sharelle klaus 1.jpg
Photo by Leslie Kelly
We like our DRY straight up, with a shot of vodka.
Meet Sharelle Klaus, the mother of four who was sick


Not All Pop Is Evil, Just The Crap With High Fructose Corn Syrup

sharelle klaus 1.jpg
Photo by Leslie Kelly
We like our DRY straight up, with a shot of vodka.
Meet Sharelle Klaus, the mother of four who was sick and tired of the sticky sweet crap offered when she was pregnant and couldn't indulge in a cocktail. She launched DRY Soda to offer an alternative to the mainstream stuff and it's been a huge hit. Read part one of this week's Grillaxin Q&A to learn more.

SW: How do you feel about the pop bashing that's been going on the past few years? A time when pop has been blamed for the country's obesity epidemic?

Sharelle: I think it is about time. Sodas are the largest per capita drink in the US - but they are overly sweetened with HFCS and full of random ingredients. It is OK to demand that our sodas be clean and not loaded down with HFCS or sugar or preservatives. It is my hope that this begins a shift in all of our processed foods.

SW: What's the difference between using high fructose corn syrup and cane sugar in soda?

Sharelle: For DRY, it is a difference in taste. HFCS has a chemical taste and is often why you get that sickly aftertaste with soda. I personally am also concerned with the imbalance in our current agricultural system with the use of corn for everything. We need to demand better from our food and drink producers.

SW: Can you explain why DRY Soda is so much more expensive than mainstream pop?

Sharelle: DRY is more expensive for a few reasons:

• We are a small company and we do not have the luxury of high volumes that will bring your cost of goods down.

• We use sugar and very high quality natural extracts - more expensive the HFCS and the artificial ingredients in other sodas.

• Finally, we use glass bottles - a more expensive option that cans or plastic.

SW: Where is it actually made?

Sharelle: DRY is made in Portland, Oregon.

SW: What's the story behind the new bottles? And the new flavors?

Sharelle: DRY Soda launched in 2005. DRY has evolved from its beginnings on the white tablecloths of the country's finest restaurants, to finding huge success in grocery stores, cafes, and other retail locations across the U.S. and Canada. We wanted DRY's design to reflect the flavors that make DRY Soda so unique.

We also wanted the design to reflect that DRY Soda is less sweet. One of the things I'm most proud of about DRY is that it's always used the minimum amount of pure cane sugar so you can taste the flavor. Currently there's a shift happening in our country's collective food culture to reduce the amount of sugar in our meals so that we can actually taste the flavors of food instead of coating our palates with sweetness. DRY has been about flavor from the beginning and we want people to know that DRY is the soda that allows the flavors to shine through.

So DRY's new design helps communicate the best parts of DRY Soda - its distinctive flavors and its uniqueness as a less sweet, four ingredients, all natural soda. And while it was hard to let the old design go, we think this new design fits DRY perfectly.

SW: Ice or no ice? Or straight out of the bottle?

Sharelle: DRY is best chilled n a champagne flute - the bubbles allow the aromas to come to the surface. Out of the chilled bottle is second best. I don't ever put DRY over ice as I think it dilutes the flavors - each flavor was so meticulously created and the ice melts and basically dilutes the soda.

SW: Why does soda always taste better when it's in a bottle? Is there a scientific explaination?

Sharelle: No matter what we like to think - right now aluminum cans still impart a flavor to the soda (and unlike wine in oak - this does not improve the taste). Glass bottles provide the cleanest vessel for the soda.

SW: Where would you like to see DRY Soda in five years?

Sharelle: I personally would love to see the entire world of soda shifted over to the DRY side - meaning less sweet and all natural sodas. Of course I want DRY to be the leader of this new world!

Check back for part three of this week's Grillaxin Q&A for a recipe from Sharelle Klaus, founder of DRY Soda.

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