Normally, I'm a Coke Zero drinker, but if it's not available, I'll drink Coke or Pepsi, so long as it's not the diet versions. Basically, I like cola.
Usually, that means whatever is on sale at the grocery store.
When I want to indulge, however, and we're shopping at The Italian Centre, we pick up some Boylan Soda. It's more expensive at about $1.66 (plus deposit) for a 355ml bottle, and comes in a variety of flavours. Black cherry, ginger ale, cream soda, birch beer, orange, grape, and basic cane cola - the cane referring to the type of sugar used to sweeten it. Now, I don't particularly care whether the sugar came from cane or beets. If anything, I lean toward beet sugar, since I'm from Manitoba, which has a fairly large sugar beet industry, and I like to support local industry.
No matter. Sugar is sugar, and personally, I can't tell the difference in taste. In many ways, Boylan Soda reminds me of the Pic a Pop of my childhood.
Boylan Soda touts itself as "vintage soda pop," and we've worked our way through all the flavours available locally since discovering the brand. It's a family owned business that's been in operation since 1891. The Cane Cola ingredients list is refreshingly short. Carbonated water. Cane sugar. Natural flavours. Colour. Phosphoric acid. Caffeine - from coffee (where else does one get caffeine from? I'd never really thought of that before.)
But is it any good?
In a word, yes.
The Cane Cola has that cola taste without the harsh, tinny bite the big name versions have. It's smooth and creamy, without tasting like over sugared crack. This is a cola even Spindle likes, and she has never liked cola. Her sister prefers the Birch Beer and they both really like the Ginger Ale. I like the Black Cherry, but my preference is the Cane Cola.
If you can find it, give it a try.