Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Coca Cola Icee from Burger King

Over two months ago the Slurpee machine broke at my local 7-11. Not the whole machine, just one mixer/spigot arrangement, and that particular spigot dispensed Coca Cola Slurpee. They never bothered to change the flavors around, so I've been mostly Slurpee-less for quite some time. I mean, sure, I can bicycle to the far off 7-11 but now it's cold...

On occasion, I would walk past the Burger King and be tempted in for an Icee. They are always awful, but I always forget how awful they are. Today I was tempted in and the Icee was, as I should have known, awful.

This is the story of that Icee and how I came to get ahold of it:

I think my description of the broken Slurpee machine above is ample proof that my life is one of disappointment and pain. From all sides I am assailed by the horrendous forces of despair. This morning I went to the post office to pick up a package, but they didn't have it - apparently it had been sent out for redelivery instead of being stashed away for pick-up like they slip said.

The horror.

Moping home, I stumbled into the local Burger King for an ersatz Slurpee fix. I mean, if people can drink chicory and dirt in place of coffee, I can drink an Icee just this once. I order and watch as the counter guy takes one of the extra large drink cups and fills it up with Coke Icee. Holy shit!, thinks I, that is a SODA sized extra large cup - I'm going to get a lot more Icee than I'm paying for. Huzzah!

The oversized cup is filled, capped, and is about to be delivered to me when the manager stops the counter person and explains the mistake. The manager pops the lid off of the extra large cup and pours the Icee out into a standard large cup of the size I was supposed to receive. As soon as I saw this operation commence, I called out that the extra large was fine but they ignored me.

The manager handed me my smaller cup and here's the conversation:

Me: You know, it was pretty wasteful to replace the extra large cup with a smaller cup. I know it was a mistake but you could have just given me the larger cup.

Manager: It was a mistake, you ordered a large cup.

Me; I know it was a mistake, I'm saying it's wasteful. Now you are throwing away a perfectly good cup and the Icee left in it.

Manager: We need the extra large cups for the soda.

Me: Are you going to wash that cup out and reuse it?

Manager: Uh, no.

Me: Then what good does it do to change out the cups? All you did was cause more waste.

I might have accepted an answer of "We need mistake cups to count for inventory" as acceptably managerial. This guy was just dumb.

But yeah, Burger King Icees are crap. I regret buying it.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Manhattan Special Sarsaparilla

Manhattan Special Sarsaparilla

I imagine the creation myth of the stuff goes something like this:

Bob: Hey Rob, we need to make a handful of generic soft drink flavors to round out our coffee line. I mean we got all these bottles and labelers and shit, so let's get 'em to use.

Rob: Do we care about taste or quality or anything?

Bob: What'd I say? I said, "Let's round out the line". Get a list of ten soft drink flavors we don't have in development already and get back to me.

two weeks later...

Rob: Here you go, sir, a list of ten new flavors. All written out.

Bob: To make it convenient to the conceit of conversational format, please read them aloud.

Rob: Coca Cola.

Bob: That's a good one, but I think it's claimed.

Rob: Ah. Okay. Cherry. See, I'm doing them in alphabetical order.

Bob: Rob, "Cherry" should come before "Coca Cola" alphabetically. You see, you go to the second letter to determine the order if the first letter is the same.

Rob: Oh, I thought that the second letter would be the "C" in "Cola". I do envy you your liberal arts degree sire. Anyways, I thought we'd make our cherry "natural" or some such thing. People like that nowadays.

Bob: Whatever sells. Next!

Rob: Chamomille.

Bob: I hate to hassle you, but you spelled it wrong.

Rob: What? How can you tell? I said it out loud and you aren't even looking at my paper.

Bob: It's "chamomile". I know it looks wrong but that's it.

Rob: I find this conceit of a written out conversation script thing to be confusing. I don't like it.

Bob: Anyways, chamomile is a stupid soft drink flavor and your a gigantic stupid head for proposing it.

Rob: Sob

Bob: Man up. Next.

Rob: Gassosa.

Bob: No one knows what gassosa is, but it gives fake class to the rest of the line by being all Italiany. Let's do gassosa.

Rob: Iron brew.

Bob: One authentic old country thing is enough. Hey, wait a sec. Why don't we pick something old Country, like Country-Music country, to draw in the cowboy hat people.

Rob: There aren't a lot of those in our distribution area, sir.

Bob: You're thinking small, son. With the sort of money that big manufacturers give the Republicans, cowboy hat people will soon be everywhere. Everywhere.

Rob: As you say, sir.

Bob: Root beer is too kiddyish, though is certainly in the right area. Anyone can make a rootbeer. It's just Root Beer Flavoring Pack 12H and Brown 3. But root beer is for kids, and we make classy adult soda candy.

Rob: How about a whiskey flavored drink, sir?

Bob: That has potential, but gimmee something else.

Rob consults Internet in whispers. Internet gestures wildly.

Rob: Apparently "sarsaparilla" is a cowboy word for a drink similar to root beer.

Bob: That sounds great. Perfect in fact. It'll be cowboy to the cowboy people but the word is weird enough to sound European or Amerindian to the non-cowboy people. Win/win!

Rob: The trouble is, sir, that an authentic tasting sarsaparilla is tricky to make. It has to be spicy but earthy at the same time, sweet and creamy but have bite. It's a root beer, technically, bit it's made from a whole other mess of stuff than what we call "root beer". This is going to take a lot of time and research to blend together a meaningful yet unique mixture which we can sell as "Manhattan Special Sarsaparilla".

Bob: Rob...

Rob: I foresee six months of work. I'd also recommend some research trips, sir, to areas where
people hand craft sarsaparilla at home.

Bob: Robert...

Rob: It will be a rewarding process...

