Though I’ve mostly left my soda days behind me, every now and then a craving strikes. Now is such a time. And while colas were often my go-to, when it comes to fruit flavored soda, in my book, there’s nothing better than a black cherry soda, served very cold. Of the brands readily available at many supermarkets, Dr. Brown’s is a standard, all around good choice. Good, strong cherry flavor, sweet but not overly so, and not that it should matter (but sometimes does anyway), a pleasing dark red color. It holds carbonation but isn’t too carbonated. The knock you could give it is that it has a slight mass produced flavor to it. Not grossly artificial, but maybe leans slightly to the ordinary. That’s probably the corn syrup sweetener talking. You don’t taste it and think “I’ve never had anything like that.” You taste it and it tastes like what you expect and what it is. But that can be a positive too. It comes in cans and larger plastic bottles which can be great for entertaining, but unfulfilling if you’re looking for the experience of drinking out of a glass bottle. But for brands that can be harder to find but are still more or less easily accessible, Stewart’s Black Cherry Soda has been my golf standard. It has a wonderfully rich cherry flavor, the sugar adds sweetness without any artificial notes from corn syrup, and it has a beautiful fizz that’s always sufficient and never overwhelming. In the spirit of this, and because I needed to clear a threshold to get to free shipping, I have ordered a black cherry sampler package from an online beverage store. I’ll be getting 12 individual glass bottles of things normally sold in larger packs, some regional or otherwise hard to find. I look forward to sampling the bunch to see if any can unseat Stewart’s for me. And I’ll try to let you all know as I go. Please feel free to share your favorite Black Cherry Sodas!