As I’ve mentioned before, Waialua Soda Works is based out of Oahu (Hawaii) and makes a few varieties of tropical fruit sodas as well as a root beer and a vanilla cream. I’m currently in the process of finishing reviews of their entire line of sodas, all of which you’ll be able to find by clicking on this link. While they’re a Hawaiian company, they have distribution across the US. Maybe beyond, I don’t know. I’ve seen bottles at high-end grocery stores as well as Rocket Fizz locations.
I was pretty tickled to see a Lilikoi flavor in their line of sodas. I love lilikoi. Probably a little too much. Lilikoi is the Hawaiian word for passion fruit, which is a flavor we don’t see a whole lot in mainland United States. My first introduction to the fruit was during my time living in Honduras. I’d buy plastic bags of refresco de maracuya from street vendors somewhat regularly up until my I learned my lesson about untreated water. If you’ve never seen soda/juice sold out of plastic bags check out this blog post from La Gringa’s Blogicito.
What surprised me about the Waialua Lilikoi Soda was the color. Everything else I’ve ever seen flavored with passion fruit has been yellow. The juice in Central America was yellow (and contained the fish egg looking seeds), and the syrups and baked goods in Hawaii were all yellow as well. The Waialua soda is pink. The flavor wasn’t as bold and tart as I was expecting either. Lilikoi can be a real sour punch to your mouth (in a good way), but this was a very mellow version. It was only slightly tart with a fair amount of cane sugar and plenty of carbonation. I’d describe it as a medium-sweet natural fruit spritzer. If the label didn’t say Lilikoi I probably wouldn’t have guessed. It was more of a generic slightly-tart fruit soda.
I liked it well enough, but there are other flavors I enjoyed more. The Lilikoi only earns a 6.5 out of 10 on my rating scale. To my reviews of other Hawaiian products go ahead and click here.
Sampled May 2017