Bob: HEY! Shut up. Listen up genius, you said sarsaparilla is just like root beer...

Rob: Actually, no...

Bob: ...AND we'll make ours out of what we have on hand. Root Beer Flavoring Pack 12H and Brown 3 will do nicely.

Rob: But sir! You are completely missing the point. It's not root beer, it's something else entirely, with a long and rich history...

Bob: FINE! You can add DOUBLE the Brown 3 to make it look dense.

Rob: And some Red 4, sir? Oh please can I add some Red 4?

Bob: Yes, Bob, for you anything.

Rob and Bob hug, curtain falls.

I used my web cam to take this picture,
and had to put the bottle super close to the camera
because it's 10am and I haven't put on any clothes yet.

Okay, to be fair, the ingredients claim there are no artificial colors and it uses natural flavorings and real sugar, but this does not taste like a sarsaparilla to me. Not in the least. It's overcarbonated and tastes like a generic root beer. Or at least the top half of the bottle does as I couldn't bring myself to drink the bottom half.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

I don't need to do this blog anymore

Because I done hit the big time! I'm outta here, jerks:

Coca-Cola Great Britain,
Promotion/Award Prize Dept.
305 Dallin Road.SE18,3NX
London, United Kingdom
Ref.Num: CCGB/81A/01/2010

Dear Esteemed Winner,

We are pleased to inform you of the result of the Coca-Cola Great Britain
2010 International Promotion Program. Your e-mail address attached to
Reference number: CCGB/81A/01/2010, serial number: 820534-1 and Ticket
number: 5637604545148, has consequently won in the 1st category. You have
therefore been approved for a lump sum pay out of £500,000.00 GBP (Five
Hundred Thousand Pounds). Please note that this Promotional Program tagged
organized by the Coca-Cola Great Britain in view of showing our
appreciation to our numerous customers world wide.

To begin your claim, please contact our approved agent with the
information below. Also state your are in receipt of this notification and
require further instructions on how to claim your won prize.

Contact Name: Mrs. Cindy Parker

5.) AGE/SEX:

Note, please remember to quote your Reference number in all
correspondence. Congratulations once again, from all members of staff and
thank you for being there for us.

Claims Manager:
Dr. Wayne Smith
Coca-Cola Great Britian

Sunday, August 15, 2010

He don't drink beer

"Look man, you've got it all backwards..."

Reader "Brian from Poisonedville, OR" doesn't seem to like Fentiman's Ginger Beer. Or maybe he loves it and his webcam still shows him making the soft drink equivalent of an air guitar face. He shouldn't make that sort of grimace with a nose that obviously attached by plastic surgeons, especially not inept plastic surgeons. It's likely to pop off.

I truly wish that the Fentiman's people would be forced to make a drink that was alcohol free. This shit should not be available to minors.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Sarcasm tastes bad

Oh loooooook! Tim finally put up a new post.
Let's throw a party and show our sarcastic support
by sending him a still frame of our blog tracker thing.
Ohhh lookit that! Tim actually did something.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Cherry Slurpee

Once again, a picture really isn't worth the effort. Imagine a Slurpee cup full of red crap. It isn't hard.

Now take an imaginary drink of that red crap. It's cold right? If it isn't, your imagining it wrong. Keep trying. Cold aside, the flavor you need to imagine is something foul. Focus in on burnt corn syrup and a taste of particle board. Seriously, imagine that as a drink and then add cherry syrup. It's not good. At least, it's not good for the first few drinks. That's the trick.

The cherry Slurpee tastes like crap, but like beer it numbs your mouth until you don't notice the taste. It's sort of like an unending burnt avalanche of gross which you grow accustomed to, and that lets you pick out the slighter sweet flavors. But don't stop drinking it, or you lose the numbness.

It's a similar effect to that crap Ralph and Charlie's, but realized in the opposite manner. Whereas you have to keep drinking Ralph and Charlie's to avoid the hideous perfume aftertaste, you have to keep slugging back cherry Slurpee to avoid the horrible initial taste. Ha.

Anyways, get the Mountain Dew or the Coke before you get any of the crappy fruit flavors.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Root Beer Slurpee

Photographs are a lot like Dungeons and Dragons minis. They are great for determining party order, but as soon as they go on the table you are laming out. It's a game of the imagination, dude, you should be using that time to think rather than laboring away at Hardee's so you can afford a bugbear raiding party for the next game.

So imagine a Slurpee cup full of root beer Slurpee. Got it? Now roll for surprise.

Anyways, I have no picture for the 7-11 root beer Slurpee. I could, if I so choose, use any one of the scads of Coca Cola Slurpee photos I have pinned up around my boudoir. The Coke and root beer are visually identical. However, I choose NOT to share my pornography on the internet, so you get no picture, real or fake.

Root beer Slurpee is perfectly acceptable if you like fake root beer. I think it's a branded root beer flavor, I can't remember, but either way it's a generic chemical candy root beer flavor. No goodness or reality about it, just the signifier for root beer. So, yeah, you can drink the stuff. It's cold, and it doesn't taste BAD.

And that is pretty key. It doesn't taste bad. There are two different sorts of Slurpees in the world, the "soda" flavored and the fruit flavored. Cherry Slurpee? Awful. Tastes like gross candy and corn syrup. Coke/Mountain Dew Slurpee? Not bad, not bad at all. The root beer falls in the "cola" side of the issue.

So yeah, it's okay. Get Coke, though, it's better.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Ak-100 the teaser for the sequel

Photo from The Vain Gourmet.

I'm a little unclear about a lot of things, especially Mrs. French's AK-100. This exceptionally foul beverage has the dubious honor of being the worst thing I have ever drank AND has the best review I have ever written.

