06/04/2012 10:42 am ET Updated Aug 01, 2012

Craft Soda Cool: Mix It Up With Artisan Soda This Summer

Part of the fun of working at a digital lifestyle magazine about shopping unique lifestyle products, like Condiment is that we're constantly finding and sampling just that -- unusual, one of a kind and amazing products.

Most of us today weren't around when soda was made at a soda fountain or shop, where carbonated water and flavorings were mixed together on the spot with whatever tastes we requested. This moved into bottle and can form and before long, there were giant, established corporate brands. While a variety of some flavors were still offered, they were bottom line basic -- centered around what appealed to most and ultimately what sold best. It took out the fun of cool and interesting flavors.

Not long ago while at a boutique style store in the city, I came across a craft soda brand. It instantly intrigued me to find what out what others might be out there. It turns out that not only are there a bunch of brands, but with so many incredible and creative tastes that go far beyond the traditional corporate brands. Blood orange, pineapple, and so many others, along with old school classics like cream soda and black cherry. The textures and flavors of these new and upstart style companies are lighter and often different than their mass market counterparts.

It's a cool option for mixed drinks, punches, parties and other events you might be having. Instead of going with the usual suspects, mix in some of these new craft brands. It creates a more one of a kind and interesting experience, and you'll find that most are priced similar to what you'll find at major markets and stores throughout the country. If you can't find good options in your town, it's easy to order online as many producers offer online shopping of their brand. Bonus! You'll also find many are fat free, low cal and even organic.

To take a look at a few craft soda options, check out this week's article on Condiment, where we rounded up our favorites.