Jones Soda 2006 Holiday Pack Taste Test

Posted on December 19, 2006 @ 10:23 am

Jones Holiday Pack

Each year, Jones Soda releases its infamous Holiday Pack containing a collection of soft drinks with, ahem, “holiday themed” flavors. This year’s menu includes Turkey and Gravy Soda, Pea Soda, Dinner Roll Soda, Sweet Potato Soda, and Antacid Soda (which a disclaimer on the package warns is “non-medicinal” and “not intended to treat upset stomach, indigestion, nausea, heartburn, or diarrhea”).

Anyway, I recently managed to snag a Holiday Pack. We had a few friends over for dinner last night, and I thought a round of taste tests might make for fun after-dinner entertainment. Here are the results:

First Course: Pea Soda

Color: Pale green, deceptively similar to Green Apple Soda.

Bouquet: Smells vaguely like vegetables…in a sinister way.

Taste: I expected Pea to be one of the worst of the bunch, but it wasn’t so bad. Sure, you’re not going to kick back with a ice cold Pea Soda at the end of a hard day’s work, but I honestly expected spit-takes from my brave cadre of taste-testers. If I had to describe the taste, I’d call it a combination of ginger and nothing — you know, like when you get a drink from a soda fountain and the syrup is running out, so you end up with that carbonated water flavor. I expected worse, but it’s worth noting that the smell is still disconcerting enough to make the Pea Soda an unpleasant experience.


3 out of 5


Second Course: Turkey and Gravy Soda

Color: Dirty brown, not unlike when the water in your house gets shut down and then runs a little muddy when it comes back a few hours later.

Bouquet: Smells like liquid dog food. I have a bad feeling about this.

Taste: Without a doubt, Turkey and Gravy Soda is one of the most disgusting things I’ve ever tasted in my life. I mean, it’s one of those things you put in your mouth and your brain immediately starts buzzing, “That doesn’t go there, stupid! Spit it out!” After sipping maybe a tablespoon of the stuff, I ran to the nearest sink, certain I was about vomit. Much to my surprise/dismay, though, I managed to keep it down. The flavor is definitely reminiscent of canned brown gravy, with an ever-so-slight meaty aftertaste. Some of my dinner guests thought Turkey and Gravy wasn’t so bad, but they’re wrong. The United Nations should classify this drink as a chemical weapon and take appropriate action against the Jones Soda company.


5 out of 5


Third Course: Sweet Potato Soda

Color: Could easily pass as orange soda.

Bouquet: Has a sweet, sugary fragrance. Far less frightening than the other varieties.

Taste: I needed a break after the Turkey and Gravy, and Sweet Potato seemed like the safest bet of the remaining flavors. It turns out I was right. As opposed to trying to capture the actual taste of sweet potatoes, Jones went with capturing the taste of sweet potato casserole, which results in a pleasant marshmallow flavor. In fact, the Sweet Potato Soda tastes remarkably like regular cream soda. Unlike the rest of the holiday pack, I’d actually drink this stuff willingly. If you drink just one ridiculously-flavored soda this holiday season, I recommend Jones Sweet Potato Soda.


1 out of 5


Fourth Course: Dinner Roll Soda

Color: A pale yellow, like watered-down lemonade.

Bouquet: No odor. At this point in the taste-testing, that’s reassuring.

Taste: I took a big swig of the Dinner Roll Soda, and was surprised to find that I didn’t taste anything. In fact, it reminded me of tonic water. Then, the aftertaste hit me. Butter. Lots of butter. Almost like movie popcorn butter — so much so that it actually made my mouth feel a little greasy. It’s difficult to describe just how gross butter-flavored soda really is, but it immediately sent me to the kitchen sink to wash out my mouth. This soda is so uniquely bad that just writing about it gives my taste buds a flashback so vivid that I can almost taste it all over again. I’m not the only one who thought it was awful, either. My wife vomited not long after the taste test ended, chalking it up to the Dinner Roll Soda.


4 out of 5


Dessert: Antacid Soda

Color: Roughly that of watered-down pink grapefruit juice or pink lemonade.

Bouquet: Yep, it smells like Pepto-Bismol. This could be bad.

Taste: I’ll give Jones credit; they packaged the Antacid Soda with a little plastic measuring cup dispenser to drive home the joke. One sip confirmed what I suspected; it tasted exactly like Pepto-Bismol, right down to the chalky aftertaste. I don’t know if this is ironic or just sad, but by the time I reached the Antacid Soda in our taste test, it actually seemed to have a mild soothing effect. No, it didn’t taste good, but after the Turkey and Gravy and Dinner Roll sodas, not tasting absolutely disgusting was good enough for me. Again, I’m not going to drink an entire bottle of the stuff, but the Antacid Soda didn’t make me want to spit it across the room either.


