Sunday, May 19, 2024

Fresh Fizz Organic Soda Sparkling Jalapeno Limeade

I opened this while in my car waiting for one of my sons' sports practices:

Fresh Fizz Organic Soda Sparkling Jalapeño Limeade
Sitting in my car

Brand: Fresh Fizz Organic Soda Sparkling Jalapeño Limeade.

Origin: Island Park, NY.

Purchase Place: Fresh Thyme, Minneapolis, MN.

Sweetener: Organic Honey.

Review: This was a risky soda. I grow jalapeño peppers and like cooking with them, but I didn't know how I'd like that flavor in a soda... and if they'd be able to CREATE that flavor in a soda.

The first time bringing it to my mouth gave me a sniff of what smelled like TRUE jalapeño peppers - I was impressed already one second before taking my first sip. After my first sip, I was even more impressed - the jalapeño flavor came through well and was spot on! There are only 4 ingredients (carbonated water, lime juice, honey, and jalapeño peppers) and they all pull their own weight. 

This was not a "gulping" soda... this is definitely a "sipping" soda. My wife enjoyed the flavor and remarked this would be good in a cocktail, which is 100% right. The limeade cuts through the jalapeño nicely, and they work well together! It's hard to give this a score because it's not something I would just open and gulp down because it's so tasty, but I would sip on it for a while because it's refreshing. I was impressed by this!

Score: 6.5 out of 10.

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Pop vs Soda: Where in the US

When I grew up in southern Minnesota, it was always "pop." But over the last 2 decades, I've moved to saying "soda." I'd tend to agree with the gist of this map:

Pop vs Soda

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Sno-Cap Root Beer

I opened this while making some ribs the other night (to help baste the ribs, and to also enjoy as a drink):

Sno-Cap Root Beer

Brand: Sno-Cap Root Beer.

Origin: Green Bay, WI.

Purchase Place: "Minnesota's Largest Candy Store," Jordan, MN.

Sweetener: Granulated Sugar.

Review: This was pretty smooth, creamy, and tasty! My wife said it tasted like A&W, but it was a bit more unique than that - there was a lot of vanilla flavor, and just a HINT of caramel as well. I don't really care for caramel in root beer, but this is subtle enough that it doesn't ruin it.

Score: 8 out of 10.

Saturday, May 4, 2024

Premium Fitz's Pumpkin Pop

I cracked into this at work:

Premium Fitz's Pumpkin Pop

Brand: Premium Fitz's Pumpkin Pop.

Origin: St. Louis, MO.

Purchase Place: "Minnesota's Largest Candy Store," Jordan, MN.

Sweetener: Pure Cane Sugar.

Review: I was leary about this from the start. If I hadn't read "pumpkin" on the label, I would NOT have known it was supposed to be pumpkin! It was very heavy on the cinnamon - like baking cinnamon and not "red hot" cinnamon. I think they were going for like a "pumpkin spice" but made it very "spice"-heavy. In this case, it tasted all of cinnamon spice.

Now, all that being said, it was GOOD! It still tasted good. It was sweet and dessert-like. This one surprised me!

Score: 8 out of 10.

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Appalachian Root Beer

I opened this at work today as another soda from my Grandpa Joe's grand opening stash: 

Appalachian Root Beer
Yes, my desk is messy... it's the end of the semester...

Brand: Appalachian Root Beer.

Origin: Mechanicsburg, PA.

Purchase Place: Grandpa Joe's Candy Shop, Spring Lake Park, MN.

Sweetener: Pure Cane Sugar and Honey.

Review: This was OK. I don't mind honey as a sweetner in soda (as I LOVE honey), but it sometimes sits as a strange combo with root beer, and it's doing that here - the honey comes on too strong. The root beer is deep and pretty tasty with a hint of wintergreen and a lot of herby notes, but I just don't care for how much honey flavor there is on top of that. Nice and smooth overall. Not bad, but not great.

Score: 6 out of 10.

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Unicorn Magic Honeydew Soda

I cracked into this at work earlier today:

Unicorn Magic Honeydew Soda

Brand: Unicorn Magic Honeydew Soda 

Origin: Incline Village, NV 

Purchase Place: Grandpa Joe's Candy Shop, Spring Lake Park, MN. 

Sweetener: Pure Cane Sugar. 

Review: I didn't know what this would taste like... like I wasn't sure what to expect for a "honeydew" flavored soda. And after my first sip, I STILL didn't know what it tasted like. It was like a slightly muted extra sweet Mountain Dew flavor (and I don't think that was just because it was about the same color). 

I kept sipping, and I kept liking it less and less. It had an off flavor to it. I enjoy honeydew, but it SURE wasn't honeydew. I thought this would be decent, but it wasn't. It was like sweet wet cardboard. The score I'm giving it is only as good as it is because it was sweet. 

Score: 2.5 out of 10.

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Inotea Brown Sugar Bubble Tea

I grabbed this while shopping with my son at Aldi recently:

Inotea Brown Sugar Bubble Tea

Brand: Inotea Brown Sugar Bubble Tea.

Origin: Newark, NJ.

Purchase Place: Aldi, St. Paul, MN.

Sweetener: Sugar and Brown Sugar.

Review: The tea was quite good! I shared a sip with my boys, and they both loved it. It was what I'd expect from a boba tea store when I order a "Milk Tea" or anything along those lines.  (One store near us calls it a "Royal Tea Latte" even though it doesn't have any coffee flavor.) I had no complaints about the tea!

But the tapioca pearls were another story. They were kind of pasty and hard. They weren't "chewy" in a good way, but in a bad way. They almost wanted to disintegrate when bit down on, but only after a fair amount of force. I like tapioca pearls, but apparently they need to be fresh. The drink ("pre-pearls") would have earned about an 8.5, but I had to knock it down after having the pearls. 

Score: 7.5 out of 10.

Thursday, April 4, 2024

Wild Bill's Root Beer

Last night, I cracked into my first soda from the Grandpa Joe's grand opening a few weeks back:

Wild Bill's Root Beer
Cool skinny "wrapped" can.

Brand: Wild Bill's Root Beer.

Origin: Millington, NJ.

Purchase Place: Grandpa Joe's Candy Shop, Spring Lake Park, MN.

Sweetener: Pure Cane Sugar.

Review: Maybe it was just the fancy can that "woo-ed" me, but this was good from the first sip. It wasn't trying too hard to be something new - it was just good. It had a bit of an herby bite, but not too much. It had the perfect amount of sweetness, and the flavor was decent - it MAYBE could have had a bit stronger flavor. All-in-all, a very good root beer! I'm excited to try more "Wild Bill" sodas from Grandpa Joes!

Score: 9 out of 10.

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Coca Cola "Spiced"

My wife picked this up for me recently:

Coca Cola "Spiced"


Brand: Coca Cola "Spiced"

Origin: Atlanta, GA.

Purchase Place: Target, Minneapolis, MN.

Sweetener: High Fructose Corn Syrup.

Review: It smells like Christmas in a mall near a Yankee Candle store... not IN the store, but just NEAR the store when you get a hint of aroma in the air. And it tastes similar. There's a slight cinnamon flavor to this, as well as like a "Christmas spice." It's not bad. I don't get a ton of "raspberry" flavor even though that's what is says at the bottom of the can: "Raspberry Spiced Coke & Other Natural Flavors." If a slightly cinnamon version of Coke with a hint of generic Christmas spice sounds good to you, then give this a try. It was better than I thought it was going to be!

Score: 7.5 out of 10.