Sneaking around the internet this morning, I'd hoped to find a place in Brooklyn to buy some more as I really don't feel I gave the stuff a fair shake the first time around. I mean, it could've been spoiled or just old or an angry person might have shat in the mixing machine. All of those things are more likely true than the possibility that someone actually intentionally concocted the thing I drank to actually taste that way.


Anyways, sniffing around I found this blog called "The Vain Gourmet". In it they found an apparently in-house restaurant version of AK-100 sold in a bottle with a sticker reading "AK-100". This completely changes my understanding of the world in that either:

A) AK-100 is a type of drink in general usage in the Caribbean. The wicked Mrs. French didn't originate the stuff, but instead just makes a (hopefully) exceptionally vile version of it. But how the hell does a whole category of drink denoted with a seemingly military code?


B) Some perverse Haitian restauranteur is making knock-offs of Mrs. French's products. Next to that AK-100 bottle might be a bottle full of thin grey liquid labeled "Coca Cola".

or possibly

C) The restaurant was rebottling Mrs. French's stuff, possibly after cutting it with bleach. But that seems silly.

Either way, this must be investigated.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Enigmatic Slurpee-in-a-soda-cup Pricing

I used to always fill a Super Big Gulp cup with Slurpee whenever I went to a 7-11. Unfortunately, the local place started flipping out and charging random amounts of money for said uber-Slurp, sometimes $4+. It drove me nuts because it was so arbitrary, sometimes I wouldn't be charged extra, other times I'd be charged way too much. I finally quit getting the mega-Slurpees locally.

This is the first time I've seen anything in writing addressing the issue. Sadly it doesn't really clear anything up. It actually seems like you're getting a deal, that they are going to charge you for an Extra Large Slurpee even if you get a Double Gulp sized cup. You're getting more for the same amount.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Mtn Dew Typhoon

Yo Punchy! Do the Dew!

Holy shit, never have I had such a disconnect between drinking a Mountain Dew and reading about it on the internet. Hee-larity reigns. Okay okay okay, I guess I guess I have to do this in order:

Mountain Dew, as many of you will know, is having a hokey "Choose the Next Dew" contest votey thing. They are trotting out three Mountain Dew flavors and we the drinkers can call or vote or text or something to get one of them to stay around. Straight up marketing gimmick, I dig it. In fact, I actually worked on a marketing campaign for a cereal which had a voting gimmick for new flavored shapes mixed in the cereal. What stupid shape will win? You decide! Of course, the commercials advertising the voting gimmick and the commercials announcing the winner were made at the same time. Your votes didn't count, not one bit.


Anyways, Mountain Dew is doing this stupid contest and there are three new flavors running around: A Sprite Mountain Dew, a Lime Mountain Dew, and a baffling little retard Mountain Dew. Being in NYC, it is completely random what any given store keeps in stock. I go to a dozen different places to round up new versions of standard drinks, getting suspicious glances every time I leave without a purchase. The three new Mountain Dews I found, drank and didn't write about. And repeat. Two of the three test flavors are really good which is why I kept buzzing through them without writing, the third one sucks. That sucky Mountain Dew flavor is, of course, what I'm stuck reviewing today - Mountain Dew TYPHOON! I first drank some in desperation two weeks ago while playing with my XBox, horrified I returned it to the refrigerator half empty. Today my wife prods me into drinking it and writing a review, something about needing space in the refrigerator for "vegetables". Bah.


It's a fruit punch Mountain Dew. Not good fruit punch, not 1950s-era-dance fruit punch, but bad discount store fruit punch. The sort of fruit punch that's a mish mosh of random fruity flavors poured directly out of a vat, each flavor denoted by a number. "Hmmm, this here fruit punch needs more 1297A". That sort of punch. It tastes cheap. It's too perfumey. It's all yuck. It's similar to the grotesque Red Alert or Code Red or whatever it is.

So yeah, the Mountain Dew Typhoon flavor sucks. And it doesn't only suck, it's named in poor taste. Hey! Let's name a soft drink after a natural disaster! I'm looking forward to "Coke Plague! Feel the POX!" next.

But the hilariousesness isn't in the bad Mountain Dew drink. It's in the label. And not in the label but OF the label. The label has a random name on it: Shanea Wisler. It's next to a little star, so I thought it was a sort of footnote but it wasn't. Puzzled, I broke my "no research" rule and typed "shanea wisler mountain dew" into a Google search bar. Or at least I started to, it auto filled so I didn't even have to finish typing.

I THINK this means that a lot of other people searched for the same thing, because, seriously what the hell is this random name doing on the label? The public needs to know! I immediately found this article by Jason A. Kahl on the Reading Eagle website. In it we get some juicy quotes from Shanea E Wisler who designed the bottle label:

A 2007 graduate of Boyertown High School who is studying to lead religious youth groups has won a $10,000 award for her label design for a new flavor of Mountain Dew soda.

Shanea E. Wisler... said she felt divine inspiration for her design for the new Typhoon flavor Mountain Dew set to hit stores in April.

Okay, so the design wasn't even hers. I wish she'd given credit where credit is due, though. Who inspired it? Jesus? God? Mary? Buddha? I guess Satan would technically be "diabolic" intervention, so it probably wasn't him though he IS the Prince of Lies and could certainly put one over on a 20 year old aspiring graphic designer.

"I got an e-mail about the contest and felt the Holy Spirit move me to design this," said Wisler, whose interest in art began at Boyertown Junior High School...

Oh, wait. It was the Holy Spirit. That's the Catholic version of God, right? Where you have the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit and you say the names and say "The power of Christ compels you" and Satan stops being an Exorcist or whatever. I thought the Holy Spirit was supposed to be the unknowable one, the one where if you "got it" you were a real Catholic. Hmmm. Seems unworthy of the ultimate Omega being to be dabbling in soft drink labels.

