I've come to the conclusion that I'm probably more of an emotional/social drinker. It's not really that I crave Dr. Pepper so much as I just feel like the day isn't complete without one. This year has also marked a huge mile stone because I have officially made the switch to Diet Dr. Pepper. You know how people say you can train your taste buds in like a few weeks? Well it literally took about 8 months to get use to it. Now regular Dr. Pepper almost tastes too sweet and syrup-y. Have you ever read the book Gregory the Terrible Eater? It's about a goat that only likes to eat junk. Not like donuts and pizza junk; like tires, and shoes, and other goat stuff. To get him to eat better, his parents start disguising his food and start doing things like putting spaghetti sauce on shoe laces, and then eventually he is eating only real food and doesn't even realize it. It's all about masking. This is exactly what I had to do with diet soda. I started by always having coconut syrup and limes in it. Now I don't do limes. Who knows, maybe one day I won't need the syrup.
During my daily-ish soda runs, I always think of the culmination of things that it takes to curate the perfect soda. A lot factors into making that sweet nectar perfect. I've listed some of these things below, and if you can relate to any of this, then you probably know what it means to be a true soda snob.
1. Plastic or styrofoam cups always! Any gas station that has those paper Pepsi cups is a no-go. Any addict knows this. Once the soda has been in the cup for more than about 30 min, the drink starts taking on the taste of the paper. Styrofoam keeps them colder longer, but there is something about plastic cups, that allow me to see the brown bubbly goodness, that gets me all hot and bothered.
3. Some places just taste better. Soda is a combination of syrup, water, and carbon dioxide. The proportions of these can often times differ from place to place. You can even taste the difference in water. Some places use purified, some places chill their water, etc. So many factors! BUT even the days can differ on how it tastes at a certain place so sometimes it's a guessing game!
5. Why are you only talking about going places to get soda? you say. Any true soda connoisseur knows that you only drink soda from a can (or plastic bottle) in desperate (or extremely handy) circumstances. It's always always better from a soda fountain. There is no comparison!
6. And finally, many people would say ice is another turn off/or on. I for one don't like ice in my drink at all because I don't like my drink watered down (especially when I don't drink it fast enough). Many people are all about the pebble ice (Sonic, Sodalicious), which if I was getting ice, that would be my pick. But some people prefer their ice in other shapes and sizes.
Well there you have it! Guys... the struggle to find the best drink is real! I know many of my fellow brothers and sisters have faced this, but once you've been doing this as long as I have you always know the right places to go. Isn't it the worst when you are in an unfamiliar city or state, and you have to get a soda fix stat! I hope you all can relate (or laugh) about the struggle, and I hope all of you are blessed and rewarded today with some carbonation goodness! Amen!