Laidback Gourmet: Arizona Shaq Soda

Welcome back to the Laidback Gourmet and this week we’re going to go big. Real big. Seven foot tall big. Today I’m going to look at not one, not two, not three but FOUR different flavors of soda endorsed by the big man himself, Shaquille O’Neil. Now normally I’ll start these reviews by saying “I was walking in the store and then something caught my eye…”, but this week it’s a bit different. This week something I didn’t just look at something… something looked back at me:

Do not stare into the Shaq for when you do, the Shaq stares back at you.

Oh wow. Seriously, just stop and look at those cans for a moment. Where do I start? This soda does nothing to advertise what it is other than, “HEY, WE GOT SHAQ TO ENDORSE OUR SUGAR WATER!” I didn’t even see the flavor of the soda at first, all I could do was look at Shaq’s crap eating grin. Just look at this:

Let’s Green Egg and Ham it.

Look at that grin. You know they snapped that picture just as he was handed the check. Since I didn’t notice the flavor at first I just assumed that the soda was “Shaq flavored”. Shaqalicious, so to speak. If you are able to pull your eyes away from Shaq’s shark-like gaze you might see that the flavor of this can is Orange and Cream but its not easy to break away from that unnerving stare. However if you ARE able to break the spell and look elsewhere on the can you’re treated with…

Do you think this can is made out of “Steel”?.

More Shaq! He stands as tall as the Arizona Logo and comes with fun facts like, “1 time NBA scoring leader” and “3 Time MVP” and of course “I taught Shang Tsung how to steal souls”. Well I have a lot of Shaq to drink so I might as well get started.

Is the plural of Shaq “Shaqs” or “Shaqi”?

There are four different flavors of Shaq for me to try and they are all creams. Vanilla Cream, Orange Cream, Strawberry Cream and Blueberry Cream. They all sounds like the word “Ice” should be inserted in the middle of them. I think out of all the flavors “Vanilla Cream” sounds the most innocuous so I’m going to start with that one.

Shaq apparently has something stuck in his eye.

It smells alright enough. There’s a hint of vanilla and the soda has a nice fizz to it. The color is kind of a straw color, basically what you’d expect from cream soda, so lets give this one a sip.


Hrm. You know, for a soda endorsed by a 7 foot tall monster I was expecting a strong flavor here. Truthfully it tastes more like vanilla flavored seltzer. I guess that’s ok but when I drink cream soda I like a nice creamy rich flavor. Isn’t that the point? This just tastes slightly watered down. Moving on, let’s try the Orange one.

He’s grinning because he knows whether I like this or not he’s already gotten paid

This one as a mild orange color and a mild orange smell. Apparently from the smile Shaq is giving me he must really like this one. Since this one is called Orange and Cream I’m hoping this one tastes like a creamsicle. I like me some creamsicles.


Hrm. I know creamsicles and you sir are no creamsicle. Maybe a Shaqsicle? The fact is, I don’t taste any cream at all as a matter of Shaq. It tastes just like orange soda, if you decided to add a lot of extra seltzer to the soda to water it down. ALso, don’t get me wrong. I’ve had fresh fruit sodas and they never taste as strong as store bought soda, but the difference is those taste like fresh juice mixed with seltzer. This doesn’t taste like fresh or real oranges, it just tastes like watered down Orange Crush. Sigh, moving on, lets Shaq on shall we, next up is Strawberries and Shaq.

Shaq is feeling tickled pink

Pink is definitely not Shaq’s color, nor is it even the color of actual strawberries. However this is Strawberries and Cream so maybe the cream would turn the red strawberries into pink. This Shaq’s color is a clear reddish and there’s a hint of sweetness in its scent but nothing I would be able to label as Strawberry. Let’s shaq this one down.


Well if you ever wondered what Strawberry Quik would taste like if you mixed it with seltzer, here’s your answer. Again, the flavor is very muted which wouldn’t be a problem if you were dealing with real flavors but when it tastes like Trix’s Strawberry Yogurt it just tastes wrong when the fake flavors are overpowered by seltzer. Three Shaqs down, only one Shaq to Shaq. Last one is Blueberry and Shaq.

Welp… that face clearly tells me where they got the cream from.

Thank you for that face Arizona. When I wake up tonight screaming I’ll be thinking of you guys. The color is a clear purple and unlike the other Shaqs this one actually has a strong smell of Shaqberries. Let’s give this last one a Shaq.


Alright, to be fair, out of the 4 flavors this one has the best flavor. It’s still muted but at least you can tell this one is supposed to be a blueberry Shaq. It’s not that great but it’s maybe a half a point better than the other Shaqs. The real problem with this soda is that they claim that this is made with all natural ingredients which would explain why the flavors are considerably weaker than other sodas. That would be ok if they tasted like fresh sodas. However when all of these taste as artificial as the day is long then they just taste like watered down off brand sodas. In fact, if they didn’t have Shaq’s mug plastered all over these cans then there would nothing of note to these drinks at all, so whatever you paid Shaq for this endorsement it was worth it. Final verdict, laugh at the Shaqrageous cans, but skip actually drinking the contents.

Wow, four reviews at one time, I think that’s a record. That pretty much Shaqs up this edition of the Laidback Shaq. Email me your Shaqs, suggestions, and Shaqs at I’m always Shaq to Shaq your Shaqs. Until next Shaq, I’m Shaq DiShaqco, your Shaqback Shaq, with a Shaqminder, “Shaq Shaq Shaq Shaq the Shaq Shaq Shaq”. Shaqly words to Shaq by.

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