J&D Foods, a company that specializes in all things bacon -- including bacon-flavored envelopes and the bacon Kevin Bacon sculpture that made headlines recently -- has taken the obsession one step further by coming up with a new drinkable pork product: bacon-flavored soda.
That's right, Coca-Cola is out, and swine soda is in.
J&D Foods owner Justin Esch told AOL News that his company recently partnered with Jones Soda to create a special-edition bacon-flavored drink just in time for the holidays.
Since both companies are based in Seattle and are known to take risks developing wacky products, Esch said it was only a matter of time before they got together and combined forces.
"They know soda. We know bacon. We were destined to merge our technologies for something big," Esch said. "We've already made bacon beauty products, bacon stationery and edible bacon products, so something drinkable was next."
Esch said his crew and mixologists over at Jones worked tirelessly for months concocting the perfect bacon flavoring for the beverage.
After much trial and error, he said they were finally able to get the taste just right.
"Nailing the flavor was tough. We didn't want pot roast, we didn't want pork tenderloin, we wanted bacon. The drink started out tasting more like ham than pork. But eventually we were able to get the crispiness of bacon in there without it being overpowered by porkiness," Esch said.
Mike Spear, marketing manager for Jones Soda, agreed with Esch and told AOL News that putting bacon in a bottle was fairly challenging.
He confessed that the pressure was really on to make the flavor tasty and accurate because people who love bacon take their meat seriously, and the companies didn't want to disappoint fans.
"We spent many rounds and many afternoons getting the flavor right. One would be too smoky, one too sweet, one too much like maple. But the flavor we finally went with is spot-on. It's a complex flavor with many levels. I think we hit it out of the park on this one," Spear said.
So what, exactly, does bacon-flavored soda go with, you ask?
Well, Esch suggests sipping on the pop at lunchtime with a sandwich or pouring yourself a glass to unwind in the evening.
"If you drink it at lunch with a turkey sandwich, then your sandwich instantly becomes a turkey club. It's also good as a mixer in cocktails. Bourbon and bacon soda go together very nicely."
Esch also figures that, if people really want to, they could drink the soda for breakfast with their eggs, especially on those busy mornings when there's not enough time to make proper bacon on the skillet.
"I don't usually drink soda in the morning, but you could. It's quick and easy bacon," he said.
For best results, Esch recommends serving bacon soda chilled or over ice, just like any other soft drink. Chugging it at room temperature may not be quite as appetizing.
Like a fine wine, Esch insists that Jones Bacon Soda only gets better with age.
"Not only will the taste improve over time, but the value of bacon soda will increase as well. It's a collector's item for bacon enthusiasts, so it could be worth something someday. I predict the value of bacon soda will go up 10 times its original value in one year," he joked.
Esch is pushing for the product to sell big during the holiday season, so he's packaged it accordingly in one tidy little bacon-centered gift bag.
For about $10 a pop, you get two bottles of bacon-flavored soda, one bag of Cheddar BaconPop popcorn, one tube of bacon lip balm and a packet of brand-new bacon-flavored country gravy.
As it turns out, this isn't the first time beverage makers have tried to sell a hearty, offbeat drink to consumers.
A few years ago, Jones Soda itself developed a limited-edition "Turkey & Gravy Soda" around Thanksgiving.
Then there's the wide array of weird food-based drinks made by MeatWater.
As leading experts in meaty beverages, it offers flavored water in cheeseburger, chicken teriyaki, Buffalo wings, fish 'n' chips and fried oyster varieties, just to name a few.
MeatWater even has a "Basic Breakfast" drink, which combines "crispy bacon, eggs and buttered toast" all in one bottle.
Guess all there's left to do is grab a straw and get to chugging. Cheers.
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