2 out of 5


So, to recap, the Sweet Potato Soda is halfway decent, the Pea and Antacid sodas are technically potable but not recommended, and the Turkey and Gravy and Dinner Roll sodas should be avoided at all cost.

For what it’s worth, if you decide to have your own Holiday Pack taste test, I wouldn’t suggest inviting friends over to join in on the “fun.” As opposed to providing the zany after-dinner entertainment I hoped it might, the taste test was so bad that I think it actually managed to ruin the evening.

In other words, don’t try this at home, kids.

Posted by Jess | Filed Under Random Musings |

23 comments so far...

  1. Brett December 19, 2006 11:23 am

    Thanks for doing this for us man, I was sooo tempted by the idea of Turkey and Gravy soda. Ok, I am lying. I wasn’t tempted at all. What were you thinking!

  2. Nick December 19, 2006 2:01 pm

    You got one too, eh? My aunt gave me these and I’d been wondering if they were any good (I’m a bad nephew ;))

  3. Veronica December 19, 2006 2:48 pm

    That is fucking horrifying.

  4. Woman with Kids December 19, 2006 3:46 pm

    I get these every year, mainly to torture the children. Last year, the vegetable was brussel sprouts. I mean, enough said, right? They have a a dessert pack too, which is actually not bad. You know, for freaky flavored soda.

  5. Fuzzball December 19, 2006 4:37 pm

    WHY do they do those holiday packs? They sound repulsive! I’m glad you were the taste tester and not me. Yech. ;)

  6. courtney December 19, 2006 7:48 pm

    haha i can’t believe people actually buy that stuff.

    it reminds me of willy wonka’s three course gum. only from what i understand, his gum actually tasted *good*.


  7. Ruko December 19, 2006 8:02 pm

    Wow. I mean wow.

  8. Brandon December 20, 2006 1:21 am

    Did you try them last year? The Brussel Sprout Soda from last year’s pack still haunts my dreams.

  9. Troels December 20, 2006 2:12 am

    This is probably one of the reasons why the phrase “Only in America” is so popular in Europe. :)

  10. Troels December 20, 2006 2:14 am

    Love the gauge meters, btw.

    By the way, let’s take a moment to relish the joy that comes from describing your wifes vomit in public. From one married man to another, I can totally relate. Let’s bond.

  11. Troy Van Dellen December 20, 2006 11:35 am

    this stuff looks GROOS

  12. Fuzzball December 20, 2006 4:06 pm

    Last night I dreamed that I had to drink the Dinner Roll soda and then I barfed. Thanks a lot, Jess. >:P

  13. Danny G December 20, 2006 8:41 pm

    These should go the way of Harry Potter Jelly Bellys… straight down the toilet. Who buys this crap?

  14. myllissa December 21, 2006 5:30 am

    This is by far the most educational post I’ve read on a blog in a long time.

    The sodas remind me of the time I bought my cousin some Harry Potter themed Jelly Bellies. Yes, I’ve gone down that road as well. Flavors were dirt, earthworm, vomit and more! They would be a great dinner companion to the Jones’.

  15. MC December 23, 2006 1:25 pm

    You have won the Homer Simpson Transmundanity Award for this post.

  16. pkhammer December 23, 2006 4:47 pm

    I have consumed these for the last 2 years with my students. The dinner roll, aka carbonated butter, was by far the worst thing out of this years batch. The turkey tasted like a layover from last year. You know its bad when the antacid is the best tasting of the bunch.

  17. Ishallcallu December 29, 2006 2:11 am

    You are a brave man indeed sir.

  18. ArizonaTeach December 31, 2006 10:12 pm

    It’s a holiday tradition in my classroom, too. This year was a huge disappointment, considering last year we had one kid go to the nurse and three throw up in the bathroom after trying the brussels sprouts flavor, not to mention reams running to the water fountain. Good times there. They made up for it last year by having cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie sodas in that batch, though, so two flavors were already kinda soda-ish. Anyway, this year, none really sent the kids into convulsions, but the dinner roll was the most reviled.

  19. Sean Epperson May 21, 2007 4:05 am

    You think Turkey and Gravy are bad? Nothing…and I mean NOTHING…beats last years Brussel Sprout Soda. Brussel Sprouts, man. For the love of all that is holy, BRUSSEL SPROUTS.

    One whiff made me nauseaus, and a tiny sip was enough to get me heaving. Over a year later, and the bottle STILL has that nasty smell of liquid death in it.

    That stuff should be used only in warfare.

  20. Clark Griswold November 22, 2007 7:39 pm

    You people think the brussel sprouts was bad, you should have tried the smoked salmon pate, I had that two years ago and I can still taste it.

  21. jon January 2, 2008 7:42 pm

    yea the salmon pate was pretty bad new

  22. Colleen April 26, 2008 4:48 pm

    hey, that’s my star photo on the antacid flavor!!! pretty cool =)

  23. Holidays Dude October 16, 2008 8:37 am

    Urgh! That looks pretty disgusting!

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