You know those pine-scented air fresheners you see hanging from the rearview mirrors of cars? That’s kinda what Jones Soda Christmas Tree Soda tastes like. Only in liquid form. And carbonated. It’s the type of flavor you’d come to expect as part of the 2007 Jones Soda Holiday collection.
When I first read about this flavor, I just wondered to myself what a tree soda would actually taste like. Would you get the taste of bark? Or the scent of evergreens? Typically, Jones models their flavors after actual food. It’s very rare that they pick inanimate objects for a flavor (of course, they started this trend with their Seahawks Collectors Pack… I mean, grass soda?)
The bottle itself sort of hints at the evil flavor inside. My version has a photo of a black cat sitting under a Christmas tree, Photo #9064 by Maria Hutchinson of Warwick, RI. Flipping the label around to the ingredients side, you note that there’s a good 90mg of sodium in this drink. As we have learned from past experience, whenever a Jones Holiday beverage contains a large amount of sodium, it’s never a good thing in the flavor department. Heck, the dark green color alone should hint to you that this isn’t going to be a pleasurable experience.
So, putting caution to the wind, I opened the bottle. There was a definite “pine” scent emanating off the soft drink. It still had sweet overtones like a soda pop should, but it was buried in that odd scent. When you actually drink Christmas Tree Soda, you are probably remind of common household cleansers. Now I’m not saying that Jones went and carbonated Pine Sol or anything like that, but it wasn’t a pleasurable time getting those first few gulps down. There is somewhat of a gag response when the sodium level hits the back of your throat, but that’s soon surpassed by the odd taste… and the lingering aftertaste of… something. Perhaps “liquid pine-scented air freshener” is probably the best description of this drink.
Christmas Tree Soda comes with 140 calories and 33g of sugar. Ingredients include carbonated water, inverted cane sugar, natural and artificial flavors, citric acid, salt, caramel color, sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate (as preservatives), modified food starch, ester gum, Yellow 5, and Blue 1.
I can tell you quite honestly that Jones Soda Christmas Tree Soda is not a good beverage. It’s a unique move for Jones, being a non-food flavor. It’s still not a good idea to stick it in your mouth.