I don’t think we’ve talked about Jones Soda. Have we? I don’t pay real close attention. Frankly I never really considered it a full-fledged beverage, but just some kind of hipster novelty that you find in used record stores along with Buck Rogers lunchboxes and Pee-Wee Herman dolls and whatever.
What I’m saying is they try too hard. The fine print on the bottle here talks about how they keep it real, with “no billion dollar ad campaigns” and “no hidden meanings.” They’re “the little guy” who’s “gotta make a living somehow.” Also: HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP. So much cred right now. And the label photos are submitted by consumers. Mine features what looks like a nice self-photo of three cute indie chicks out on the town, laden with eyeshadow and filled with the inner glow of insouciant youth. The kind of girls you and I look at and resent, and then hate ourselves for resenting. Right? Can you picture it?
I picked up the flavor that looked the least inside my comfort zone, and the most in yours: Blue Bubble Gum. I know how you get all hot-to-trot with the blue flavors but blue has never failed to let me down. So maybe this is like John Dean reviewing the Deep Throat autobio, but it’s a tough world we live in so w/e. Let’s take a sip of this Windex-colored concoction and see what exactly is what.
Wow. It tastes just like bubble gum, no joke. Like Bazooka, basically. Or Dubble Bubble. Your classic low-rent generic gum that loses its flavor before it’s even fully out of its wrapper. And it’s not that bad. Despite what you’d think. It’s subtle enough that you could chug it and not puke, which as you know is my personal yardstick for a tolerable beverage. I am very surprised.
I wonder if Jones’ novelty turkey- and gravy- and mashed potato–flavored beverages are as drinkable. I doubt it, but still, there’s a small part of me that wants to explore this. Will I ever drink this again? I hope not, but I can proudly shrug when someone points at it and is all “ew,” and I can proudly say: “Meh. I tried it. It’s not as bad as you’d think.” Finally I can take pride in something.