Sea20 Energy Drink

2 comments Written on October 15th, 2012 by
Categories: Drinks
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Product: Sea2O Organic Energy Drink (don’t forget to disable the audio)
Purchased at: Big Lots (University Place)
40 cents (20% off the normal 50 cents)

Truth be told, writing reviews for beverages is always a challenge for me. Beverages can be easily divided into broad categories: alcoholic/non-alcoholic, fizzy/flat, sweet/neutral and of course, delicious/disgusting – which in turn provides little challenge for a review. At any given time, I generally have a collection of cans and bottles gathering dust on our shelves because they have nothing noticeable or extraordinary about them (I’ve since curbed my “buying-drinks-specifically-for-Clearance-Cuisine” habit). In fact, today’s product was purchased at least six months ago, but it’s still good. Still good.

When I buy a product for the site, I always try to pick things that err on the side of ridiculous, whether it’s a quirky ingredient, stupid slogan and/or mascot or a terrible Flash-based website that’s straight from the 90s. In this case, today’s feature drew me in because: the word “SEA” in the name (the sea is delicious, no?) and the concept of a non-caffeine based energy drink. After flipping the can around, I learned it also has ~organic seaweed extract~ which sealed the deal for me.

Sea2O is based locally in Bellevue, WA but I found the drink locally at Big Lots, a stark change from its suggested retail locations like Whole Foods and Metropolitan Market. The can used the word “Organic” probably around twenty times, but I lost count by the time opened the can. While I have no qualms about organic ingredients, once enough is fine for me thx.

The drink is very similar to the Capri Sun pouch drinks I grew up drinking as a kid, probably due to the sweetener (agave nectar). Though it’s touted as an energy drink, I’m of the mindset that anything you add enough sugar to, whether it be table sugar, HFCS, agave and what have you, can become energized (new marketing idea: pixi sticks as energy powder). For those asking if the drink was salty or fishy, I’m happy to confirm that there’s no seaweed taste or essence, since seaweed extract is added as opposed to the nori you’re used to wrapping around your sushi.

That said, I’ll stick to my artificially sweetened, caffeine saturated energy drinks.

Vino Solo

2 comments Written on September 20th, 2012 by
Categories: Drinks
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Product: Vino Solo (2008 Cabernet Merlot, Petit Verdot)
Purchased at: Grocery Outlet (North Tacoma/6th Ave.)

I’m writing this post at 2am because nighttime is the right time to write blog posts. Not the mention the bars right below my apartment start closing and the bleary-eyed, yelling-prone tipsy patrons start filtering into the alley just thirty feet below my window. Nothing like the smell of cheap cigarette smoke and drunken yells to lull your from a blissful, dream-filled sleep.

But I digress; I’m not bitter. In fact, one of the only reality shows I actually enjoy started back up again last Friday: Shark Tank. I’ll spare you the details about the premise (it’s like Dragons’ Den, for you international readers) since Wikipedia does a good job explaining. It’s my little dose of ABC television-produced schadenfreude – because what reader wouldn’t get a guilty chuckle from an “inventor” that says they’ve invested their life savings in a pillow for woman with breast implants or a product lineup for “cougars” (no, not the animal). Or if you’re looking for amusement, look up a little game called “BulletBall”.

One of the most infamous entrepreneurs is a guy who’s come back asking for money twice – for his single serve plastic wine cups with peel back foil tops.  Every time I saw a clip of him, I would eye my little plastic bottle of Vino Solo that’s been sitting on our shelf for probably about six months now. Why drink a single serve glass when you can drink the whole darn (little) bottle? I decided to test the bottle out last weekend.

According to the paper label, Vino Solo is “South Eastern Australian Wine” composed of “52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot [and] 6% Petit Verdot” or in my language “Cheap Red Wine” (it’s 13.5% alcohol by volume). Tangentially related, here is a reference image describing myself for your viewing pleasure:

The wine surprisingly isn’t offensive for a plastic bottled petit, just a bit mediocre (this coming from a strictly occasional Two Buck Chuck drinker). I don’t really see the practicality of drinking a single serve wine, though the argument of drinking one glass of wine and let the rest go bad always seems to come up. However, which is more depressing – having the remainder of a bottle spoil or drinking cheap red wine alone out of a glorified Solo Cup?

Jackie Chan’s XGT (Xtra Green Tea) Drink Mix

No Comments » Written on September 10th, 2012 by
Categories: Drinks
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“He likes it! Hey Jackie!”

Product: Jackie Chan’s XtraGreen Tea Drink Mix

What happened to you, Jackie Chan? You used to be uber-cool. I remember watching you in the poorly dubbed film: Rumble in the Bronx: on TV in the 1990s, and despite the over-dramatic annoying female voice acting, it was an overall enjoyable flick.

Nowadays kids grow up with “The Spy Next Door” and “The Jackie Chan Adventures” and miss out on glorious direct-from-Hong Kong action films with no plot or acting to speak of, but Jackie’s well-intentioned grin and kicks to the face. So maybe it was nostalgia, curiosity or just because it was pretty weird that made me try today’s product. Hell, Steven Seagal has his own “energy drink” so why can’t Jackie Chan?

The artificially sweetened lemon flavored iced tea powder comes packaged in the oh-so-convenient plastic tube-pouches that are oh-so-trendy these days for single serving diet tea drinks. The powder isn’t brown like Nestea or matcha green as one would expect green tea to be, but a grainy yellowish brown that plopped to the bottom of my handy blender bottle.