Regardless, I want to see this email. I bet it was all like "Yo Shanea, It's G-O-D and I (that's like double capitalized) got an idea for this thing you have to work on or, like, there'll be a toad plague to beat the band."

The three finalists were flown to New York City for a press event and each received $10,000, an Apple laptop computer and other prizes.

What? Mountain Dew had a press event in NYC and I wasn't invited? Oh the shame! I live next door Mountain Dew, you could have at least phoned!

"I found out that I won on Oct. 14, which is my parents' anniversary and also the 10th month and the 14th day of the year," Wisler said, continuing her sense that winning the contest was her destiny. "I see those numbers, 10 and 14, everywhere and have been seeing them since I was in junior high school."

Given the above quote, I'm surprised that the label didn't have a little more Dr. Bronner in it.

Wisler said her name will be on every can and bottle of Typhoon Dew nationwide and she hopes the flavor and design are selected to be permanent parts of the Mountain Dew lineup.

Okay Wisler, I think you just pointed out the worst thing about democracy: Those with a vested interest in something bad often vote against the greater good. Typhoon is a disgusting flavor, I earnestly doubt that anyone - ANYONE - would be able to say it is better than the other two flavors.

At last she looks nice...
Hang on a second, that design looks NOTHING
like the actual label. NOTHING.
(photo from the Reading Eagle, credited Erin Shoaf)
Seriously, look below:

What the hell? There swirl is completely different,
the color palette is only vaguely similar,
the actual can has fluer de lis or whatever
they are called... I call shenadigans.

Because I am interested in the sort of people that get to meet the Mountain Dew higher ups, I'm going to internet snoop for some more "dope". Here's some quotes from her on a Yugoslavian site called "":

I will only pursue relationships that the Lord tells me to pursue and will hold that relationship with the utmost integrity. The Lord is continuing to do a work in me to become exactly what I need to be for my future husband. It's a beautiful journey :) and I'm loving every second of it!

Careful there, Shanea, that's the sort of stuff left Mary giving birth in a barn. A jealous God forbids her seeing other people, spending his time showing her how "to become exactly what I need to be for my future husband". Bang zoom, giving birth in a manger, hunted by Romans.

[The Dewmocracy contest] seems rigged to me too. I truly believe that people only like white out because it's white. :( which is a sad reason. I can understand though, how many times do we see soda thats white? but Typhoon tastes so much better.

Whoah there lady, let's not go hating things just because they are white. But I must say that your suspicions point you out as more than an unthinking tool of the Mountain Dew brand...

[In response to a question about what goes into the Typhoon drink] if you're talking about mountain dew typhoon, i did not create the flavor. That would have been Dominick from the Mountain Dew Brand team.

Dominick? You know these guys on a first name basis? I am afire with jealousy. I must craft a latex suit which gives me the appearance of a Shanea Wisler, then I will seduce this "Dominick" and soon the Mountain Dew empire will be MINE.

I'm with you on Supernova being the best. That one was by far my favorite in the last dewmocracy. I still think its probably better than typhoon, but typhoon does have more sentimental value.

What? But this is positively human. You liked another flavor better, and admit that you like Typhoon for special reasons? Curses! My innate dislike of you for your connection with horrid Typhoon is being confounded.

[On being a vegetarian] I tried it last year for a little while while working out. I was losing weight, getting into shape and feeling really good about myself. But then I stopped. So I decided I wanted to start again. No political or social or religious reasons.

Wait, what? You're a vegetarian? But Christians are supposed to be consuming the Earth as fast as possible in order to bring on the rapture... Stop making this so difficult for me!

[On designing the label] Though it was a collaborate effort because the typhoon flavor nation in the dew labs helped me create what I created. They gave me opinions, voted on different designs. I had to change a few things and if I would have just made it on my own without the flavor nations input, it wouldn't look nearly as good as it does.

Hey, you just totally cockblocked my righteous anger over the blatant adjustments your design went through between the two photos above. It's like you are purposefully not being a horrible, boastful, lying person. Man that pisses me off.

So what do we learn from Typhoon flavored Mountain Dew? I'll tell you!

The Christian God can't come up with a unique Mountain Dew label. He just sort of looked at all the other Mountain Dew labels and made something that looked like them. Then he showed it to the rest of the triumvirate who said "Dude, shouldn't you be worrying about more important shit?" Then he beamed it into the head of a girl and probably got her fired from her job at the t-shirt printing place. Good job God, you jerk. I somehow think a Japanese God would have made a totally awesome label and then gotten the girl a job flying robots in the army, much cooler.

Facebook is useless for picking soda labels. You offer people dozens of identical nothing designs and, yeah, one'll get picked BECAUSE IT'S DESIGNED BY GOD. Jesus, people, God has totally fucked over democracy here. I sort of suspect that the submissions were pretty carefully vetted by MD first, anyways.

This Dewmocracy gimmick isn't very good. I mean there's all this crazy shit going on about "Flavor nations", but I've never heard about any of it and I sit down and write about soda once every month or two.

Religion ruins everything and this horrible Typhoon drink will prove that when it wins.

God likes natural disasters and I propose that when he made this label He didn't know it was for a soft drink. "Holy shit", says He, "they are doing branding for the disasters I use to punish people for being brown? I'm all over this."

This sort of nonsense is going to run Mountain Dew out of business, I mean seriously, they already had to pawn off the vowels in Mountain.

Don't use Yugoslavian social networking sites that make all your postings available to an internet full of creepy, bearded soda reviewers who want to become your body double so they can seduce Mountain Dew flavor designers. Just don't.

