At first glance, the vintage looking logo on a bottle of Dukes makes it look like it wouldnt be out of place idling in the cooler at an Esso station in 1964. In fact, I wasnt even sure that it was necessarily of Indian provenance at first- I thought it might be some weird British soda that Id never heard of. And its light amber contents made me think it was probably a ginger ale. But once I was able to scrutinize it more closely, I discovered that the bottlecap read Dukes Masala Soda.
As soon as I pried the bottlecap off, I discovered that when they say masala they really did mean masala, as in the mix of spices commonly used in Indian food. In fact, the spicing was so powerful that I nearly sneezed when I passed it under my nose. The only other soda to have provoked that sort of physical reaction is Blenheim's Hot Hot Ginger Ale. Its definitely worth seeking out, as its easily the strangest soda that Ive ever had- even weirder than Sosyo. Its like theyve added Masala flavoring over a weak ginger ale base. I actually like it, but then most folks will be put off by the fact that its a sweet and savory soda.
Check out Shivam Music & Spices to score your own bottle of Duke's Masala Soda at:
4231-C Markham St.,
Thats in Seoul Plaza, the same shopping center where Shineys is located, so be sure to score a bottle after your next Chowhound expedition for goat karahi and chat papri.
For pictures and additional information, check the link below.