5 Great Sodas You've Probably Never Had Before

Surprise! None of these made it
Surprise! None of these made it

Since my OC Weekly archive has pretty well established what a friggin' manchild I am, I really don't feel any shame admitting that, about once a month, I take a trip down to the Block at Irvine or up to Westwood -- not to navigate the bar or club scene, but instead to hit up the a candy store.

Granted, RocketFizz is no ordinary candy store. RocketFizz is essentially the most awesome candy store that has ever existed (outside of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, of course). It offers the widest array of novelty, hard-to-find, and just plain delicious sugary treats this side of Oompa Loompaland.

However, my favorite thing at Rocketfizz is the sodas. (I know, I know - look, I don't drink alcohol, okay? This is about the closest I get to beer tasting, and it's fun as heck.) This isn't the kind of crap your mom will find on the shelves of Cost Plus, people - the soft drink selection at any Rocketfizz location is downright INSANE, so I figured I'd share some of my favorites with you, dear reader, fine flavored beverages that you won't be able to find at your local 7-Eleven.

These are my top-five favorite alcohol-free beverages, worth the trek down the 405 or 57.

5. Moxie Elixir

5 Great Sodas You've Probably Never Had Before

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An American classic, the original Moxie brand elixir hearkens back to a simpler time, when the people of the U.S. only bothered with soft drinks because Prohibition left them absolutely desperate for something other than dirty water and weak-ass teas. Introduced in 1876, Moxie is the official beverage of the state of Massachusetts, and is a nice break from modern sodas - almost bitter, mildly sweetened, Moxie feels like the cooler older brother of Dr. Pepper. If Abraham Lincoln had survived long enough, he most assuredly would've endorsed this rooty treat.

I don't buy it everytime I go to Rocketfizz, but my weird friend from Nebraska swears by it.

4. Bawls Guarana

Smells like a LAN Café
Smells like a LAN Café

Poor Bawls. Like the X-Games, Kevin Smith's dignity, and the Gameboy Color, this super cool gamer fuel really lost its popularity with the mid-2000s. Heavily marketed towards early FPS players and other such basement dwellers, Bawls had a huge store presence following its invention in 1997, even making its way onto shelves in your local convenience store, but now Bawls Guarana - which has a genuinely delightful berry flavor and provides a pretty insane caffeine boost.

I'm not sure about the "SCIENCE!" behind Bawls caffeine extract process, but I know that I'd take a mouthful of Bawls over a Red Bull any day.

Yes, I was obligated to make that joke. Have you never been 15?

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