Even though many drinks are gluten-free, it’s not that commmon to find the term gluten-free on them. Most sodas sold in the U.S. are gluten-free, but to date, I’ve never seen a Coke bottle labeled gluten-free. When Pizza Fusion opened in Atlanta last year, we tried Boylan’s sodas for the first time. According to the company, all their natural sodas are gluten-free. The first sip of the Root Beer from the line took me back in time. It tasted like the Root Beer from my youth and nothing like most other root beers that contain corn syrup. It is simply a delicious drink and as soda’s go, it’s pretty healthy.
Just over a year ago, we went to a private concert that offered a light buffet afterwards. Since the people hosting the event were all gluten-free, most of the catered food served was gluten-free – and quite delicious as well. There was a ginger-lime flavored punch served that was made with Ginger Beer soda. I’m not sure what brand it was, but it was gluten-free. It’s also a non alcoholic beverage, despite the name. I later found the brand Maine Root at my local health food store and picked up the Ginger Beer. If you like very strong ginger flavor, you might enjoy this drink. I use it as a mixer because it’s too strong for me to drink plain.
Recently, some friends brought over the Blue Berry soda made by Maine Root. It’s a bit sweet for me but my husband quite enjoys it. The Lemon Lime and Root Beer flavors are more up my alley. The entire Maine Root product line is gluten-free and the packages are marked as such currently. The website is being updated and will soon state that the products are gluten-free. For reasons that have nothing to do with ingredients, the package label is changing and gluten-free will no longer be listed on the carton. However, the founders of the company have people with celiac in their family. So needless to say, they are quite concerned with making safe products for people who can’t tolerate gluten to consume.
There is a new bottled drink that is labeled gluten-free, but it’s a juice – of sorts – instead of a soda. The Organic Source drinks are interesting and quite different than other drinks I’ve tried. There are three flavors and by far, the Pomegranate Acia is my favorite. The products are also organic and Kosher. The drinks contain sparkling (carbonated) water and real fruit juice and don’t contain added sugar.
For kids, the Juicy Juice sparkling juice drinks offer a nice alternative from corn syrup laden sodas. Nestle makes the sparkling juice beverages which are gluten-free. On the FAQ page on the Juicy Juice website, question # 11 answers the question about gluten. “Gluten-free” is on the cans as well. The ingredients are all natural and no sugars, sweeteners or preservatives have been added to the juice. The natural fructose in the juice concentrate is what makes the drinks very sweet. The apple flavor tastes a bit like sour apple jolly rancher candy. In my opinion, the orange flavor is the least sweet tasting of the three flavors.
We are big water drinkers at our house and have been for many years. However, sometimes you want something sweet and fizzy to drink. It’s nice that more companies are making products for people who like soda, but aren’t crazy about drinking products full of high fructose corn syrup. The products listed above are sold at some health food stores and at some locations of Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. Boylan’s sodas can be purchased online through Amazon.com and Maine Root products will be available there soon as well.