Hotlips Soda, an all-natural soda first introduced on tap in 2005, is now a bottled product available in more than 300 retail stores in eight states.
The soft drink is notable for what it doesn’t have…
â‹… No concentrates
â‹… No artificial flavors or colors
â‹… No artificial sweeteners
â‹… No preservatives
â‹… No corn syrup or beet sugar
…and what it does have
â‹… Real, honest to goodness fruit juice (28% by volume)
â‹… Seasonal fruit that is sourced locally in the Pacific Northwest
â‹… Bottles made mainly of recycled materials
Hotlips is actually a Portland, Ore.-based pizza company (with five restaurants) that’s been in the soda business for just the last 4 years or so. But soda’s now a big and growing part of the business. Varieties include blackberry, pear, black raspberry, raspberry, boysenberry and apple. Hot Lips’ list of ingredients is short and sweet: juice from the featured fruit, plus cane sugar, organic lemon juice and water.
The beverage is sort of like wine, in that each batch is different, with variations based on the variety and ripeness of the fruit, the heat and rain of the season, even the time of day the fruit is picked.
Consumers are often surprised when they see and taste a little fruit pulp in their glass, wondering if there’s something wrong when they see â€˜stuff floating around in it.â€™
Speaking with ProgressiveGrocer.com, co-owner and creator of Hotlips soda, David Yudkin said, â€˜We live in a region of major abundance so we just had to figure out how to make our own soda and use the magnificent berries, pears and apples that grow here.â€™
The soda is produced using a craft style bottling technique that had become nearly obsolete. It’s fundamentally the same process Coca-Cola used when they first started making soda pop, Hotlips chief soda brewer Greene Lawson told Progressive Grocer.
The suggested retail price is $2.25 per bottle or $10 for a mixed six-pack.
The last part of the Hot Lips company’s mission statement says a lot about the company: â€˜We aim to make each day better and more delicious.â€™
I think I’ll have a bottle of Black Raspberry. I hear the 2009 vintage was excellent.
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