Hot Lips is a pizza place in Portland, Oregon that decided to micro-brew their own soda pop. Their approach is definitely unique. For their flavors they use fresh fruit found in their local area. Their drinks contain only fruit, water, cane sugar, and organic lemon juice, that's it! No artificial anything.
To make their soda they start with ripe fruit. They take that fruit and cook in an open kettle. This brings out the nuanced flavors. Then the seeds are filtered out, but the pulp is left. When you are drinking it you will gets bits of fruit, particularly at the bottom of the bottle. Then they add the water, sugar, lemon juice and it's time to bottle, pasteruized, and sell.
When you look at the nutrition facts on the side of the bottle you will find somethign that you don't see with other carbonated drinks, actual nutrition! There is vitamin C, calcium, iron, and vitamin A. Now they are by no means in high amounts, but you don't even find any of them in artifical flavored drinks. That is because there is a high percantage of real fruit.
I went for the boysenberry flavor, just because I never had nor seen a boysenberry drink in any sort. The carbonation was light which I like. I had a good mouthfeel with the pulp that gave the drink added thickness. As you drink the flavor gets better as you get to the pulp at the bottom. It was a good flavor, very unique. They have several other flavors including raspberry, apple, pear, and blackberry.
You can find their beverages at their pizzerias in Portland, Oregon and also at stores across the state. I found them at the Produce Station in Ann Arbor, Michigan, so they can be had outside the Oregon area. For more information about where to find Hot Lips, check out their website: http://hotlipssoda.com/where-to-find/
Click here to read about HOTLIPS soda appearing on an episode of the Cooking Channel's FoodCrafters.