Review: NuGrape Soda

Here at, we’re proud to feature this guest review by beverage enthusiast Jason Steele. We hope you enjoy his thoughts! has consumed several grape flavored sodas in the recent past with mixed results; Jones Soda Gruesome Grape was loved while Fanta Grape – not so much. That being said NuGrape Soda falls somewhere in between.

NuGrape Soda

NuGrape Soda is bottled by the Orca Beverage Soda Works under the “American Classics” line which also contains Bubble Up, a classic lemon-lime soda reviewed here in January ’08. NuGrape Soda has the tag line “A Flavor You Can’t Forget” and was originally bottled in 1921 by the National NuGrape Company and sold to Big Red’s North American Beverages division in 1999. While normally found in plastic, we experienced this drink in glass thanks to Orca. It is made with cane sugar instead of HFCS, which is something we like here at

NuGrape has a definite purple color standard with all “grape flavored” beverages and foods. When you first open the bottle (churchkey required, this is not a screw top) a powerful grape flavor wafts up the neck of this “nostalgic 1950′s style glass bottle.” It’s an aroma that really reminds me of classic grape sodas or grape popsicles of my youth. However, the scent dissipates almost immediately.

The first sip of NuGrape right out of the bottle is not overwhelmingly grape-y. It tastes more like a grape flavored cola. That isn’t bad but I was hoping for something stronger, like if a grape had punched me in the mouth. The immediate aftertaste is very much like RC or other 2nd tier colas but after a moment it does return to a subtle “grape” flavor but doesn’t linger on your palette for very long.

My partner Brad said it “tastes like fizzy grape juice… almost like non-alcoholic sparkling wine; not pop.”

When poured over ice, the grape flavor reemerged as a very strong grape scent but disappeared quickly again. The bubbles were a cool purple color and very tiny which is consistent with using cane sugar as opposed to HFCS as we learned from the Kosher Coke review. My one big complaint was that the carbonation disappeared almost entirely several minutes after I poured it over ice and within 10 minutes the soda tasted as if it was going flat. I think this soda is meant to be gulped not sipped.

Overall NuGrape Soda is not the best grape soda I have tasted but definitely not the worst. The grape flavor tastes authentic and this soda would be refreshing and tasty on a hot summer day if consumed quickly but not one I would necessarily purchase again if I was craving some grape soda.

A full ingredient list is as follows:

NuGrape Soda
Carbonated Water, Cane Sugar, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate, Phosphoric Acid, Tartaric Acid, Modified Food Starch, Red #40, Blue #1, Artificial Flavor

Note: Contains No Juice. Serving Size 1 Bottle – 12 fluid oz. 200 Calories. 0g of Fat. 49g Sugar (16% RDA)