VICE introduces Big Shot soda to the world outside New Orleans_lowres

Big Shot sodas for sale at Rouses Markets on Tchoupitoulas Street.

Who knew an 80-year-old cold drink could be so interesting? In “Why Nobody Outside of New Orleans Has Ever Heard of the City’s Iconic Soda,” Emma Sloan took a long look at Big Shot for VICE's food channel, MUNCHIES.

“If authenticity is the currency in the Big Easy, then Big Shot may be as close as you can get to a true New Orleans beverage,” Sloan wrote. “It’s affordable to the entire city population, and available within walking distance of most neighborhoods. It’s the drink of the people in ways that the gin fizz or a fancy lunch at Commander’s Palace is not.” (Plus it was name-checked by Lil Wayne, so...)

[jump] It even turns out Nathan Richards, executive chef at Kingfish, uses “atomically red” Big Shot Red Creme to flavor (and dye) some of his dishes. “While using Big Shot in recipes may not seem like a typical farm-to-table ingredient,” Sloan concludes, “it is a local product made by fellow Louisianans."

As to why nobody outside the city has heard of Big Shot, perhaps it's because its parent company, National Beverage Corp., doesn't return press inquiries; at least it didn't return Sloan's.)

(For more on another uniquely New Orleanian cold drink, read Blake Pontchartrain on the history of Dr. Nut, and how you can replicate Dr. Nut in your own kitchen.)