While you’re out getting your tan on this weekend, chances are you’ll be faced with a litany of choices when it comes to your beverages. I mean, obvs they’ll be alcoholic, but if it’s spiked soda you’re after, there are rules.
Not all alcoholic sodas are created equal. We know this because we’ve tried them. Here, for your reading pleasure, is a definitive ranking of “hard” sodas and carbonated drinks, just ’cause. It qualified as a hard soda if it was carbonated, alcoholic, and flavored like a fucking soda.
Hard Orange Sodas
Who loves orange soda? None of us, unless it has alcohol in it.
Seagram’s Orange Cream: This is what it would taste like if you tried mixing “orange drink” from your McDonald’s kids meal with booze and made it too strong then kept trying to fix it. Avoid.
Coney Island Orange Cream Ale: Kind of tasted like an all-natural creamsicle. It also had some sort of spice going on which, while not awful, was kinda odd. Meh. It’s fine.
Henry’s Hard Orange: It tastes like actual orange, which is a plus. Not too sweet—this one wins.
Hard Root Beers
Ah, the flavor that started it all. I’m sure we ALL remember a few years ago when hipsters collectively lost their fucking minds when small batch root beers began adding alcohol. There are tons of these now, but only one is our fav.
Not Your Father’s Root Beer: Winner. It’s rich, sweet but not too sweet, and spiced but not painful. It also barely tastes like alcohol, so that’s dangerous.
Coney Island Root Beer: It isn’t bad, but it’s definitely sugary. If you’re not into the super molasses-y side of root beer, you won’t dig this one. Otherwise, not terrible for sippin’.
Best Damn Root Beer: Meh. It tastes like root beer but like, in an “I’m old and tired” sort of way. It isn’t bad, it just isn’t that great. Best damn? No.
Hard Ginger Ales
Remember the soda your mom used to make you drink when your tummy hurt? Yeah, there’s alcohol in it now.
New City Ginger Beer: Everyone raves about this shit—and for good reason. It tastes like ACTUAL ginger, but it has a nice citrus bite to it plus a honey sweetness that tastes legit—not like the fake sugar we’ve grown accustomed to.
Henry’s Hard Ginger Ale: Super light and makes for excellent poolside sippin’. Since it’s made with natural cane sugar, we assume it’s like, healthier too.
Not Your Father’s Hard Ginger Ale: Tart, but not in a super gross way. Also, slightly bitter. Didn’t hate it.
Hard Fruity Shit
Best Damn Cherry Cola: You know those knock-off cherry colas you’d get at the store as a kid? This tastes EXACTLY like that in all the best ways. It has a tinge of that sodium hit, offset by sweetness and grape/cherry/general fruit flavor. You can’t taste the booze, so feel free to add more.
Seagram’s Grape: Craving some purple drank? This is that, but you can kinda taste the alcohol. It’s whatever though, cause sugar plus alcohol plus PURPLE make for childhood dreams come true.
Mike’s Hard Lemonade: I don’t care that it’s not technically a soda, this one tastes like middle school and life changes and I don’t hate it. Lemonade plus booze plus carbonation equals ultimate summer.
Congrats to me for drinking my way through this.