Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Official 2008 Spring Soda Tasting

That is what I named our little soda tasting. I even made official tasting sheets with room for comments. It was going to be a couples tasting (Andrew and I and Jeff and Lisa), but the boys had to bail for personal reasons. That's fine. Lisa and I were happy to do it on our own. I set up the dining table with all of the sodas, some napkins, little tasting glasses, our tasting sheets and pens, and my favorite bottle opener from Vegas (I bought it the first time Andrew and I went to Vegas - - we fell in love). I felt very organized, but then realized when Lisa arrived that I was missing something. Something very important! FOOD. Yikes. We had nothing. At least nothing that wouldn't disturb our palates. No crackers, no flatbread, not even tortilla chips . . . and then it came to me . . . STRING CHEESE. Ah string cheese. So mild, so soothing, so perfect for our tasting. So we were ready and both a bit nervous. We had a lot of soda ahead of us.

We kind of treated it a bit like a wine tasting. We like to do that with things, since we went on a really fun wine tasting adventure last year and now we are experts (insert sarcasm). So we sniffed and sniffed (no swirling) and then drank, thought about it, and drank again. It quickly occurred to me that we would need a soda receptacle for what was left in the glass (just like at a real tasting), so I grabbed a mixing bowl and put it on the table - - then told Lisa at the end of the night we each have to drink from it. She didn't like the idea, but I thought it would be fun. Kind of reminded me of a drink called Suicide that we used to make as kids where you would take everything out of the fridge (soda, milk, juice, pickle juice . . .) and fill a glass and then drink it (to prove how cool you were). I was always happy to do it (I love proving I am cool), and last night proved no different. It actually wasn't half bad. But I digress. Here's our tasting notes:

Izze Blueberry Soda: We both thought it smelled like blueberry. As it turns out, most of the sodas had a very strong bouquet (lisa remembered that term from wine tasting; made me think of a bunch of flowers). She thought it tasted like grape juice and I said, "No, No it's cranberry." I am always so confident, and I am often wrong. Just as I was in this case. Grape was the first flavor on the list of ingredients. A curious thing for blueberry soda. All in all. Not bad soda. If you like grapes.

Mint Julep: Hmmmm. Smells like gum. Lisa said it tasted like "gum juice." Need I say more?

Mr. Q Cucumber Soda: Yum. Although we both agreed it was too sweet. It still tasted great. Very refreshing and serious mixer potential for Drink of the Week. We also decided it would be fun to make our own cucumber soda using the juicer. I'll let you know how that goes.

Rat Bastard Root Beer: It says on the label that it tastes like "a son of a bitch." I wasn't impressed. It had no bite. Wouldn't you think that Rat Bastard soda would have bite. Wouldn't a son of a bitch have bite? Still good root beer, but definitely not the best. Probably not even in the top 5. I might go back to Galco's and buy up all of their different root beers and get to the bottom of this once and for all. If there are any you want to put on the tasting list, please let me know.

Jeff's Chocolate Soda: Ok, Lisa absolutely hated this one. Direct quote, "didn't agree with my palate, tastes like battery acid with a hint of stomach bile." I actually kind of liked it, but I think that was because it reminded me of the egg creams my dad used to make me with seltzer (out of the cool old seltzer bottles), milk and Fox's Ubet Chocolate syrup. The best! So I wouldn't recommend this, but I would recommend getting the ingredients for a real egg cream and making one (although egg cream really is a horrible name for anything, I assure you, the drink is great).

Yikes, It's 6:30am. This is taking me longer than I thought. I don't want to leave out any details. I have to get ready to leave for work. I guess this is going to be a two-parter. I'll try and post the rest tonight when I get home, including our top 3 sodas. Plus, I'll tell you which soda evoked this quote, "YUCK! It just assaulted my tongue!"

Have a great day.

PS. I don't even have time to proof read, so I apologize in advance for any errors.


jbeach said...

I love this Tasting idea! You may have to keep this as a recurring theme on your blog, too! It's like a version of Cook's Illustrated's product/equipment testing. The soda idea is perfect and your descriptions are fantastic. I'm dying to find some of that lavender soda.
Also -- a big thank you for naming that Maison-Midi place. I just ordered my boyfriend a vintage Perrier glass and he is going! to! explode! when he gets it! Thank you!! Love your blog.

Obsessive Foodie or Food Addict....You Decide said...

What a great idea.....this would definately be fun w/a small group of couples.

*note to self....have tasting par-thay

Gypsy at Heart said...

I can't wait to read the continuation of this you know. The fun critiques even make me want to try the sodas that received bad ratings!

Meg said...

I love taste tests. Yours sounds fun. Try some of the Dry sodas; they're quite nice and so, so, so much less sweet than most. Although they are also comically expensive for pop. And I don't know how widely distributed they are.

Anonymous said... aunt from mexico comes and makes a deicious cucumber drink. It's basically a peeled cucumber, a peeled apple, juice of a lime, cup of water, and a little sugar (to taste.) Blend in blender--yum! Very refreshing on hot days.

Neen said...

Love it! What a fun, easy-going girls-night activity. :)

Nostrababe said...

This is so great! You made me want to go get some of these and try them! Of course, I have no idea whatsoever where the heck I could find them. I really want to try the rose petal stuff! I wonder if Trader Joe's would have some?

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