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Soda Selector: September 2021

I’m sorry. I deprived you all of Soda Selector for two whole months. I had some health problems to deal with as well as some personal matters. I will do my best to not allow this to happen ever again. To make it up to you, I’ll be giving you, in this column, what was once a top secret formula for a tasty fountain beverage at a convenience store chain you know and love. But first, a couple things.

Soda Selector most often involves me trying at least three new-to-me sodas and my thoughts on them. One of the only new sodas I’ve tried in the last couple months was this Rick & Morty-branded Coke Freestyle machine drink at Wendy’s -- it was less interesting than the enjoyable-but-overhyped TV program it was named for (I don’t remember the name for the drink and I don’t care to look it up).

The other new soda I tried was a Polly’s Pop ginger beer. I wasn’t aware until recently that Polly’s Pop was a local brand, based out of Independence, Missouri, making it the only other local soda brand I know of other than Atomic Fizz. I remember enjoying at least one Polly’s Pop flavor in the past, but this ginger beer tasted essentially the same as every other ginger beer I’ve ever had. That’s not a terrible thing though. Perhaps there simply isn’t much room for innovation in the realm of bottled ginger beers. Regardless, Polly’s Pop or Atomic Fizz should hit me up -- I would love to make some kind of local music/local soda crossover collab happen sometime.

Also, as I teased in the last edition of Soda Selector, the grand finale episode of Shuttlecock’s Sippin’ On Some Soda podcast did happen and is now available on the Shuttlecock Podcast feed, wherever you find your podcasts. It was a two-and-a-half-hour blowout that included several special guest appearances, soda reviews, a blind root beer taste test, and a former edgeman’s list of the top five Kansas City hardcore edge breaks. If you have time to kill and have enjoyed our audio antics before, I recommend you give it a listen.

Now, for a Soda Selector moment I’ve been waiting to share with you. As many other citizens of the American Midwest and South do, I love QuikTrip. The array of tasty snacks and beverages, the late night hours, the cleanliness of the stores, and the helpfulness of the employees are unparalleled in these regions. Since most Kansas Citians live no farther than a hop, skip, and a jump away from a QT, the store’s Big Q fountain cup is a staple for most local soda drinkers.

The nature of the soda fountain grants the customer the freedom to choose from over a dozen different flavors, and, if they see fit, mix those flavors with each other. Many years ago (during my high school years I would have to guess), I took advantage of this specific liberty on a whim and concocted a fairly random yet calculated mix that I’ve never really had a name for -- to friends who asked, I’d just call it “my special mix.” In the hopes of taking the Shuttlecock brand to great new heights, I’ve decided to name it the Shuttlecock Sangria. Its ingredients are as follows:

-One third Mountain Dew
-One third Mountain Dew Code Red
-One third Rooster Booster
-One shot of vanilla flavor syrup

You might find yourself thinking, “That’s a weird and stupid mix of flavors.” In rebuttal, allow me to tell you that every friend I’ve shared it with has enjoyed it. I’m kind of proud of it, seeing that it is a mix that can only be achieved at a QuikTrip fountain (I believe they’re the only store locally that carries Rooster Booster, in addition to having a vanilla flavor shot dispenser at every fountain) and that it isn’t necessarily a mix that one would come up with on the fly. It doesn’t seem to me like something that would be prefabricated, like a cherry vanilla cola.

I ask that you, my loyal readers, give this drink a fair try, report to me your feelings about it, and if it brings you joy, share it with those you hold near and dear.

Until next we meet, yours truly,

Aaron Rhodes


Soda podcast finale crew: Jason Shrout, Kirby Stickler, Matthew Ryan, Emerson Dellaero, Ian Kopp, Jana Danzeisen, Cam Amys (and Barbara the cat). Photo by Aaron Rhodes.

[This article first appeared in Issue 4 of Shuttlecock's free monthly print edition. Click here to order a copy online, or pick one up for free at locations around KC/Lawrence/JoCo.]     


  1. I'm going to Quik trip in the morning!!!
    Sounds delicious!!!


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