When I was asked by Derek to do a guest review for Thirsty Dudes, I was totally excited, but incredibly overwhelmed. All of my favorite drinks had already been reviewed, and trying to find a new drink that hadn't been done before was next to impossible. So finally my thoughts turned to drinks I absolutely LOATHE; one shining beacon of disgust stood out among the rest, and when I searched for it on this site, I found that it had yet to be reviewed, and so I give you BIG RED.
My history with BIG RED is not particularly noteworthy: my friends and I saw it in a supermarket in Albuquerque, NM when we were in high school, and bought a six pack because we thought it would be awesome. We all took turns doing spit-takes in the parking lot of the Albertson's we bought it from, declaring that the only way this soda could possibly make any money is from people buying it to see if it's really as bad as they remembered it being (the answer in this scenario would always be an emphatic YES). And then it was written off forever, and if there was ever a discussion about disgusting beverages I would relate my story about BIG RED and get a laugh or two, but since I've moved to the east coast, there are less and less people who have heard of or tried this soda, because it's mostly a southern "delicacy". As such, this bottle I hold in my hands was shipped to me by my dear friend Claire Van, from Austin Texas.
I was totally prepared to trash this soda. I was sure that my memory served me well, and this would be a 1 star review, but as I fearfully opened the bottle and took my first sip, I was surprised to find that I didn't actually HATE the taste, which is exactly like Bazooka Joe bubblegum (the soda itself is supposed to be a red cream soda). It's too sweet for me, but as novelty, what the hell, it's not the worst thing out there, and certainly not as bad as I remembered it being. That is, until you get to the aftertaste, which is overpoweringly chemical, and brings back the distinct memory of getting fluoride treatment in elementary school. I took the bottle outside and let some of my neighbors take a sip: my neighbor Evan was super excited because he had grown up in Texas, and thus BIG RED is a huge source of nostalgia for him, Peter thought it was pretty good, Kate seemed unimpressed, and Maris flat out hated it. I finished the rest of the bottle in their company on the front stoop, and about halfway through began to feel like the taste was starting to overstay its welcome. Indeed, a whole bottle of BIG RED is far too much for me, and I started to remember what it was that I initially disliked about the soda so many years ago: it's just not enjoyable to drink. It's taste, while not being outright offensive, is certainly too overbearing to be a regular addition to my liquid diet, and luckily, since I had to have it imported, I won't see it in the soda aisle and be tempted to buy it just to see if it really is as bad as I remember it being.
- United States
- High Fructose Corn Syrup
- Soda Pop
- Reviewed By
- Liz Prince - Cartoonist on 6/27/2011
- Buy Now