5 housemade sodas around KC to help you kick your Coke habit

The ginger ale at 715.

The ginger ale at 715.

You don’t have to keep drinking the same old soda. The pop revolution is here and you can enjoy plenty of spice in your carbonated drinks. Mass Street Soda — an entire shop devoted to pop in Lawrence — is in the process of making their own fizzy lifting drinks. And even Starbucks is getting into the game, announcing last month that it would be making sodas behind its coffee bar under the name of Fizzio (a nationwide roll-out is expected sometime next year).

Here’s a pro tip: if a restaurant has a scratch bar (The Rieger Hotel Grill & Exchange, The American, Extra Virgin) — then they can make you a soda (either spiked with liquor or as a “mocktail.”) To get you started, we’ve put together a list of the five housemade sodas around Kansas City that will help you kick your Coke habit.

Ginger Ale at 715 Restaurant (715 Massachusetts, Lawrence). The amber-tinted effervescent drink comes in a Collins glass (a long skinny glass) and is more spicy than sweet, as a proper Ginger Ale should be.

Sodas at Justus Drugstore (106 W Main Street, Smithville, Missouri). The sodas come from a bar built around a 50’s style soda fountain. One wants to order a phosphate or a tonic or an egg cream. Instead, just ask for a non-alcoholic version of the seasonal cocktails being cranked out by mixologist Zac Snyder (the winner of the first Mixtapes & Mixology). If it has herbs and fruit, you want it.

Root beer at McCoy’s Public House (4057 Pennsylvania). This is one of a few breweries around town that makes it own root beer. The dominant note is vanilla, but they also use sarsaparilla, birch bark and brown and cane sugar to make a simple syrup for the soda’s base. They’ve even got a drink on the menu — The Diesel — that combines their stout and root beer.

The ginger fizz at Little Freshie.

The ginger fizz at Little Freshie.

Ginger Fizz at Little Freshie (811 W 17th Street). Curative without being medicinal, this is a bright punch of ginger that is true to its moniker — bubbly with ginger in every sip. [The West Side shop is making carbonated popsicles for On A StickThe Recommended Daily’s state-fair themed event on August 14 — where all the food will be on a stick.]

Root Beer at Mugs Up Drive-In (700 E 23rd Street, Independence). It’s a little less carbonated than your standard fare, but that’s because they’ve been making it the same way for more than 50 years. The smooth root beer (add a scoop of vanilla ice cream to make it a Black Cow) will take you back to a simpler time as you sip it in the front seat of your car.

Where do you go for soda made by the house?

Jonathan Bender

Jonathan Bender is the founder of The Recommended Daily.


  • Reply July 29, 2014

    Jake Elliott

    Mugs Up RB is amazing

  • Reply July 29, 2014

    Kevin Mcgree

    I would throw into the ring – the sodas at Tannin Wine bar are very good as well, the Ginger soda is perfect, crisp, and refreshing on the patio.

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