Last week, I went over the best sodas I've ever had at RocketFizz, one of the best sweets stores in all the land, but not all is good in the chocolate factory. Part of the fun thing about sodas is that if you're as big of a manbaby as I am, you can find some pretty disgusting draws, after all. Most of the Garbage Pail Brews are custom made for RocketFizz's house brand, "Lester's Fixins" – I don't get the reference, but the image of a smiling, bespectacled man on the bottle usually serves to mock the fool daring enough to sip one of these tainted bubblies.
5. Lester's Fixins Bacon Soda
Look, we've established that I enjoy bacon. Yes, I think it's overplayed and the quasi-culinary obsession with pork belly has gotten a little stale, but not so stale that I didn't want to give this a little try.
WHAT A BIG FUCKING MISTAKE. By Crom, this basically tastes like salty, dirty, oily tonic water, and pretty much guarantees a coughing fit. It lingers nastily, too, no matter what kind of palate cleansers you try to employ.
Worse yet, it possesses a powerful odor for an unheated drink, and you'd better believe that it'll be sticking around in your nostrils after you risk a sip.
4. Bundaberg Bitters and Lime Soda
I have never before been so disappointed in a soda. Bundaberg is an Australian brewing company, and they put out some of the most delicious beverages on planet earth. I love every single one of their brews – except this one. This one I loathe.
Bitters is traditionally a cocktail addition, but mixed with the microscopically pathetic amount of Lemon-Lime flavor added by the Bundaberg Company, it forms a distinctly grassy taste. Basically trying to enjoy Bundaberg Lemon-Lime and Bitters is like trying choke down a grass clippings and nettles smoothie. A blight upon an otherwise immaculate record, but I guess every family has a black sheep.
3. Lester's Fixins Buffalo Wing Soda
Okay, I'll be honest, there was never a moment where I thought this would taste anything but horrible. Here's the thing, though: it doesn't taste like buffalo wings at all.
The flavor is sort of hard to describe – it kind of resembles the Bacon Soda, actually. For the first few seconds as it twines along your tongue, Buffalo Wing soda almost tastes like Orange Fanta…until it goes horribly wrong. Creeping up as the main flavor is a burnt-oil flavor that singes the tongue, and after swallowing a full sip leaves a genuinely spicy after taste. Not spicy like buffalo wings, mind you – more spicy like chewing on live wasps.
2. Melba's Fixins Sweet Tea Soda
Like some kind of cruel joke, RocketFizz introduced the "Melba's Fixins" line of sodas as an apparent counterpart to the determinedly nasty Lester's Fixins, but don't be fooled by Melba's kindly demeanor; her tinctures and brews are just as unbearable.
The Sweet Tea flavor, like most of Melba's Fixins, sounds like it might taste okay – but it could not be further from the truth. The Sweet Tea soda is chokingly sugared, full of cloying high fructose flavor (despite real sugar) and, as a disturbing but totally separate aftertaste, the wholly unsweetened taste of the watery dregs at the bottom of the tea kettle.
1. Lester's Fixins Sweet Corn Soda
By all that is holy, I swear that there is nothing more heinous upon this mortal plane than Lester's Fixins Sweet Corn Soda.
I was so foolish – I thought, eh, worst case, it'll taste kinda corny. It smelled incredibly innocuous, almost like popcorn water (whatever that is). Take a sip, slosh it around your mouth, and strap in, because you're about to develop PTSD.
The beverage equivalent of Lovecraftian gibbering madness, Sweet Corn soda isn't sweet at all – rather, its opening volley is something akin to overcooked canned corn juice left fermenting over a week and served up in a rusty tin cup. Its aftertaste, on the other hand, is a bit more pedestrian: dust. Genuine dust. A single quaff of this garbage elixir makes you completely parched – it's whispered that two sips in one sitting can drive a man to suicide by sapping all of the water from his brain.
This list is me being cute, okay? Ha ha how dumb was I for putting myself through all this. And it's also a challenge – dare you try and sip where I sipped? But when it comes to Lester Fixins Sweet Corn Soda, I'm all serious. I'm not fucking around.
Do not – I repeat – DO NOT buy this. Ever.