This summer, I’m fully dedicating one hand to holding grilled meat of any variety and the other to holding a cup or can of the best summertime soda (to wash said grilled meat down my gullet, naturally). The best sodas for summertime are refreshing, nostalgic, and ready to cool you down on even the hottest days. We’ve rounded up some of the best sodas we’ve tried in our taste tests (and some unique summertime sips) to help you stay cool at every picnic, cookout, or other grilled meat-adjacent gathering you may attend before fall rolls around again.
- Mtn Dew Spark
Once in a while, the best sodas for summer are jazzed-up versions of sodas you already know and love. For instance, this Mtn Dew-raspberry lemonade hybrid, Mtn Dew Spark. Sporked senior writer Jordan Myrick called Mtn Dew Spark “sweet, tart, and a little sour,” which is why it’s one of the best summertime sodas to grab when a long summer day leaves you in need of a little jolt. They don’t call it Spark for nothing.
Read the full ranking of the best Mtn Dew flavors
- Faygo Firework
We called it: rocket pop is the official flavor of summer 2023. Fittingly, one of the best summertime sodas is Faygo Firework, a translucent, three-in-one soda that blends cherry, lime, and blue raspberry flavors together. This soda sold out fast the last time it hit stores, so get it while the getting is good if you live in a region where Faygo is widely available, or keep an eye out for it on eBay if you’re really desperate for a sip of this nostalgic concoction.
- River City Root Beer
When does a soda become dessert? When you add ice cream, of course. River City Root Beer was named “best for root beer floats” by Sporked editor-in-chief Justine Sterling, which automatically makes it one of the best summertime sodas. See, River City has “a ton of vanilla flavor to welcome in the ice cream and a nice, sharp fizz to cut its creaminess.” Honestly, all soda should contain ice cream between the months of June and September.
Read the full ranking of the best root beer
- Grapefruit Jarritos
Nothing says summer like street tacos piled with grilled meat and nothing goes with tacos like Jarritos. This stuff is so good and so dang refreshing, the grapefruit flavor in particular, which Jordan called “bright and citrusy” (it also pairs well with tequila—just saying). Stocking the fridge with these is a pro summertime soda move.
Read the full ranking of the best Jarritos flavors
- Watermelon Lime Olipop
Between all the soda and grilled meat I consume during the summer months, I don’t always have a free hand for fresh fruit. This Watermelon Lime Olipop is the perfect solution. Not only is it prebiotic, but it tastes almost exactly like a fresh slice of watermelon. In fact, Gwynedd praised its “big, juicy, fresh watermelon flavor,” which it gets from—you guessed it—real watermelon juice. This stuff is the definition of summertime refreshment in a can.
Read the full review of Olipop Watermelon Lime