In conclusion: Don't even try this Typhoon crap. Get the other two new Mountain Dew flavors or one of the video game flavored ones. Or a Mello Yello, they're being nationally distributed now. I think I have a new motto relating to how Mountain Dew should resemble a chartreuse spinner bait:

"If it's yellow
then I'm mellow,
if it's not
it'll taste like snot."

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Elephant Ginger Beer

EGB - "Elephant Ginger Beer"

As far as I understand it, ginger originated in India. Here is a historical account from the Bagha Disaata Bahir:

...and for seven days did Baahir walk

along the dusty road towards the sea,

until he did come upon a large and ferocious head

buried partially in the roadbed.

"Oh grotesque head, how did you come to be

buried in this road that passes by the sea?

The head was that of a man, with

a fearsome brow and tremendous teeth

upon it's brow it bore a shining trapezohedron

knitted upon a band of gold flecked iron.

It's hair was snakes and the nose

was that of the small bears found in the hills

near Muldorre beyond the mountains.

When the head opened it's mouth to answer

Baahir was as quick as a snake -

he cut out the tongue which was rough

and dry like an undesirable root vegetable.

"Ha ha fearsome head, I have cut out

your tongue" crowed Baahir.

"And I don't even want it, observe as

I bury it here in the roadbed beside you.

Now watch as I shame you further."

Baahir squatted over the head

lying in the roadbed

and began bobbing up and down.

From the locked camera view of the head

on the roadbed

it was quite degrading.

Thus was ginger brought onto the Earth.


Anyways, that tongue grew into the first ginger plant. It was promptly trampled by a passing ox cart because it had been planted in a roadbed but by that point everyone thought it was such a swell idea that Jesus made a new one and put it some place else and God made Moses get it and put it on the Arc because saltwater would ruin the plant and Jesus didn't want to have to go and evolve a new one again. It's a lot of work and Jesus just likes hanging around.

The moral of this story is that India loves ginger and wants to honor it as one of its most famous sons. Which is why I initially theorized that EGB - Elephant Ginger Beer - was created by Pakistan for Indian markets.

I found this bottle of EGB at one of those Indian groceries on the middle East side, in the 20s and 30s. The NYC indy comic thing was held at the armory there, and I'd loaded up on enough shit for my wife to kill me twice over. Barely able to move under the combined malefactions of a fortune in comic books and my awkward comic-girl-admiring erection, it truly shows my dedication to both of your readers that I stopped to snoop in an Indian market. After all, my wife couldn't kill me three times so more soda didn't really matter.

Truth be known, I'd already picked these places over pretty well. I was shocked to find three or four drinks previously unknown to the Western hemisphere - one of them being EGB. I bought 'em up and lugged all the crap home.

When I finally got around to trying the EGB I was shocked. SHOCKED I say. India, the first birthplace of ginger, had made an utterly unremarkable ginger drink. It had the most generic taste of any ginger beer or ale I've ever tasted. I'm thinking I would be unable to distinguish it from Tommy's in a blind taste test.

Now let's be clear: This crap was bottled in Tekkawatte, Biyagama on the island of Sri Lanka. This shit came from the OTHER SIDE OF THE FUCKING WORLD and pretty clearly uses "Generic Ginger flavoring no 3" as it's main ingredient. AND I PAID $5 for it! I think it's the most expensive drink I've ever bought over the counter, the most expensive period if you don't count shipping. And to think that other assholes thought this crap worth sending over here.

A quick aside: I have a theory on how most foreign grocery items wind up in the US. I believe that every country has its own version of the dollar stores that are ruining our cities. Poland, India, Canada, all of 'em. And when these dollar stores go out of business they have a fifty cent sale, and then when the doors actually close for good they are opened one more time and all the crap that no one would buy for fifty cents and no store employee would steal and no store owner would take home to store in his basement, all that remaining junk is put into a shipping container and sent to the United States to be sold in an ethnic market or whatever you'd call it. Because, seriously folks, why the fuck would anyone want a Polish made Brillo pad? Is grandma really so attached to that crap that she needs her Korean rubber bands enough that someone needs to import them? No. It's totally random crap. But anyways...

In the bottom middle of that there picture is a
bit of what us literary types call "foreshadowing",
just like on Lost.

India! You are magic! You are supposed to be bizarre and wonderful and a little uncomfortable to visit! How can you FUCK UP GINGER BEER!... Oh, wait, I see why, because it's bottled under the authority of Coca fucking Cola.

Coke, like religion, ruins everything.

I'm going to copy out the label for you completists out there:

Nutritional Facts
Ginger Beer Soda Soft Drink
Savings Per 100ml (3.5oz)
Energy 42 kcal
Fat 0g
Proteing 0g
Carbohydrates 11g

Containts: Carbonated Water, Sugar, Permited Flavours, Colours (110, 102, 122, 150d), Acidulant (330) & Preservative (2111)
Manufactured by:
Coca-Cola Beverages Sri Lanka Ltd
Tekkawatte, Biyagama
Under the authority of
The Coca-Cola Company

There. My favorite bit is "Containts". It's a perfect amalgam of "Contents" and "Contains".

So here's what we need to do to wrap this up: Imagine me drinking some of the bottle, looking disgusted, a freeze frame and Animal House style text pops up saying

"Tim went on to get both diabetes AND pancreatic cancer from writing this soda blog".

