Carbonation & Candy at Rocket Fizz

It's no secret I'm passionate about potables, especially the adults-only kind. But love of liquids also extends to soda, especially during the summer when I tend to crave the unique sweet burn of a carbonated beverage.

So I when first walked into Rocket Fizz Soda Pop & Candy Shop in Rice Village, my head sort of exploded. Hundreds of bottles of specialty colas, elixirs, root beers, lemonades, punches filled the shelves; it was a virtual museum of soda where everything was for sale (by singles and six-packs!). Brands and flavors ranged from the hard-to-find but recognizable (Cheerwine) to the to the foreign and fanciful (Muscat Ramune) to the downright bizarre (Lester's Fixins' Buffalo Wing Soda).

Although I have no problem indulging once in a while in full-calorie regular soda, my guilty pleasure is artificially sweetened diet soda. Rocket Fizz isn't lacking this department, either, offering a wide range of lower-calorie beverages, like Jones Zilch, and my favorite, diet ginger beers.

Candy selection is also diverse, with all the usual suspects (Reese's, Hershey's, Snickers) plus a fun array of penny confections, suckers of all shapes and sizes, playful chocolate bars (girthControl) I picked up a package of ginger chews and had to restrain myself from buying a large box of strawberry milkshake Whoppers.

While Rocket Fizz's concept (retro/vintage candy and soda) isn't particularly novel, its execution is nevertheless impressive. With wooden racks and low-lying crowded displays, the shop evokes nostalgia for the five-and-dime store or even mercantile of days of yore. You won't necessarily find something you need, but you're guaranteed to see something you want and isn't that the whole point of sweets and soda? This place is my new favorite spot for party favors, fun comestible gifts, and, of course, personal indulgence.

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Joanna O'Leary