Starbucks is getting in on the carbonation craze. Not content to let SodaStream dominate the fizzy-drinks market, the coffee behemoth is, after more than two years of development, rolling out its new Fizzio line of sodas in time for Summer. And for those of you used to having specialized Starbucks concoctions, don't worry; Fizzios are customizable too.
Starting today, June 24, Starbucks's Southern stores from California to Florida will offer Fizzio handcrafted sodas in three flavors: Golden Ginger Ale, Lemon Ale, and Spiced Root Beer. The drinks are made without artificial flavors, preservatives, or high-fructose corn syrup and clock in at just 100 calories for a 16-ounce Grande beverage.
But are they good? The Ginger Ale tasted, well, like a classic ginger ale but, crucially, was not too sweet. The Lemon Ale also had hints of ginger, and I surprised myself by draining the sample cup without even noticing — it was that refreshing! But my favorite, and the top-seller in a Starbucks trial, was the Root Beer, just like the classic cola but with a delicious, distinguishing aftertaste of clove.
Participating stores are currently being outfitted with Starbucks-developed Fizzio machines, which will be used to individually carbonate each soda with as much fizz as you can handle. You can even add bubbles to other drinks, like iced tea, for just 50 cents. It's the first time Starbucks has purpose-built a machine for stores — check it out in action below — but at this time, the company has no plans to sell the machines to consumers. If Fizzios become a hit, we can probably expect to see many more flavors.