Well, know I know there is a limit to my love of ranch dressing.
Everyone knows I like ranch dressing. I’ve often proclaimed the virtue of homemade ranch, also known as “good ranch” vs. the yucky shelf stable stuff. Ranch isn’t the greatest condiment ever, but I do think it’s a very, very good thing.
I always knew I liked ranch, but North Iowa deepened this fondness. In North Iowa, every restaurant seemed to serve ranch with fried food. Dinner outings with friends involved requests for sides of ranch and our table was usually littered with little dishes of the dressing by the end of a meal.
My friend @amycrea recently tweeted me a photo of a bottle of Lester’s Fixins Ranch Dressing soda that she found at Jim’s Apple Farm, home of Minnesota’s largest candy store located in Jordan, MN. The soda sounded repulsive and fascinating and I just had to try it. Read Amy’s Heavy Table article about Jim’s Apple Farm here.
I easily located Lester’s Fixens sodas at a store in the Delmar Loop called Rocket Fizz. There are Rocket Fizz franchises in many states around the country. Lester and his sweeter counterpart, Melba, are the fictional figureheads of two soda lines created by the Rocket Fizz company. While Lester offers freaky sodas in bacon, buffalo wing, and sweet corn, Melba sticks to flavors that come in pie like strawberries & cream, lemon meringue, and apple pie.
Rocket Fizz offers a wide variety of retro candies and sodas in every flavor imaginable. Some of the unusual sodas that caught my eye include a Ghost Busters Ectoplasm energy drink, Dr. Brown’s Cel-Ray, and Astropop-flavored line. Most bottles of soda cost $2.19 each. I added Lester’s Pumpkin Pie Soda to chase away the ranch flavor and reach that credit card minimum. I’m not sure how Lester and Melba divvied up the pie flavors but pumpkin is Lester’s territory.
First things first, let’s try the ranch soda.
The ranch soda has an off-white hue. At first sniff, the soda smelled inoffensively ranchy, but the second whiff knocked my head back with its metallic, buttermilk sour, onion-garlic powder scent.
My first and only sip tasted like the smell of powdered ranch dressing mix combined with simple syrup and a strong buttermilk note. I stifled a gag and reached for my glass of water. This soda tastes worse than Ron Burgundy’s tears; It tastes like his back sweat. Someone asked me what alcoholic beverage or liqueur I’d recommend mixing with ranch dressing soda and rubbing alcohol was the only substance that came to mind. You’re a sick man, Lester.
Moving on to Pumpkin Pie Soda. Just look at that color. It’s totally Hi-C.
I smelled pumpkin spice, but tasted more of a root beer-sarsaparilla flavor. It’s not something I’d go back for, but totally drinkable. Ranch dressing, yes. Ranch soda, no.
Not that you needed me to tell you that or anything.
Perfect! I suspected the ranch sad would be horrible. I mean really—why would that even be a good idea? Glad you had the water handy or else you would have hurled right on video! Thanks for doing the hard work for the rest of us.
I bet the buffalo wing soda is worse but I won’t be finding out.
I have missed your video reviews and this one did not disappoint. You are braver than I.
One of the best videos I’ve seen in forever. You are one BRAVE BRAVE woman. I remember a few years ago Jones Soda came out with a Thanksgiving pack that had Turkey and Gravy, Brussels Sprouts, Cranberry, and probably a pie flavor. Lots of people bought it for collectability but I don;t know anyone who actually tried one. This was great !!!!
Thank you very much Monica! I remember those Jones Sodas too. That would have been a fun taste test-with a group:)
I’m so glad you got this on video. Lester you sick, sick man. Lol.
You are awesome.
You are awesome!
LMAO!!!!! Love it Jeni. Thanks for enduring the ranch soda. OMG it sounds awful.
I have to be honest, I’m sure glad there weren’t these flavors for us to taste during our taste test!!