At first you have to ask yourself, "was there a hidden demand for jelly bean-flavored soft drinks that I didn't know about?" But hey, if Jones Soda can market their odd collection of tastes, then surely there's a place for Jelly Belly Gourmet Sodas, right? Let's take a look at Jelly Belly Lemon Drop Soda.
This product line is actually made by WIT Beverage Co., which also handles many other brands you may be familiar with, such as Green River and Goose Island. The product lineup was announced in late 2009 under license from the Jelly Belly Candy Company, and currently features 10 flavors packaged in both 6.3 and 12 oz glass bottles. The entire line is made with 100% cane sugar and is both gluten and caffeine free.
I sampled the smaller 6.3 oz size, which has an attractive bottle shape with an extended neck that slopes outward at the bottom. It's hard to miss the Jelly Belly branding on the label, which is cleanly designed to emphasize the flavor with both artwork and matching color. In the case of Lemon Drop, images of lemons as well as lemon jelly beans are on the yellow-influenced label, with a band proclaiming the flavor sitting nicely below the corporate logo. Iconography on the side clearly notes that this drink is "Caffeine Free", "90 calories per serving", and features "All Natural Flavor". I also like how they itemize this drink as a "Gourmet Soda," while helps it stand apart, while allowing the customer to better handle the unique flavors and non-generic pricing.
The drink itself is very bright yellow in color, with a good does of carbonation. Upon removing the bottle cap, I'm greeted by very strong lemon scent, reminding me in part of common household cleansers. But that's where the negative ends. The drink itself is much like liquified Lemonheads candy, producing a very tart and "puckery" flavor. It starts out quite sweet and leaves you with a bitter, but clean, finish in the end. The sourness takes a few seconds to kick in. For those who like really lemony-flavored stuff, this is a drink not to be missed.
This is a tasty beverage, but also remember that it's purely a novelty drink as well. I can't see someone grabbing a bottle of Lemon Drop to eat with a hamburger or something. Still, the flavor offered is refreshing and different, so I can understand the appeal, even though it's a niche appeal.
Jelly Belly Lemon Drop Soda
Filtered carbonated water, cane sugar, citric acid, sodium benzoate, natural flavors, sodium citrate, FD&C Yellow #5, and brominated soybean oil.
A 6.3 oz bottle contains 90 calories, 25 mg sodium, and 22 g carbs (22 g sugars). Caffeine free.
Official Website: WITBeverageCompany.com
Full Disclosure: This beverage was provided compliments of WIT Beverage