You’ll never forget that moment — the moment when your new favorite beverage crossed your lips and tickled your taste buds. Maybe it was a specialty soda you discovered on vacation. Maybe it was a soda that was popular but suddenly slowed in distribution. Whatever the reason, life just isn’t the same when you fall in love with hard to find beverages.
Or maybe you’re bored of the same old sodas and coffee drinks. What better time than the present to step up your game and try something new in the beverage department? These unique drinks may be difficult to find, but they’re worth the effort thanks to their unique flavors and often healthy ingredient lists. Some even have a great backstory, like the one created by a rocker. But we’ll leave you to uncover the mysteries of these rare gems of the beverage world.
Sodas That Are Difficult to Find
You can walk into any supermarket or convenience store and find the classics: Coke, Pepsi, 7-Up. But those hard to find soda brands aren’t as easy to just buy off the shelf. Sometimes it’s a regional thing. A soda that is readily available in one part of the country is never seen in another, for example. Others simply come from a small company with limited distribution options or brands only sold in certain specialty stores. Often you need a retailer who specializes in those rare soda brands. Beverage Universe serves all parts of the country, so geographical barriers aren’t an issue.
So what type of sodas are you missing out on? Here are a few that you won’t likely find on the shelves of your chain supermarket:
- Tab: Do we really need to say anything else? It’s a classic cola that you likely drank at least occasionally as a child. Readily available in the 70s, you would be hard-pressed to find Tab soda on the shelves these days. Fortunately, the distinctive cola flavor of Tab has not gone the way of the dinosaurs just yet. While difficult to find, it’s still possible to enjoy this soda right from the can. Stock up for your next 70s throwback party, or just keep it on hand so you can travel back in time to the days of your youth with a sip of soda. A case of Tab cans is definitely a conversation starter.
- JOIA: With no refined sugars, preservatives or caffeine, this is a healthier soda option if ever there was one. Born out of a conversation over dinner with friends, the creators tested more than 100 recipes before they got it right with the six available flavors: Blackberry; Pomegranate and Ginger; Ginger; Apricot and Allspice; Grapefruit; Chamomile and Cardamom; Lime; Hibiscus and Clove; Orange; Jasmine and Nutmeg; and Pineapple, Coconut and Nutmeg. And the name? That comes from the joy folks experience when they taste the flavors of this delightfully bubbly soda.
- Baladin: This elusive soda also boasts a rather healthy list of ingredients. The Italian manufacturer of Baladin soda uses wholesome ingredients without coloring or preservatives. Designed to take the drinker back in time with the flavors and aromas of childhood, Baladin comes in Cedrata, Spuma Nera, Ginger and Cola flavors.
- Manhattan Special: Part soda, part espresso, this beverage breaks category restrictions. But we’ll group it with the other sodas because it’s called espresso soda. If you’ve never heard of it before, we’re sure we have your attention now. Manhattan Special Espresso Soda went into production all the way back in 1895. The company hand brews the finest coffee beans and combines them with pure cane sugar to create a beverage like nothing you’ve tasted before (unless, of course, you’ve already sipped a Manhattan Special). If you prefer, the diet version uses NutraSweet in place of the sugar so you can enjoy the same coffee flavor without the calories. For those who prefer a more traditional flavor of soda, Manhattan Special also produces Cherry, Gassosa Lemon Lime, Orange, Sarsaparilla and Vanilla Cream flavors. And for the coffee-drinkers who don’t want the fizz of soda, Manhattan Special has a new line of iced coffee drinks available in Cappuccino, Mocha, French Vanilla and Hazelnut flavors.
- San Pellegrino: The name may sound familiar. Known as a high-quality sparkling mineral water, San Pellegrino also offers a line of sparkling sodas in assorted flavors. Available in both cans and bottles, you’ll find flavors such as Sparkling Lemon, Pomegranate and Orange, Blood Orange and Clementine Orange. We always say you can’t judge a beverage by its container, but these San Pellegrino bottles and cans are actually pretty darn adorable, so you’ll look great while sipping these sodas.
Sodas That Are Gone but Not Forgotten
Surge. Orbitz. Kick. Slice. Crystal Pepsi. Let’s have a moment of silence for all of the discontinued sodas of the past. They may no longer be available, but we all have special memories of a Kick-fueled all-nighter. Or drinking an ice cold can of Slice at Grandma’s house. Or trying to figure out the mystery of Orbitz. What exactly were those oddly suspended balls in the sweet liquid?
There’s no use crying over spilled milk (or long-lost soda), but you can come close on some accounts. If Kick or Surge was your vice years ago, you can still sip on the sweet flavor of Mountain Dew or Mellow Yellow. For all those Slice fans out there, try the crisp lemon-lime fizziness of Sprite, Sierra Mist or 7-Up. For those who favored the Mandarin Orange flavor of Slice, you’ll find Crush and Sunkist are suitable stand-ins.
We know nothing can replace your discontinued favorites, but these modern-day substitutes give you a little taste of the past while you reminisce.
Tea for Two and Coffee, Too
If soda isn’t your thing, you may enjoy some rare drinks from the tea and coffee families. With or without caffeine, tea and coffee drinks get your day going on the right foot — or keep you going when you hit that afternoon slump. Here are a few teas and coffees you won’t find just anywhere:
- Taste Nirvana: The name says it all. With both coffee and tea latte options, Taste Nirvana combines the rich flavor of coffee or tea with smooth cream in a Thai-inspired drink. Made without gluten, GMOs, additives and preservatives, Taste Nirvana products leave you feeling good about what you drink.
