There are two schools of thought among soda connoisseurs: Those who prefer their sodas as naturalistic as possible (cinema vérité) and those who prefer neon-hued creations not derived from any fruit flavors found in this world (science-fiction). A watermelon soda can fall anywhere along this spectrum, from a Mexican jugo de sandía to a liquid Jolly Rancher.
Filbert's Watermelon splits the difference, retaining a hint of actual watermelon flavor but emphasizing it so faintly, we'd barely know this was watermelon soda unless the label said so. If it was a movie genre, it would be magical realism.
Bless Chicago-based Filbert's (best known for their Old Time Root Beer) for avoiding the awful fake flavoring found in so many watermelon candies. And we can appreciate their attempt to walk straight down the middle, but in the end, trying to please all sides, doesn't pay off for anyone. The soda is weak, underpowered and has very little staying power.
(2 stars out of 5)
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