Recently my friend Jason Steele mailed me a bottle of Bubble Up to review here for the site. As I'm always on the lookout for good caffeine-free beverages, I was excited to give this lemon-lime soda a test.
Bubble Up actually predates most competitors in the world of lemon-lime soft drinks, having hit the market in 1919 (7Up was introduced in 1929, Sprite in 1961, Sierra Mist in 2000). It was originally created by Sweet Valley Productions (Sandusky, OH), later sold to the Bubble Up Company, Inc. (Chicago, IL), and eventually the brand was purchased by the Monarch Beverage Company (Atlanta, GA) in 1978. Just last year (2007) Bubble Up was purchased by Hedinger Brands, LLC (Jasper, IN) along with Dad’s Root Beer, Dr. Wells, and SunCrest. Currently it's licensed to another company with the same owner (Keith Hedinger), The Dad’s Root Beer Company, LLC.
Hopefully the new ownership of the brand will really bring this beverage more visibility because Bubble Up is a wonderful lemon-lime drink! Originally marketed as “A Taste of Lemon, A Taste of Lime”, Bubble Up has an amazingly clean taste. This can be attributed to the use of cane sugar vs. high fructose corn syrup and the actual inclusion of lemon and lime oils. The use of these finer ingredients really shows, as the drink doesn't have that "fake" artificial flavor you typically find in this genre, especially with Sierra Mist.
The taste of the drink is quite bubbly, and as my wife mentioned, produces quite a "pucker" when you drink it. It has a bit more bitterness than the mainstream lemon-limes on the market today, along with an acidic and dry flavor, which I think gives it quite a nice edge and point of distinction. It amazes me how clean the overall flavor is, with no noticeable aftertaste or syrupy residue. It's refreshing!
The current owners of Bubble Up are offering it in 12 oz. cans, 20 oz. plastic bottles, and 1 liter plastic bottles. Additionally, I sampled my Bubble Up courtesy of a 12 oz. glass bottle. This was manufactured under license to Orca Beverage Soda Works, which takes nostalgic drinks and makes them available in their rightful drinking receptacle, glass.
Bubble Up is probably one of the best lemon-lime drinks we've reviewed here at BevReview.com. If you can find some, savor it!