We Tried Jones Soda Co.'s Turkey and Gravy Soda Just in Time for Thanksgiving
Every year as we put together the holiday issue of Rachael Ray In Season, the staff can’t resist sharing our favorites with each other. Sweet potato pie! Cranberry sauce in the shape of the can! Mashed potatoes! And there's always one staffer who goes gaga for gravy –that ever-important dressing that gets so little time in the spotlight even though it's what makes the whole meal shine. “It’s a main in my book,” states one staffer lovingly. “I could drink it.”
Well, wish granted...sort of. Jones Soda Co, known for their distinctive bottles sporting customer-submitted photographs (you can even personalize your own case) and flavors from the classics (cola, root beer, and cream soda) to the outrageous (blue bubblegum, pineapple cream, and fufu berry) has re-released a classic to help celebrate their 25th anniversary – their Turkey and Gravy Soda.
Originally debuting in 2003, this distinctive flavor helped put the company on the map and has become a bit of a kitschy favorite every since. Limited runs and numbered bottles make the product a collectible and it certainly makes a festive centerpiece on your Thanksgiving table. But, can you drink it? I had to find out.
As if tasting a fine wine I poured it into a glass, noticing the fizzy bubbles rush up to the surface. To the unknowing eye, the liquid's golden brown color resembles that of a cream soda; also reminiscent of a freshly cooked turkey and its natural juices. I lean in for a whiff and at first, I can’t even place the smell. It's almost like my brain knows this whole idea is kind of wrong and refuses to search for the word to match the aroma. I take a few more deep inhales. Candy. Sweet. Then…gravy!
As I took the first sip, I was a little scared to smell it again so I held my breath as I raised the glass as I took the drink. It tasted like what a Jell-O mold made of turkey and gravy would look like, only bubbly. It’s like a flavor suspended in a texture. I inhaled as I took my second sip. This time I got a nuance of jelly beans, that kind that eerily tastes like savory foods but in a tasty way – but I’m not sure I can say this is tasty. It's sweet. It's savory. You certainly taste the gravy-covered turkey. And it's soda. As I kept sipping a familiar note became more apparent; as a sugar-free beverage, each sip finished with the taste of sucralose, a flavor I find distracting as I prefer real sugar to the alternatives. Actually, that finish seemed to bother me more than the meaty pop.
I'm a bit of a problem solver by nature and I wanted to make this drink work, so I mixed it with one part whiskey to two parts gravy soda…and it improved. I asked over at Jones for more cocktail advice and they suggested a whiskey sour or a hot toddy. I could see enlisting the family to become amateur mixologists with this crazy ingredient as a fun new holiday activity.
Obviously, the folks at Jones are in on the joke offering up the #TurkeyGravyChallenge – film yourself chugging a whole bottle of the Turkey and Gravy Soda (tag them on Instagram or email the evidence here) and you may win a t-shirt. If competitive drinking isn't your thing, live out your food critic fantasies by filling out their taste survey here.
Believe it or not, the first Thanksgiving 2021 release has already sold out, but Jones will be doing another release here on November 15, 2021 at 12am PST, so if you're really jonesing (heh) for this concoction, be sure to set your turkey timer. In the meantime, it can be found at Kroger-owned stores across the country.