Honeymint Demi-Sec from Seasons Soda is by far the classiest soda that I found in Chicago, both in terms of marketing and flavor. The brand started out selling a couple varieties at farmers markets and has since expanded to supply discerning bars, restaurants, and grocers with their bright and sparkly drinks. In addition to the Honeymint Demi-Sec they also offer a Bitter Lemon Tonic, a Ginger Demi-Sec, and a Maple Demi-Sec. I would have loved to try all four, but the liquor store I was shopping at required that I buy a four pack of each flavor. Due to luggage limitations I settled on the one that sounded the most interesting.

The labeling is top notch. Very classy, very understated. Also, the 8.5 ounce bottle adds to the mystique. You look at it and think “that looks like it belongs in a hotel mini-bar. It must be good.” The green glass is nice, too. This is the sort of drink you can carry around at a party and nurse for a while without feeling weird. No one think that the guy nursing a diet coke is cool. Everyone will think that the guy nursing a Honeymint Demi-Sec is cool. That’s the whole point, right? We all need to maintain an image.

I’m kidding. Kind of. I’ll admit that the language in the description on Seasons Soda’s website is a bit over-the-top.

“Our signature demi-sec soda is lithely effervescent and off-dry, delicately reflecting the nuances of its origins.”

Wowza. Lithely effervescent? Off-dry? I’ll go with it. The soda is super bubbly, and not very sweet. The honey puts it a notch sweeter than Le Croix, but certainly well below standard sodas. While the beverage comes across very light on the palate (slightly alkaline), the mint and floral elements from the honey create interesting layers of flavor. The honey sticks with you a bit, but not to a cough-drop extreme. I could see this substituting really well for white wine in food pairings. Seafood especially. I drank it straight up while eating tacos al pastor, but I’m not the fanciest of people.

The Art Institute of Chicago

I’m going to give this anĀ 8.2 out of 10 on my rating scale. The flavor is unique and refreshing while at the same time remaining subtle. For something leaning towards the sparkling water category of sodas I’d say that’s high praise.

Purchased at Binny’s Beverage Depot in Chicago. Sampled July 2017

Cloudgate sculpture in Millennium Park