Cheerwine is one of those southern delicacies, like Chick-fil-A and Waffle House, that I had long heard about on the Internet but never had the chance to try. However, back in the fall I paid a visit to the old Nerd Lunch stomping grounds of Central Illinois and found that a longtime favorite store, Friar Tuck, now carries specialty sodas like Red Rock Cola and Cheerwine. I took advantage of the situation and loaded up my trunk with a selection of beverages, including my first ever bottle of Cheerwine.
Cheerwine falls into the dark/caramel soda class with colas and Dr. Pepper-like drinks. Flavor-wise I think it most closely resembles a muted Dr. Pepper with a stronger cherry flavor. Oh, like Dr. Pepper Cherry or the homemade version of cherry DP my family has made using grenadine. The flavor balance of Cheerwine is quite nice though not as unique as I was expecting. It’s definitely tasty, but not as transcendent or as difficult to replicate as Red Rock. Luckily Cheerwine appears to be available at many Cracker Barrel location so those of you in the chain restaurant belt of America shouldn’t have to go far to give it a try.