This is one of the first non-mainstream sodas I got into. I first heard about it from my dad, who drank it as a kid way back when in Chicago. And one time, on a trip to Chicago, we got a bottle of it, and I recall being fairly pleased with it. But for quite some time after that, it was pretty much unobtainable outside of Chicago, and even then only at certain times of the year. But that’s changed. I’ve had Green River quite a few times since, and while it’s been superseded by other sodas in my affections, it’s an important and unique beverage and one I needed to write a proper review of.
So here it is, the original, 95 years young, Green River!
First off, take a look at that picture. Drink in just how green this stuff is. It’s so green, you wonder if they named the color after the soda.
And the bouquet (a much more graceful word than “smell”)…it smells green. Kind of like lime snowcone syrup.
The taste (and this bottle’s gone a little flat–and musty?) is like a lime cross-bred with sugar cane. You have the citrus tang, but it’s held in check by the sweetness (44 grams of sugar–thank god it’s real sugar).
And it’s made with natural lemon and lime flavors, so it has a “fresher” taste.
It’s a very nice soda. It’s got a bit of that chalky citric-acid flavor, but it’s a smooth, sweet (but not overwhelmingly so) drink. I still really like it.
Maybe because I’m sort of used to it, it’s hard to critique it. It sort of occupies a middle ground between Mountain Dew and 7-Up–more mild than the former but sweeter than the latter. Those who like either (especially Mountain Dew buffs) should appreciate it.
I suppose the best thing I can say about it is, I’ll gladly drink it again. Not all the time–this is the kind of soda that cloys easily–but every once in a while, it’s a good drink to trot out, out of nostalgia, or just for some nice summer refreshment (though it could have its winter uses). It deserves the status of a classic.