It seems to be experiencing a slight resurgence in the marketplace, with beverages such as Crush Lime, Sunkist Citrus Fusion, and Mountain Dew Distortion showing up over the past few years. I've always felt it was more of a niche flavor, but it keeps appearing, often as a compliment to other fruity flavors such as cherry and orange. We recently took a look at Route 66 Orange Soda, and they were kind enough to send along their Route 66 Lime Soda for us to explore further.
As we noted in the Orange Soda review, Route 66 is under new ownership, which has also prompted new formulas featuring cane sugar, as well as very attractive glass bottles.
The redesign is quite refreshing when you look at their old paper-based labels vs. new graphics printed directly on glass. This is something you wouldn't mind having on your shelf long after you are done drinking it.
I especially like the addition of facts/stories on the back of the bottles explaining historical elements along Route 66. The back of Route 66 Lime Soda discuss the Chain of Rocks Bridge which extends across the Mississippi River between St. Louis and Illinois. Now closed to cars and used for joggers/bikes these days, my wife and I were part of an auto tour that actually got to drive over the bridge back in 2008. It was pretty cool, so that was great to see on the back of the bottle! Here's the included story:
Chain of Rocks Bridge
Taking its name from the perilous rocky rapids and spanning one of the most scenic areas of the Mississippi River, the Bridge, 5353 feet long was originally constructed in 1929. Its most striking feature is a 22-degree turn in the middle. Connecting Illinois and Missouri, it has a rich history and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The new bridge for I-270 traffic led to its closing in 1967. Today it is one of the world's longest bicycle and pedestrian bridges
But enough of the backstory, how is the Lime Soda itself?
The real surprise when popping the cap off the bottle was the lack of a scent, not even a strong lime one which you'd typically assume with this type of drink. That would be a hint of what was to come, which was the theme of "clean & subtle."
Route 66 Lime Soda is very green, thus on par with the hues of other lime-flavored soft drinks. The use of cane sugar is a huge plus, because lime drinks tend to be really syrupy and fake-tasting. Not so with Route 66. The lime isn't overpowering, but rather subdued and very crisp. If you are a huge lime fan and desire that overpowering element in your beverage, you might consider it weak. However, I think this particular flavor actually makes Route 66 Lime far more appealing as a complimentary beverage with food, which greatly increases its value in my book. The aftertaste doesn't ride the lime wave, but is also very clean. The overall experience is quite different for a lime pop, given that I'm used to syrup overkill on all aspects of the drink. This definitely wasn't the case.
Route 66 Lime Soda is a very clean lime-flavored drink, a welcome departure from syrupy imitations from other brands. Alone or with food, I think you'll find it compliments nicely!
Route 66 Lime Soda
Carbonated water, real cane sugar, citric acid, gum arabic, sodium benzoate, natural flavors, ester gum, FD&C Yellow #5, Blue #1, and BHA
A 12 oz. bottle contains 170 calories, 30 mg of sodium, 41 g carbs, and 38 g sugars. The drink is caffeine-free.
Official Website: Route66Sodas.com