Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Cap'n Eli's Black Cherry Pop

I opened this in my office this afternoon: 

Cap'n Eli's Black Cherry Pop

Brand: Cap'n Eli's Black Cherry Pop

Origin: Portland, ME.

Purchase Place: Blue Sun Soda, Spring Lake Park, MN.

Sweetener: Cane sugar.

Review: It had a strong taste of black cherry. This wasn't a cola that tasted a little fruity - no, it let you know that it was BLACK CHERRY. The flavor was decent, but not amazing. Being it wasn't a cola, it was pretty clear with a tint of red to it (which is always just a BIT weird to me as I think I always EXPECT a black cherry COLA - but that's my problem and not the soda's). Overall, quite drinkable with decent (but not amazing) black cherry flavor. I didn't enjoy it as much as I enjoyed Cap'n Eli's Root Beer nearly 10 years ago.

Score: 7.5 out of 10.

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Brau Bros Bubble Gum Soda

I've been hesitant to open this... 

Brau Bros Bubble Gum Soda

Brand: Brau Bros Bubble Gum Soda.

Origin: Marshall, MN.

Purchase Place: Blue Sun Soda, Spring Lake Park, MN.

Sweetener: Sugar.

Review: There is a FRACTION of a second during each sip that this actually tastes like bubble gum. Outside of that moment, it's very chemically and overly sweet. And I don't know what it tastes like. I really wanted to like this because it's from MN, but it's just not good. I didn't get more than a few sips into this. Sorry. 

I finished writing that paragraph, and then poured out a sip for both of my boys (ages 8 and 11). I didn't tell them that I didn't like it because I didn't want to influence their reactions. My 11-year-old just thought it was OK, and my 8-year-old didn't care for it. I assume that a bubble gum soda would appeal to kids, and this did not.

Score: 2 out of 10.

Friday, January 6, 2023

WBC Vanilla Cream Craft Soda

I recently spent 2 nights and 3 days in a little cabin with my boys in Whitewater State Park, and we sipped on this during a game of Catan: 

WBC Vanilla Cream Craft Soda
About to be shared in the tiny camping cups to the left.

Brand: WBC Vanilla Cream Craft Soda.

Origin: Glendale, WI.

Purchase Place: Menards, St. Paul, MN.

Sweetener: Sugar.

Review: This was just OK. It was really sweet and smooth on the front end (and had it stopped there, I'd rank it a little better than average), but then it had a pretty sharp and chemically aftertaste - something that I just hate when trying to enjoy a soda. That extra little "tang" at the end brought this from more of a 6 or 7 down to the 5 range. Not bad, just not great.

Score: 5.5 out of 10.

Monday, January 2, 2023

Making Boxed Cake Mixes with Soda

I've heard about this before, but finally looked more into it over Christmas when talking with family. Did you know that you can mix sodas with cake mix for a TASTY cake?!?

From AllRecipes.com:

Why does this unusual combination work? The leavening agents in the cake mixes still do their duty, even without oil or egg. The soda is all the liquid you need to turn the powdery mix into a bake-able batter. Combine, pour into cake pans, and the mixture will act just like any other cake batter.

But before you think this is some TikTok experiment or Pinterest hack, you should know this method has been around for decades. Old-fashioned cookbooks are filled with soda-meets-cake-mix recipes that were highly fashionable at the time. 

They say that you just use the pan size, oven temp, and baking time on the box, but just add the soda instead of anything else. I HAVE to try this.

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Mike's Hard Black Cherry Lemonade

It's been a long time since I reviewed an adult beverage. But I grabbed this when I was getting some wine for my wife for Christmas, and then I cracked into it last night:

Mike's Hard Black Cherry Lemonade

Brand: Mike's Hard Black Cherry Lemonade.

Origin: Waddell, AZ.

Purchase Place: Total Wine, Roseville, MN.

Sweetener: High Fructose Corn Syrup and Cane Sugar (not on the label because it's booze).

Review: This is considered a "beer" or a beer-like drink, but tastes NOTHING like beer (which is good as I don't care for beer). It's not as overly sweet as I was afraid it was going to be. There's a pretty deep "black cherry" flavor with just a bit of tartness that's supposed to be the "lemonade" flavor. This went down easy and was quite tasty. Sure, a wussy drink, but I'll have it any day.

Score: 7.5 out of 10.

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Rhett and Link Test "Soda Products"

One of my favorite internet duos tested "soda products." Here's the shortened Facebook version which is a cool 6 minutes (and click that link if this embed doesn't work):

And here's the longer YouTube version (which is 22 mins):

Direct link: youtu.be/ONDZTEwuJ6s

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Strawberry Vanilla Health-Ade Pop

I was at Whole Foods last night, and I saw these:

Health-Ade Pop
Is "last chance" a bad sign?...

I looked over the flavors, and I first thought about the "Apple Snap" on the left. But it was giving me kombucha vibes, and I'm not a fan of kombucha. So I went with the "Strawberry Vanilla:"

Strawberry Vanilla Health-Ade Pop

Brand: Strawberry Vanilla Health-Ade Pop.

Origin: Torrance, CA.

Purchase Place: Whole Foods, St. Paul, MN.

Sweetener: Cane Sugar.

Review: So there's still SLIGHT kombucha vibes here as the first ingredient is "organic fermented tea." But it's not as harsh and vinegar-heavy like kombucha is. (But there is a warning that there could be "small piece of culture" floating around.  NO THANKS.) There's only 35 calories in each can, so there's just a little sweetener. And there's also inulin which is supposed to be good for your lower gut.

At first sip, the sparkles hit hard, kind of like a La Croix. And there's a little kombucha-like tang, but it's subtle. The smooth vanilla mixes oddly with the sharpness of the carbonation. I'm left with more of an apple-like aftertaste, with not much strawberry flavor there. It's not bad... I thought it'd be worse. I still can't give this a GREAT score, but it's not horrible. My kombucha-loving wife would probably find this to be a little of a treat.

Score: 4.5 out of 10.

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Rocket Fizz Root Beer

I opened this last night: 

Rocket Fizz Root Beer

Brand: Rocket Fizz Root Beer.

Origin: Incline Village, NV.

Purchase Place: Blue Sun Soda, Spring Lake Park, MN.

Sweetener: Pure Cane Sugar.

Review: I'm no stranger to Rocket Fizz root beers, but I've never had this one. Their "root beer float" soda was NOT good. But their "boosted" root beer loaded with caffeine was decent. And their "Kiss Army" root beer (yes, as in "KISS" the band) was quite tasty. So I was curious what this one would be like.

At first sip, it's quite smooth and flavorful. Nutmeg is listed on the front ("Root Beer with nutmeg" is listed at the bottom of the front label), but it's not listed in the ingredients, unless that can just be under the "natural flavors" listing. I felt like I COULD taste the nutmeg with a little extra smooth herbiness at the end of each sip. There was also a punch of wintergreen that was nearly a bit too much. This would be closer to a perfect root beer if that wintergreen flavor was toned down a bit, but this was still quite good!

Score: 8.5 out of 10.

Thursday, December 1, 2022

North Star Nuclear Dew

I opened this with supper tonight:

North Star Nuclear Dew

Brand: North Star Nuclear Dew.

Origin: Spring Lake Park, MN.

Purchase Place: Blue Sun Soda, Spring Lake Park, MN.

Sweetener: Sugar.

Review: I was ready for this to be a version of Mountain Dew. Obviously. But it was a bit more unique than I was expecting... it was a bit heavier on the lime (and in a GOOD way), and it was a bit smoother than Mountain Dew. It was quite good!

Score: 8 out of 10.