Then we zoom into the bottle and the text reads

"The EGB bottle was left on a file cabinet corner, unfinished, for two weeks. At that point a cat knocked it off the cabinet and onto the floor, making a sticky mess all around Tim's desk. It looked liked he'd had one boss internet pornography session you bet. He walked in and got all pissed off and had to clean it up but did a bad job and still sometimes finds little bits of sticky here and there and put the bottle on the big table in the area that passes for a living room in his tiny apartment and the bottle sat there for like another three weeks before Tim realized that his wife hadn't yelled at his for leaving it there for so long which really WAS her way of yelling at him for leaving it there so he finally decided to write up the review. The bottle will eventually be emptied down the sink and recycled and Tim will wonder if the empty bottle itself should be sold on eBay but, man, that's a lot of work and probably no one would want it anyways."

This review is dedicated to the blog poster who posts actual comments on the blogs but still advertises Viagra in his little name tag thing. This is for you buddy.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Jones Pure Cane Cola

Wha? I used my built in computer camera
to take this photo and it came out backwards.

Jones Pure Cane Cola

Okay, the Jones drinks have never "wow'd" me. They are usually serviceable at best, horrible at worst. The charm of the company is their tremendous variety and occasional gimmickry. Dungeons and Dragons flavored sodas? Sign me up.

Which reminds me, I have a D&D soda somewhere that I still need to review.

Anyways, today I had a "Pure Cane Cola" with my lunch. It's perfectly fine. MUCH better than corn syrupy Coke or Pepsi, a real cola's cola. It doesn't leave a slimy aftertaste like Coke, it's thin but still flavorful. It's sort of a list of all the things Coke does bady, inverted. Not too sweet, not too thick, blah blah blah.

Has an oddish smell. A little bit like the sea, but the sea along a beach littered with weeds. Sort of like if a Deep One left backwash in a cola bottle. Not a full on Deep One, but a person half-way through the change, full of regret at their Innsmouth background. Which is funny because the random photo on the bottle is of a surfer shooting a yellow laser out of their armpit into the back of someones head. Deep One's don't surf, and they don't shoot lasers, but they are bad ass just like a laser-surfer.

Anyways, this drink probably deserves a better review. I'm not really feeling it today, but I'm so far behind in my reviewing that even a shoddy pass is better than nothing at all. Even "Today I drank a bottle of something and didn't read the label" as a whole review is better than leaving the site un-updated. And writing this half-assed review is better than tracking down that rotten broccoli smell in my apartment.

It's good. I'll drink it again. If I was offered a free bottle of Jones anything and I was actually thirsty, I'd choose the Pure Cane Cola. It's safe. It tastes like it's supposed to, not too sweet, not too anything.

Okay, so my Aftereffects render is ready so I guess that means I'm done.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Coca Cola Review

If I was dramatic, I might say that my writing a review set the entire Coca Cola intelligence machine into action. I could paint a picture of wires tapped and commandos sliding down ropes dangling from black helicopters. All very cool, but the sad fact is that Coke is so huge and so prevalent that their CEO himself could declare it was made of human feces, angel ashes, and rendered baby fat and it wouldn't impinge on sales at all. Not even if he showed video to prove it. Hell, Coke HAS murdered people according to these sources....

Nobody cares.

Instead of covering the wide world which is Coca Cola, I'm going to focus in it's two greatest failings. Coca Cola, the great American drink, tastes more like Coca Cola the further you get from the USA. What we drink here isn't Coke, it's something else - a half-assed doppleganger too lazy to even roll its own hit dice.

If you want Coke, go to Mexico. Or Bermuda. Or Europe. I can't vouch for it in Asia or Canada, though, but I bet it's delicious there too. You try here in the US of A, it's crap. Total crap.

Coke the company is cheap cheap cheap. To make an extra few pennies they sell you corn syrup instead of sugar, and try to tell you there's no difference. Stop and actually taste the next American made Coke you drink, think about the taste of burnt wheat as you drink it. Focus on that odd sensation of sweetness, because it isn't sweet. It's something else entirely, something masquerading as sweet but failing upon any sort of second glance at all. Revel in the slimy coating it leaves on your tongue and teeth - you don't get that with sugared version.

Other sodas use corn syrup but it's Coke that suffers the most from this foul practice. Sugared Coke is delicious, possibly one of mankinds most delicious drinks. Corn syrup Coke is foul. This bitter is made all the more bitter by Coke having had the furthest to fall, from an astoundingly perfect soft drink to the worst of the worst. Poor poor Coke, cast from the garden and molded into a new Satan - by it's own choice. Boo!

Murder and incredibly unhealthy corn syrup and bad taste aside, Coke also suffers one of the worst sins a mass produced consumable might engage in. It's inconsistent in taste and quality.

Some Cokes are more burned tasting than others. Some cokes are more or less chemical tasting than others. Even carbonation can be inconsistent, from watery nothing to something tasting more like carbonated gas water sans syrup. Long ago I called Coke to ask why. They told me that it was the vagaries of the shipping process, that maybe the bad Coke I had drank was frozen at one point. Or was too old for consumption. Or whatever.

Well, Coke, I say you're full of shit. I've drank your demon brew from one coast to another and it always tastes different. Always. You're the biggest company in the universe and you can't even keep your product straight. Spend a little less time worrying about getting the red on the can within a half percent margin of consistency and try getting the horrible beverage you serve back on track. Please.

The reason that Coke changed to a chemical swill was because of consistency issues. Lemon, a prime ingredient, was unavailable in consistent quality year round. In the name of making consumers happy, they used a chemical lemon substitute. Repeat for every other ingredient and what are you left with? A chemical formula which should be perfectly reproducible, but they don't reproduce it and don't even seem to try.

Coke is huge and almighty. If they can't manage to give us a delicious and trustworthy drink it's because they choose not to. They know that consumers don't drink Coke for any reason other than that it comes in the shiny red can that they have been buying for their whole lives. They save two dollars a year by churning out a cheaper product and no one cares or notices because nobody cares or notices.

Coke is a huge failure as far as trustworthiness goes, but consumers are idiots so its a perfect match.

