OPINION | Swig might be the original soda shop, but is it the best?

Soda shops have increased in popularity around Utah, but which one is the favorite? Annie Sorensen | Sun News Daily

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Any direction you drive in Utah a soda shop can be found.

For those with a soda addiction, like me, this state helps me live the dream. However, not every soda shop is created the same. 

Those that do not have an experienced, diversified and elevated soda palette like me do not see the disparities between each soda shop. I have spent all of my time in Utah, especially the last few days, figuring out which soda shop is best. 

There is a lot to consider before naming a soda shop “the best.” I will be looking into the number of options, pricing, customer service, speed of service, and overall taste and experience. 

The main soda shops in St. George are Swig, Fiiz and Thirst.

Number of options/pricing

Swig offers 52 add-ins, which include syrups, purees, creams and popping pearls. There are 19 bases, including water, to start your drink off. Drinks start off at $1.50 for a plain 16 ounce soda and increase by 25 cents for each size up. Each syrup add-in adds 35 cents and creams and purees add 60 cents to the total cost. 

Swig also offers its own brand of energy drinks, hot chocolate, cookies and pretzel bites. 

Thirst has 26 bases to build off of and 61 total add-ins. A 16 ounce soda starts at $1.45. There is a 25 cents difference in price between a 16 ounce and 24 ounce and a 32 ounce and a 44 ounce. However, the difference between a 24 ounce and a 32 ounce drink is 30 cents. Water base costs do go up evenly 25 cents each size. Add-in syrups cost 30 cents per shot, purees and creams cost 60 cents, and fresh fruit cost 30 cents. 

Thirst also offers Wetzel’s pretzel bites and dog bites. Along with beignets with raspberry, chocolate and/or honey drizzle. Each order also comes with a free bag of popcorn. 

Fiiz has 21 bases, plus 10 flavors of Monsters for their energy drinks. There are a total of 80 add-ins offered when adding up the number of syrups, purees, creams, and fresh fruit. Drinks start off costing $1.50. Each size up from a 16 ounce costs an extra 25 cents, syrup add-ins cost an extra 35 cents, purees add 65 cents, and creams add 59 cents.

Fiiz also offers soft pretzels, nachos, cookie dough bites, chonuts (churro donuts), TruFru, and Icees. There is also a wide array of frozen drinks and hot chocolates offered. 

Customer service/speed

Before I made up my mind, I made sure to go drive through each soda shop in order to have a clear and timely experience to base my thoughts off of. 

I got through the Swig line in a few seconds shy of four minutes. The worker that took my order jumped right into business by asking for my loyalty number. However, that also means I was not greeted with a “Hi, how are you?” When at the window to get my drink, the workers were a little unprofessional, as they did not have their focus on the customer but rather their coworkers. 

Thirst was a faster line than Swig, with me spending about three minutes and 30 seconds there. The workers greeted me with a smile and were very welcoming. The workers were focused, yet still looked happy to be there. I love that after handing me my drink they said, “Have a happy day.” 

Fiiz took a little longer with me spending five minutes entering the line, ordering and getting my drink. However, there was a great welcome over the speaker box and the workers at the pick-up window were very nice. You could see the other workers from the window staying focused and working hard to get the drinks made. I also love how they repeated what my drink was back to me when handing it to me. 

Overall taste

When ranking the overall taste of my drinks, it has to go as follows: Fiiz as the best, Thirst, and then Swig as the worst. 

Swig had too much flavoring in the drink. I felt that I could not even tell what soda base I had gotten. I also felt like there wasn’t much carbonation within the soda which made it taste flat or watered down. My drink tasted fine but there wasn’t anything too special about it. 

Thirst had maybe a little less ice than I would have liked, but I liked that the flavor was not overpowering the soda. The carbonation level was refreshing, not too bubbly but also not too little. 

Fiiz had a great ice to soda ratio. The syrup flavors were prevalent but not too overbearing to the extent that I couldn’t tell what soda I was drinking. I like the level of carbonation. I found myself reaching more for the drink I ordered from here rather than the other soda shops. 

The rankings

Overall, I would rank the soda shops in St. George from worst to best as…

Third place: Swig. I did not reach for my soda from here. It was not the best customer service or overall taste. Swig might be the original soda shop, but the marketing is lackluster when compared to the look of the other soda shops in town. Their treats are not original, and they have the fewest options available for drinks. 

Second place: Thirst. It was close to being first in my books. It has great treats, a great staff, and I got out of line with a drink in hand quickly. However, I found myself gravitating toward Thirst more for its snacks and less for its sodas, and that is what I am judging here.

First place: Fiiz. It has the most options, the nicest staff, and the smoothest ordering process. I found myself drinking my Dr. Pepper from here more frequently, as it had the best flavor balance. Fiiz is definitely worth the further drive in order to ensure a quality soda.