November 26, 2007

Pops 66

I admit it: I have a penchant for soda. Maybe it's because I was denied soft drinks as a kid. Or, maybe I just like the fizzy sweet taste. Whatever it is, I love soda. My favorite "hand crafted" sodas come from Boylan's (grape and orange are my favorite) and China Cola. I especially like sodas made with cane sugar (instead of high-fructose corn syrup), as they have a cleaner finish without the syrupy texture. A couple of months ago, my wife read about a shop in Oklahoma that carried hundreds of specialty sodas. The name of the shop is Pops 66, and it's located just north of Oklahoma City on an old section of Route 66. Since we were going to be traveling through Oklahoma over Thanksgiving, we made plans to swing by on our return trip.

As I mentioned, Pops 66 is just north of Oklahoma City, just outside the small town of Arcadia (population 279). The shop itself is new with very modern architecture. And when I say new, I mean brand spanking new. Everything inside was very clean and bright -- even the rest rooms. Half of the shop is a diner, with a convenience store comprising the other half. On the wall opposite the diner is a large refrigerated case displaying the full selection of different sodas. Pops 66 claims to carry "nearly 500" different kinds of soda. It didn't seem like there were quite that many, but I didn't stop to count each one. There certainly was no shortage of selections, however. It was fairly overwhelming at first -- I had to pause and decide how best to select a representative mix without going completely overboard. I settled on 18 different sodas total, two of which were selected by my son, and one by my wife (see below for complete list).

All-in-all, the experience was a fun one. If you're ever traveling through Oklahoma on either I-35 or I-44, it's well worth the short drive off the highway (especially if you're a soda fan like I am). If you're an historic Route 66 fan, the Round Barn in Arcadia is a stone's throw away from the shop as well.

Read on for the list of sodas I purchased, as well as a brief description of each (updated as I consume them).

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