Utah has an interesting culture that many have a hard time understanding. One result of this culture is Utah’s per capita alcohol consumption. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Utah ranks dead last in alcohol consumption. So, what exactly do Utahns replace the daily glass of wine with?
In 2012, the CDC released a list of soda consumption based on state. Here in Utah, one in four adults consume at least one bubbly concoction a day. It’s no surprise that as a result of many Utahns’ affinity for soda and aversion to alcohol, soda bars are becoming increasingly popular and have popped up across the state. For this publication’s purposes, the following will focus exclusively on soda bars in the Ogden area.
Fiiz franchises can be located in North and South Ogden, both featuring drive-throughs. They appear to have developed some of their recipes straight out of a cocktail book, and in some cases, they took their drinks straight off the street — the Xanasprite, for example, has the look and taste of a cheap AMF, a cocktail made by mixing blue curaçao, vodka, rum, tequila, gin and sweet and sour mix, then topping off the drink with 7UP. Xanasprite, on the other hand, includes a non-alcoholic blue curaçao with passion fruit to mimic the alcoholic version.
Xanasprite’s name combines Xanax and Sprite, a common mixture to get someone messed up on the streets. Some other soda names include: Scotch and Soda, MoMojito and Antifreeze. But, again, there’s no alcohol.
Club Soda is attached to the Movie Grille. Because of this, they don’t use the alcoholic and drug related puns and instead name their drinks after well-known movies. For example, their Pineapple, Coconut, Cream Mello Yellow is called “Wizard of Oz,” whereas Fiiz’s Pineapple, Coconut, Cream Dr. Pepper is called Pepperlada. For the most part, however, the drinks have the same mixology.
Warren’s Burgers can be found under two different names across the Ogden area: Warren’s Burgers and Dylan’s Drive-in. At either location, they have a limited supply of specialty drinks. But unlike the first two, their drinks are not their primary focus. Because of this, they have limited options that taste no different than buying a drink from a fast food place with a Coca-Cola Freestyle machine.
Recently, Sonic opened up a franchise in Ogden on Washington Blvd. For years, Sonic has marketed itself as the ultimate drink stop, and they have definitely lived up to this hype. They don’t offer the Italian creme sodas that the first two offer — although they did offer them for a limited time, so it could potentially return — but they definitely have their own specialty drinks that are on par with these unique concoctions.
From just a simple examination of the soda bars available right here in Ogden, it is safe to say that Utah has found a replacement for alcohol and that’s in these bubbly concoctions.