Let's recap:

Coke, the American drink, tastes better the further you get from the USA. This is because US producers use corn syrup, overseas they tend towards sugar.

Coke, a chemical formula, is incredibly inconsistent between cans. It can taste like burned wheat, or random chemicals, or very rarely like Coca Cola. The company doesn't seem to care about consistency and quality.

Coke has allegedly done incredibly wicked deeds overseas. You are practically drinking blood.

Within the next month, I'll drink a Coke. You probably will too. And that sucks because Coke has become the default drink, and everytime we grab one we are letting the company know that we don't care about quality.

This all applies to canned and bottled Coke. Between the containers I would say there is variance, with small plastic bottles of Coke tasting the worst and 2 liters tasting the best.

None of this, though, applies to fountain coke. Not even the human rights part. Fountain Coke generally rocks.

You know what. I'm going to take a vow that I am going to stop drinking regular Coca Cola. I might drink another Coke product, or I might drink Caffeine Free sugared coke, and I'll drink Mexicoke or other sugared variants, but no more regular Coke. You hear that Coke? I'm sick of your lousy, inconsistent taste which even at it's best isn't that good. And I'll probably feel better about myself too, knowing that I'm doing less to support the possible wickedness they are engaged in.

So there.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Waist Watchers Diet Citrus Frost

That's the bottle six months after I first opened it, being photographed in my work room.

Waist Watchers Diet Citrus Frost

I bought this at a pseudo-fancy market in NYC right before descending into an abandoned bank vault basement, yes the vault itself had multiple levels. I had to paint a floor. They whys and hows of this situation I'll leave to your imagination. Suffice it to say that I brought along the bottle of Diet Citrus Frost and enjoyed it much more than I ever would have imagined.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to enjoy the whole bottle and brought it home with me. As I tend to do, I put it in the refrigerator to review later and promptly forgot about it. Six months later my wife walks into my room, slams it down on my desk, gobbles up a bunch of my candy while I'm still distracted, then demands I finish reviewing it. Finish? I haven't even started. And how am I supposed to review a beverage six months flat?

Poor poor Waist Watchers Diet Citrus Frost.

Anyways, I guess I need to choke down some of the stuff to get a reminder of why it didn't offend me from the outset... Yeah, it ain't so bad, even as old as it is... Okay, my wife is yelling at me to come into the living room and look at the TV. Hold on. All right, she showed me the beginning to a movie called "Tropic Thunder" which had a commercial for a fictitious drink called "Booty Sweat". I guess this somehow relates to me being in here trying to write a soda review.

Thank you dear.

Anyways: This stuff is made with Splenda and not aspartame, I'm not a big Splenda fan but in this case it's great. Ain't got no complaints, it's sweet and delicious and none of that diet flavored funk. I can't imagine a drink living up to the Citrus Frost name any better. It's primarily a grapefruity drink, but just a touch.

Ha. The ingredients list says "Crystal Clear Carbonated Water". That's a new one. What the hell does "crystal clear" mean? Why? This is good, Adirondack Beverage Company, no need to gussy it up in fancy talk.

So I'm done with this review. I'm now being summoned into the other room to watch the rest of the movie. Bah.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Zevia Natural Diet Cola

Why did I shoot this photo in front of my bicycle? What was I thinking? It's not necessarily that this is a bad, or embarrassing thing, but it's just boring.

Zevia Natural Cola

As a cola Zevia Natural cola ain't nothing that special, as a diet cola it completely rocks. Incredibly carbonated, it's best when it's very very cold, otherwise the burn of the carbonation has no soothing balm of chill to help smooth over the wincing. I'll confess that I opened the can last night at room temperature, it was undrinkable because of the carbonation and a nasty middle taste of cantaloupe rinds. Cold, though, and slightly less carbonatey due to being left open in the fridge, it's good.

The ingredients are what makes this stuff special:

TRIPLE filtered carbonated water
natural erythritol
natural caramel color
natural tartar acid
natural fumaric acid
45 mg of natural caffein from coffee
natural flavors (citrus oils, cola nut extract)
citric acid
and in big caps after the ingredients: ZEVIA DOES NOT CONTAIN ASPARTAME OR SUCRALOSE

I'm going to cheat on my blog vow of ignorance, and look up "erythitol"... Hmph. According to these folks erythitol is a sweetener derived from sugar through some yeasty process, and is described as "sugar alcohol." Hmm. Don't know what I think about the principal sweetener in a drink named after stevia to not be stevia.

Of course, the principal sweetener in Coca Cola isn't corn syrup but is actually the blood of the oppressed. Stevia seems to have taken a much more reasonable route.

And for those of you who don't know what stevia is, it's an herb/plant/thing that has remarkably sweet tasting leaves. I used to grow it in my studio and use it as a tea sweetener. If I remember rightly, the leaves sort of look like mint leaves but I might be wrong.

Anyways, Zevia Natural Cola isn't bad at all. It's certainly better than most off-brand colas, and it lacks the burned corn taste which plagues Coke. It's sort of like a lighter Pepsi, without any of that sweet slime left on your teeth. The more I drink it, the more it grows on me, and the more assurance I have when I say that this is the best "diet" drink I've ever had that didn't involve dark cherry flavoring.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Mountain Rush

So I write these reviews then let 'em sit
and ferment a while before I post them.
I think that background is from my old apartment -
two years is probably a little too much lag time.

Mountain Rush by Tropical Fantasy

I always love a good imitation Mountain Dew. I used to have quite a collection of empty cans from across America, if I saw a Mountain Dew knock-off, I drank it and filed the can away. Mountain Rush bites off the Mountain Dew gimmick at the base. Mountain Dew flourescent yellow, Mountain Dew label colors, the whole shebang.