- Honest Tea: It started with a man on a quest for drink that was flavorful but not too sweet. Together with a former professor, the thirsty man named Seth Goldman filled that void in the market with Honest Tea. This all-natural brand, made from actual tea leaves rather than the leftover tea dust used by many companies, inspired its own name by being an honest and healthy drink option for consumers. With flavors like Black Forest Berry, Cinnamon Sunrise and Citrus Spice, this tea definitely has options to fit any taste.
Fizzy (or Still) Water to Quench Your Thirst
Water from the tap just won’t do for you. No, ma’am (or sir). You want the good stuff. We’re talking delightfully fizzy imported Italian waters or flavorful seltzers straight from the can. Think all fizzy waters are the same? You won’t after you read how some of these waters make it to your table. Consider these rare finds that might make you rethink your choice in fizzy waters.
- San Pellegrino: You never have to guess what you’ll get when you a bottle of San Pellegrino Mineral Water. It comes from a thermal spring in the Italian Alps that is often called “miraculous.” Who doesn’t want to drink a miracle? The spring water filters through 2,200 feet of earth before it is bottled and enjoyed. The flavor and mineral balance in San Pellegrino makes its flavor well-known and highly sought after, but not always easy to find.
- Rocchetta: Another Italian favorite, Rocchetta is a fan favorite that is often difficult to find on the shelves. Available in both still and sparkling varieties, Rocchetta has a pure, light flavor with a cleansing effect to get rid of impurities in the body. This mineral water comes in both plastic and glass bottle. Still or sparkling. Plastic or glass. How will you ever decide?
- Badoit: This sparkling mineral water hails from Saint-Galmier, France. (You were going to guess Italy, weren’t you?) The natural fizz in this water happens as the water travels through granite rocks and subterranean gas deposits. How cool is that? It makes a great story when you serve Badoit to your guests. Beyond the fun story about how it gets its bubbles, Badoit is noteworthy for its ability to soothe digestion with a reputation that reaches back to 1778. In fact, it was sold only by pharmacists until 1954. There’s definitely something in the water with this rare brand.
- Schweppes: You’ve probably heard the name before, but how often do you see this seltzer water in a can? Chances are, it’s not very often. The canned variety of this popular seltzer water is often difficult to find. With no calories, fat, sugar, carbs or caffeine, a can of Schweppes is not a bad way to satisfy your flavored beverage cravings. Some of the flavors you’ll find in a can (if you’re lucky) include Black Cherry, Orange, Pomegranate and Raspberry Lime.
- Penta: If you want fast hydration, you want Penta water. This water goes through a 13-step process to make sure you get the hydration you need. The filtration and purification process takes 11 hours to complete. What do you get after all those steps? You get smaller water clusters that are easier for your body to absorb. As exciting as that is, this ultra-hydrating drinking water isn’t always easy to find. We recommend stocking up so you never have to worry about dehydration.
And All Those Other Rare Beverages
Some rare beverages don’t fit neatly into a category or they stand out as the top dog in their respective categories so much so that we can’t even come up with another contender. Here, we highlight a few of the greats that don’t fit into previously mentioned categories:
- SIN: The name sounds scandalous, but there’s no need to shy away from this energy drink. Unlike other dime-a-dozen energy drinks on the market, SIN uses a blend of premium ingredients for a sophisticated, sugar-free, flavor-rich beverage for those times when you need a boost. Drink it straight up or mixed with your favorite liquor for an adult-only twist on this high-end energy drink. Not only does SIN source its water responsibly from the Austrian Alps, but the company also puts a high priority on making their cans recyclable to reduce their carbon footprint. So you don’t have to feel guilty about indulging in this SIN.
- Snapple: Of course you can find some varieties of Snapple in almost any store, but certain flavors are rare finds. Noni Berry and Trop-A-Rocka are two examples. If you’re a Bret Michaels fan (and let’s be honest, who isn’t?), you’ll definitely want to seek out the Trop-A-Rocka flavor. He created it as part of “Celebrity Apprentice,” and the flavor caught on, but it’s not always easy to find. It comes in diet, and that was no coincidence. As someone who lives with diabetes, Michaels wanted others to be able to enjoy a flavorful drink. The Snapple Noni Berry flavor is also a rare find on many store shelves, much like the noni berry itself. Harvest this flavor of Snapple when you can find it.
- Gosling’s Ginger Beer: Don’t let the name fool you. This beverage is more of a soda than an actual beer, but don’t let that stop you from having a little fun with Gosling’s Ginger Beer. We’ve heard it tastes great with rum if you want to add a kick to it. In fact, it was created as a mixer for Dark ‘n Stormy cocktails by Gosling, makers of Gosling rum. But that shouldn’t stop you from sipping this spicy and sweet ginger beer on its own if that’s what you prefer. Far be it for us to tell you how to enjoy your rare beverages. Gosling’s Ginger Beer also comes in a diet version with no calories if you prefer to sip without the guilt.
Satisfy Your Rare Sipping Desires
While we can’t resurrect Slice, Crystal Pepsi or other out-of-production beverages, Beverage Universe does know how to work a little magic when it comes to hard to find drinks. We specialize in beverages that aren’t readily available on the shelf. We can fill all of your beverage needs — no need to run to several stores, tracking down your favorite drinks.
But with so many one-of-a-kind beverages that you aren’t used to seeing, how will you decide? It can be a tough decision. And while we’ve tried our hand at mind reading, it didn’t turn out so well. We do offer featured products on our home page if you’re not sure where to start. We also offer reviews so you can see what other people are saying if you’re still not sure. If you have a general beverage type in mind, the category options are a good way to start browsing.
If you know exactly what you’re looking for, the search function gets you there fast. And for those beverages you can’t stand to be without, we offer repeat ordering. Once you place a specific order, you can have it delivered as often as you want.
From sodas and sparkling waters to ginger beer and coffee drinks, Beverage Universe is the world’s largest online beverage warehouse ready to serve all your beverage needs.