Yes, it's possible to pour yourself a glass of soda without looking like a chubby fifth-grader. Most of what you find in the two-liter canyons of A&P is best paired with a family-size bag of Doritos. Thankfully, though, the fizzy-beverage universe has expanded to include inspired creations in flavors that mesh well even with Brussels sprouts, which means you can feel confident tossing them back in front of, like, grown-ups. Rob Wiley
1. Waialua Soda Works Pineapple ($1.09 each, waialuasodaworks.com)
Hawaiian cane sugar and homegrown fruit provide the tropical punch of this North Shore specialty, which brilliantly revived a soda-making tradition.
2. Sprecher Brewing Root Beer ($1 each, sprecherbrewery.com)
Elegant is not a word often used to describe root beer, but the almost creamy consistency of this honey-and-vanilla-tinged specimen from Wisconsin merits the praise.
3. Dry Soda Rhubarb ($19 for 12, drysoda.com)
The name is apt—the sweetness of this Seattle-based line of sodas is so wispy that you hardly recognize it, especially against the tartness of the rhubarb.
4. Maine Root Blue-berry ($26 for 12, maineroot.com)
Brewed by a former boat builder and fishing guide, this inky, bright-tasting confection celebrates its home state's signature fruit, bolstered only by sugar, water, and bubbles.
5. Vermont Sweetwa-ter Bottling Company Maple ($7 for 6, vtsweetwater.com)
The result of a backyard maple-syrup- making session, this mellow soda is produced in an old dairy barn using salvaged 1940s bottling equipment.
WHERE TO DRINK HOUSE-MADE SODAS
Custom-brewed seltzers are bubbling up in restaurants. Don't miss out on these.
Celery at Franny's
295 Flatbush Ave., Brooklyn, 718-230-0221; frannysbrooklyn.com
Strawberry & Hyssop at Duckfat
43 Middle St., Portland, Maine, 207-774-8080; duckfat.com
Grape at Dogmatic
26 E. 17th St., New York City, 212-414-0600; eatdogmatic.com
The tried-and-true rum and Coke works just fine when you're underage, your dad's nearby, and you want to booze at your cousin's wedding. But here are three better ways to spike the stuff.
Gin & Blueberry: Splash some soft gin (try Plymouth) over a few large ice cubes, squeeze in half a lime, and top with cold soda.
Rum & Pineapple: Same procedure as above, but use a good light rum such as Brugal, and hold the lime.
Prosecco & Rhubarb: Chill both, and combine in equal parts in a flute.
Photographs by Bartholomew Cooke