It also does a pretty good imitation of the drink itself. Sort of. It doesn't taste like actual Mountain Dew so much as the "urban legend" of Mountain Dew. Like an idealized form of Mountain Dew described by an ignorant person. A few years ago I met a guy who insisted that Mountain Dew was nothing more than carbonated Sunny Delight. I complemented him on a funny description of the drink, and he insisted that he was telling the literal truth.

"What?", I incredulously asked, "you think that the Mountain Dew bottling factory has Sunny Delight delivered which it then magically makes carnbonated, translucent and bright green, then rebottles as Mountain Dew?"

This guy, I wish I could remember who it was, stopped at that point and reconsidered what he said. Then he returned to insisting that Mountain Dew was identical to Sunny Delight.


That flavor, of Sunny Delight made into magical green carbonated sugar water, is the flavor of Mountain Rush. Very orange juicey. Very orange kool-aidey. Very good, actually. I would drink this in small quantities in the future. Mind you, this DOESN'T really taste like Mountain Dew, but it's in the ball park.

Another major difference is the amount of carbonation. Mountain Dew is very carbonated, Mountain Rush isn't. Not flat, but just not in-your-face carbonated.

The last thing to admire is the label. It looks like someone went crazy with the spline tool in Illustrator after color sampling the Mountain Dew label. And yellow. They added the bottle cap yellow from the Dew bottles into the label. Sneaky.

Dig that crazy toucan.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Sobe Green Tea

It's always astonishing when
a company changes a formula for the better.

Sobe Green Tea

Bought it with an early lunch in grand central, hadn't had a Sobe Green Tea in years and years. I was shocked at how cool and refreshing the drink was. I felt like I was in a beer commercial and the product really did taste like a mountain stream instead of fermented urine. Not that Sobe tastes like beer, but that it tastes refreshing. And yes, beer does taste like pee.

It's clean and incredibly sweet, not in a saccharine way but in a shock to the tongue way. The flavor is there but almost unnoticable, hard to pin down. It's like that perfect blend of wonder that becomes an unquantifiable nothing.

The first three ingredients are water, sugar, and natural fkavor. Following these are green tea extract and a host of the crap normally found in energy drinks. These may account for the vigor of the drink, but I prefer to tlinagibe* that the natural flavor is industry code for beef blood, as I've been warned many times by many vegetarians.

But seriously, Sobe made a drink with guarana in it which tastes good. That's incredible. Every guarana drink in the world tastes like satans penis, except maybe China Cola - does that have guarana? Actually, I don't remember that it does.

So yeah, Sobe green tea is great. My true love used to be the black tea, I'll have to dig some up now that they seem to be screwing around with the mix. The only reason I stopped drinking sobe in the first place was an inability to find the decent flavors. The deli across from my work stopped carrying the Sobe teas in preference for the Arizona teas, of which only their green tea is really drinkable.

*This word is iPhonese, and has no suitable translation in English.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Sweet Leaf Pomegranate Green Tea

Don't look her in the eye, or you'll be condemned
to a thousand years servitude in the pomegranate mines.

Sweet Leaf Pomegranate Green Tea

I had the Sweet Leaf Black Tea, or some such thing, some time ago but lost the review. That was merely one of a long chain of foolish Sweet Leaf related incidents thwarting my honest intent of A) drinking a bottle of the stuff and B) writing about drinking a bottle of the stuff on the internet.

I finally succeeded with the Cherry Limeade, and this one too.. Sadly, "Pomegranate Green Tea" falls further from the high bar set by the first two.

The pomegranate green tea performs a small marvel, it takes a drink that is all organic and makes it taste like a Jolly Rancher. It's a mov of syrupy, cardboardy, and fake fruit taste chasing an honest green tea flavor with torches and pitchforks. You can see the fear in the green tea's eyes as it feverishly searches for cover.

It's sad really. It tastes more like Fruitopia than anything natural.

The worst thing about this flavor of Sweet Leaf, is that it's everywhere. EVERYWHERE. If a store has only one Sweet Leaf flavor, it'll be this one. Whether that's because this is the default flavor you get if you only order one, or if it's because the good flavors all get drank up and this is what's left, I dunno. And I don't care. Burn it.

Sweet Leaf makes amazingly delicious tea drinks, but as soon as they start adding flavoring to them things go a little awry. So this is officially labeled a "bad drink", even though the unblinking, bug-eyed goblin lady on the label compels me to do otherwise.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Stala Cherry

My cat doubles as a bottle opener during the day,
discount Fleshlight at night.

Stala Cherry

Stala Cherry ain't so hot. It belongs to the "sour cherry" school of drinks, which one tends to find in Greece and Eastern Europe. I'd had such high hopes for Stala Cherry, as the Orange version made me wet my pants in ecstasy.

Let's start... So cherry Stala is thick and syrupy. It has only the slightest trace of carbonation, which is just absolutely perfect. Or wait, is it carbonated at all? It has a bite to it, but I can't figure out what it is. Anymore or this mystery tang and it would be fighting with me, as it is it gives me a nip as it slides down.

The syrupy bit is fine too, I dig thick drinks. The main ingredient in this stuff is cherry juice. Pardon me, "pure cherry juice". Pure cherry juice, Spring water, Sugar, Aromatic Flavorings, Citric acid, Benzoic Sodium, Sorbic potassium.

But the flavor. Sour cherry. Yuck. A nauseating taste, calculated to make vomiting come easy.

The best thing about this drink is that it was a birthday present for my wife. I wrapped it up, gave it to her, she opened it and I drank and began reviewing it immediately. She hounds me about having too much soda around, so this was a funny gift. At least she thought so. I intended it to be romantic, and hoped she'd got all hotted up.