Five Favorite Retro Sodas

I remember as a young child visiting Bread & Circus in Boston and marveling over the fact that the world of soda comprised more than just Coke, Sprite and root beer. Now, I'm a bit more cosmopolitan when it comes to carbonated beverages, and I'm currently obsessed with retro sodas. (Probably have been watching too many reruns of Mad Men and That '70s Show.) Anyway, here are five of my favorites.

5. TaB. According to my mom, some women subsisted off TaB and little else during the '60s. I tried it when my local market was out of Diet Coke during Hurricane Ike and found the flavor grittier and less fake-sweet than other diet drinks.It's not a party in my mouth, but it certainly hits the spot when I have to get up at the ass-crack of dawn on a hot day.

4. Orange Crush. Orange is my favorite color and I generally love any food or drink of that hue (be it natural or man-made). Although I generally try to avoid HFCS, I make an exception for Orange Crush and, on very special, very classy occasions, mix it with a bit of dark rum for a tropical cocktail.

3. Moxie. I'll admit I like the name and label design just a bit more than the flavor of Moxie, which to me tastes like an half bitter, half sweet herbal witch's brew. It's relatively obscure 'round these parts, so having it in your fridge might score you points for being worldly, though many New Englanders grew up on the stuff.

2. Jolt. As a non-coffee drinker, I rely on tea, soda and water to propel me through extended work sessions. But let's face: even yerba mate doesn't cut it when you're seeing double at 2:30 in the morning. Jolt carried me through many an all-nighter in high school and college, and it's a damn shame the cola has been largely replaced by a sleek new energy variety.

1. Mello Yello. So much better than Mountain Dew (which, haven't ya heard, lowers sperm count?). I love the crisp citrus taste, appreciate the sizeable caffeine content, and have great fun slurping it through a straw while singing that famous song.

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Joanna O'Leary