Stewart's Key Lime Soda: The Taste of Summer

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Have you ever tasted summer? Ridiculous question; you can’t taste a season. Well, I don’t see why not since you can smell autumn. There are certain days, usually around October or November where I live, where fall transforms into something that can actually be sensed. How does autumn smell? Autumn is a rich bouquet of slightly piquant aromas that is dominated by a scent roughly equivalent to that produced by a football, but with a reedy kiss courtesy of falling leaves. Decorating this combination is an airy aroma brought to the fore by the swirling winds of the season that brings to your olfactory mechanism a combination of fragrances from all directions. But enough of the smell of fall, what of the taste of summer?

I have recently discovered a soft drink that instantly brings to my taste senses the essence of summer. Understand, of course, that I live in a part of the country where summer means temperatures in the 90s as early as 7:00 AM and as late as 9:00 PM with humidity figures roughly equivalent. (If you want to know the full extent of the power of heat and humidity, just ask Tone Loc who collapsed while performing in concert at a bar on the beach; even in the early morning hours he had reason to complain.) What I’m trying to say is that usually I go to any length possible to avoid engaging any sensual remembrance of the summer season. If I had the money, I’d have a summer home in Vermont or Oregon. And yet, this soft drink that brings forth the taste of summer even in the height of winter (by which I mean the temperature only rises to the upper 80s and the humidity often dips as low as 70%) actually does bring me enjoyment, though mostly in the form of refreshment.

I suppose due to the title and photo that little suspense exists as to which soft drink I assert contains the taste of summer. It comes in a glass bottle, which is the only real way to fully enjoy any soft drink, and is made by a company called Stewart’s Fountain Classics. The taste is Key Lime and I must say that though I enjoy eating the occasional lime, I’m not a really big fan of lime in other forms. I don’t drink alcohol so all those lime-based alcoholic beverages are not friend of mine and I don’t like key lime pie. But man, do I enjoy Stewart’s Fountain Classics’ key lime soft drink. Unfortunately, the key lime drink from Stewart’s is made with high fructose corn syrup rather than sugar, but the introduction by Pepsi of its Throwback line of drinks, along with the ridiculous spike in the cost of high fructose corn syrup that spurred Pepsi to take this step, gives one hope that one day it will be possible to walk into a store and buy Stewart’s Fountain Classics key lime soft drink made with tasty and delicious syrup instead of a sweetener inexplicably manufactured from corn. Who the heck even knew that corn could be made into a syrup? Seriously, who was the first guy to look at corn and think: man, oh man, that would taste good in syrup form drowning my pancakes?

I cannot adequately explain why Stewart’s Fountain Classics key lime drink taste like summer. It is a much trickier proposition than explaining the aroma of autumn. There is just something about the lime flavoring, artificial needless to say, that brings rushing forth memories of the beach without, fortunately, the accompanying misery of sweat running down your back and neck and legs and crotch. If you really want to taste summer while you are in the doldrums of winter (something I know nothing about personally, but I can tell you all about summer doldrums then pick up a bottle of Stewart’s Fountain Classics key lime soft drink and be transported directly to the beach of your choice.