Zèle: Craft Soda, with a Twist (Review)

Published Sep 22, 2022 01:30 p.m. ET
Source: Unsplash

Acquisition: Ordered from the OCS, I was able to acquire five Zèle Craft Sodas within my 30g gram equivalent. This should be changing soon, with the potential to buy as many as 48 of these in one purchase - I look forward to seeing how the OCS delivery partners might adapt to that new reality.

Each glass bottle came wrapped in thick paper, packed inside their own bubble-wrap Ziploc style bag, of which I now have five and will be reused.

No leaks, no cracks and delivery within 3 days to my door. For five craft sodas, I paid a little under $35.

The Zele Craft Soda comes in an amber glass bottle, not unlike a beer bottle, with a standard bottle cap that requires a tool to remove. The branding is sleek and modern and provides the following details:

10mg THC
<0.1mg CBD
355 mL
Gram equivalent: 5.4g

On the back:
LP: Atlas Growers Ltd.
Producer: Bubble Bud Inc.
Packaged on June 10, 2022
No expiry date

Calories 150
34g of sugar

Carbonated water, Sugar, Lemon juice, Lime juice, Gum Acacia, Cannabis extract, Citric acid, Salt, Natural flavours, Preservative


Cannabis ingredients:
Ethanol-extracted, full-spectrum cannabis extract (To be clear, there is no ethanol or alcohol in this beverage, Bubble Bud Inc. has a special process that allows them to preserve terpenes and minor cannabinoids and then encapsulate this in flavour so there’s no cannabis taste). The benefit is a full-spectrum extract with comprehensive compounds from the cannabis plant, not just pure THC or CBD distillate).

Source: CannabisWiki

First Impressions:
The bottle feels and looks like a premium craft soda. There is some sediment that settles out of the solution while shipping but a gentle jostling of the bottle redisperses everything.

Popping the familiar white bottle cap (requiring a bottle opened or some tool, not twist-off) lets out a spritz and fizz that’s similar to many commercial sodas.

The liquid is cloudy, something you’d expect from a craft lemonade soda with real fruit juices - it looks more like a carbonated lemonade than a Mountain Dew. The colour is an equally light yellow, fresh and inviting, clearly not artificially coloured.

Very clearly citrus with no off-putting scents. It’s obvious they use every part of the fruit - the lemon juice and citrus essential oils combine into a pure citrus blast.

Lightly carbonated, but enough to be noticeable without being overwhelming. The 10mg of full-spectrum cannabis extract has been hidden seamlessly among the citrus flavours and oils. It’s kept from feeling greasy by the ample addition of sugar, and a touch of salt, to balance and accentuate the botanical ingredients. This is very easy to drink, especially when chilled.

Very lemon-forward with some lime to back it up. Some other citrus flavours might be floating around, but lightly. It is a very strong lemonade flavour, but more along the lines of freshly squeezed than concentrate. The lemon flavour borders on being too powerful, but it tastes excellent so I can assume these would be perfect for hot summer weather, or for any mixed drink that calls for lemon juice or lemonade. The strong citrus taste is balanced by the ample sugar, but in a way that’s similar to Coca Cola, it doesn’t taste overly sweet.

The effects crept in after about 15 to 20 minutes, with the experience in full-swing by 30 minutes after starting to drink the beverage. While many beverages and edibles tend to hit me hard in a couch-lock kind of way, this effect was more energetic and uplifting - I assume this is owing to the full-spectrum Sativa extract as opposed to the more common THC distillate.

I chose to share my beverage with a friend and we were both suitably lifted once we finished. Zèle definitely punches above its weight when compared against the other beverages in its class - one of the few to hit the 10mg limit without the addition of CBD, and to do so with full spectrum extract.

Conclusion: Zèle is easy to drink, enjoyable, flavourful and has unique effects that come on quickly


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