The mavericks at Seattle-based Jones Soda—purveyors of bubble-gum and melon-flavored pop—venture where Coca-Cola and Pepsi fear to tread, as they role out their popular novelty line of Thanksgiving sodas again this season. The national holiday gift pack, whose proceeds will benefit the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, includes a Turkey & Gravy Soda as a main course, three “side dishes” of Wild Herb Stuffing Soda, Brussels Sprout Soda, and Cranberry Soda; a dessert of Pumpkin Pie Soda; a serving spork; and a moist towelette (for after you vomit it all up?)
Due to overwhelming demand the soda has been scarce in previous years, but we found a full display’s worth still waiting for us at the Brooklyn Target, for $10.99 a pack. The five natural and artificially flavored sodas, which are billed as an actual meal replacement, are certified kosher and vegetarian, with zero calories, caffeine, or carbs. They are also completely, utterly, indisputably, unquestionably foul.
And yet, aren’t you still morbidly curious? A brief in-office taste test found that while the Wild Herb Stuffing Soda doesn’t really smell like its solid-food equivalent, it did possess a slight herb-y aftertaste. The Turkey & Gravy Soda, in common with all the drinks, was sickeningly sweet, and yet, as our food writer Nina Lalli noted, shrinking away from the murky light brown beverage left in her Dixie cup, also admittedly meaty. But it’s really the Brussels Sprout Soda that takes the prize, with a putrid smell that somehow tops souring garbage, and a taste . . . a taste . . . Well, you’ll just have to experience that unique joy for yourself. We only imagine the Smoked Salmon Paté Soda, which came in the regional Seattle packs, to top it.
The tastemakers at Jones thoughtfully include a wine list to accompany the liquid Thanksgiving, in case buyers would like to augment their incomparable dining experience. They find the Newton Pinot Noir, Vintage 2000, a “medium bodied wine” with “hints of cloves, geranium, and black cherries” an ideal accompaniment to the turkey soda, while the Haywood Estate Morning Sun Zinfandel, Vintage 1997—with a finish that “lingers with a hint of clove and spice”—a wise choice to “bring out the delicate flavors” in the Wild Herb Stuffing.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on November 15, 2005