "botanically brewed" process, which involves infusion, boiling and a seven-day fermentation period. Made from natural ingredients like ginger root, dandelion leaves and juniper berries, many of the heavily spiced concoctions drinks also pack a strong caffeine punch.
Dry Soda Co.
Dry Soda Co. was born from the intent to create a non-alcoholic drink with full flavor and a small amount of pure cane sugar. Clear and elegant bottles contain exotic flavors of rhubarb, juniper, lavender and lemongrass alongside more mellow offerings of blood orange, cucumber, wild lime and vanilla bean.
Old-fashioned Maine Root is rightfully known for flagship root beer, although we're partial to the Spicy Ginger brew and regional favorite sarsaparilla, which is touted as a lighter alternative to the root beer. The Portland-based company uses fair trade ingredients and organic evaporated cane juice for sweetness.