Somewhere deep inside the castle of my subconscious mind, past the moat of insecurity, down the twisting corridors of repressed anger, above the dungeon of sexual starvation, but not far from the damp broom closet where my inner child quietly weeps, is a trophy case where the things I hold in high reverence are kept. On one of those shelves, cramped in between dusty Weird Al cassettes and Three Stooges script books is a golden goblet filled with bubbling grape soda.
Grape soda has long been my favorite beverage, and it has long been a dream of mine to nail down the best of the best. With that in mind, I made a stop at Galco’s Old World Grocery the last time I was in Los Angeles and filled a box with as many brands as I could. Over the course of several nights, I filled my guts and ranked the results.
The tasty drink has meant so much to me, one of my most popular songs is about the shared appreciation my rap group had for it. You can listen to that here.
Alright, let’s get popping!
Goya Grape Soda
A food brand that makes a wide variety of products for the United States and some Hispanic countries, their Refresco is very sweet, practically Kool-Aid.
Anarat Grape Soft Drink
This Armenian refreshment has a bit of a flat after taste that undercuts the sweetness.
Sunkist Grape Soda
This prolific canned good packs a bubblegum blast of sugar.
Another jug juice that’s everywhere, it spreads sweetness across your tongue.
Don’cha wanna take a draft of this brand, which was crafted for Germans when the Nazi regime outlawed Coca-Cola? Focusing not on that note but rather the notes of grapey grape, this worldwide sensation isn’t bad.
Illinois isn’t known for wine, but their sweet Concord purple drink is quite tasty.
Just like Coca-Cola, this tonic water was invented near Atlanta, Georgia. It has a taste like a sweet Concord jam.
Stewart’s Grape Soda
What started off at a root beer stand in Ohio, has grown into a staple of creamsicle melted down.
Red Ribbon Grape Supreme Soda
The most unique soda on the list, this has a first blush Concord taste with a bit of tang.
Fitz’s Premium Grape Soda
This St. Louis beverage is a gateway to a broad grape flavor, so good.
Faygo Original Grape
The juggalo’s favorite drink. Bold and sugary, kind of the typical grape soda.
Jones Grape Soda
If you’re willing to send a picture to Seattle, you might get it on a bottle of this crisp and refreshing treat.
Welch’s Grape Soda
It shouldn’t be a surprise Concord, Massachusetts produces a grape soda so good you could take it as Sunday communion.
What is surprising is that Walmart is the biggest dealer of this vintage bottler with a strong and clean taste.
New York City? Yep, the big apple also knows a thing or two about the rich and flavorful taste of grape.
Radar O’Reily’s favorite drink is Concord with bite, and if you’re looking for a bottle cap to wear in pride like Carl from “Up,” you could certainly do a lot worse than this, my favorite grape soda.
Do you have a favorite grape soda? Is there something you’d recommend I try to get my hands on? Leave a comment!
Sebastian Shepherd is the author of ‘The Ruins of Our Past,’ and you can pick it up here.