While I don’t normally like artificially sweetened green tea (I prefer it plain/hot or cold), I shook up the bottle with some Tacoma tap water and took a swig. Taking one for the team, right? (generally the motto of our website) The concoction was not undrinkable, but a cloying mixed of faux lemon, whatever additives are added for “energy” and that classic Splenda twang. The drink doesn’t have a terribly appealing color, which is probably why most energy drinks choose to come it a totally blacked out aluminum can.

Which celebrity should endorse an instant artificially sweetened iced tea mix? It’s not Jackie Chan.

Also, Jackie Chan, I see like so many aged, overweight women on social media sites, you’re also using an outdated profile pic that doesn’t accurately represent your current physical shape. However your Google+ stream brought a much needed smile to my face. Especially after drinking your green tea mix.

Come back next week when I’ve probably received a cease-and-desist letter from Jackie Chan’s agent!

Bonus: The product page for Jackie’s iced tea also features interpretations of the Chinese Zodiac symbols:

Eff you, rabbits.

“Possibly when you are using a whip and chair on them.”

Tepache Frumex Original Pineapple Cider

6 comments Written on October 28th, 2011 by
Categories: Drinks
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Product: Tepache Frumex Original Pineapple Cider
Purchased at: Saar’s Marketplace (Lakewood)
Price: 95 cents – 12 oz bottle

In our forays into international grocery aisles, we’re constantly finding more and more fermented food and drinks we haven’t tried like canned kimchi, kombucha, and kvass (keep an eye out for a future review on that one). On one of my last visits to the Lakewood Saar’s (probably the same trip I bought the Frutiking), I spotted a bottle of tepache, below the familiar Jarritos, Mineraga and sangria. What’s tepache you say? Well I’m glad you asked, because I put way too much time on these posts doing background research on what the products we eat and drinks actually are.

Thank goodness for Wikipedia! It’s not just useful for college papers!

Tepache is “a drink made out of the flesh and rind of the pineapple, sweetened with brown sugar and cinnamon and sometimes beer. Tepache does not have a high quantity of alcohol, since it is left to ferment for only about three days. The alcohol comes mostly from the addition of a small amount of beer, the most common way of serving it in Mexico. It is a drink better served cold with dry chili powder to give it a spicy taste. Tepache is commonly made by inmates in Mexican prison, because the process of creating tepache is simple and quick. However, tepache can also be found in taquerias since it is a rather cheap drink. Housewives sometimes prepare tepache. In markets, you can sometimes find a vendor with an orange barrel full of ice-cold tepache.

Mmm…prison tepache.

Our particular tepache is non-alcoholic and made with 12% juice. Ingredients include: Purified carbonated water, fermented pineapple extract (skin and pulp), barley, spices, sugar, brown sugar, and vitamin C.

The drink is tangy, akin to the glaze on a slice of pineapple upside-down cake from last’s months work potluck or the fruit cup that you found sitting in the back of your fridge. The flavor is what you’d expect from pineapple juice that’s fermented minus the alcohol: it’s got a twang, it’s a little sour and it tastes much better chilled.

Okay it wasn't that good.

If you like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain and possible flings with people who may or may not be your significant other, then maybe you’ll “love” this pineapple cider concoction I crafted with the stuff that was already in our cupboard: a glass of cider, plus some unsweetened coconut milk/coconut milk ice cubes and some simple syrup (add alcohol if desired).

But if you’d like to try something that’s probably more palatable, you could always just try it the traditional way, paired with a Mexican beer.

Have you had tepache? Should I try making my own? Did I miss the mark completely? Feel free to educate me!


2 comments Written on October 24th, 2011 by
Categories: Drinks
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Product: Frutiking
Purchased at: Saar’s Marketplace (Lakewood)
Price: 33 cents each (3/$1) – 6.76 oz bottle

Lots of showbiz families seem to have famous/not-so-famous sibling(s) such as the Baldwin brothers, Ben & Casey Affleck and my personal favorite, Ron and Clint Howard. In the food world, the infamous Burger King (now mysteriously out of the limelight/possibly booked for lewd and lascivious behavior) happens to have a lesser known Mexican cousin, who goes by the name Frutiking (who I like to imagine wears a very colorful cape and has a sceptre topped with a pineapple).

Anyway, the newest trend with food products seems to limiting serving sizes in the hopes of curbing the obesity trend in America. Who hasn’t seen 100 calorie packets of Oreos, single serving cups of ice cream (so I won’t feel guilty about eating ice cream from the tub, not that I do anyway) and now miniature cans and bottles of soda.

frutikingI picked up “Red” (or “Punch”) and “Orange” flavored Frutiking mini-bottles from Saar’s a few months ago (you can also find them in the bulk section at Winco, bulk soda – who knew?) and they’ve sat in my fridge ever since so I figured it was about time to try them before they turn into Frutiking Wine. On their website, Mexicorp, the makers of Frutiking describe the Punch flavor as “A blend of yummy tropical flavors that give a powerful taste” and Orange is “A delicious sweet citrus taste that everyone loves”. The website also features the statement (though more like command): “You will begin a new flavor adventure”.

Like the ever popular Mexican Coca-Cola, Frutiking uses “real” sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup as a sweetener. In terms of content, it’s still got less grams of sugar than the same amount of Coca-Cola (18g vs. 21.8g), but in my beverage experience, brightly-colored sodas generally pack a syrupy saccharine punch.

Upon opening both of the little bottles, I noticed a distinct lack of psshh! despite the first ingredient being carbonated water (agua carbonata, if you prefer). Now I don’t know if this is because of the age of the soda/chilling in my fridge forever or sub-par carbonated water, but I’ve never had a soda lose its fizz from just sitting around unsealed unopened.

Despite the flatness, I still took a swig of each flavor. The immediately reminded me of a long forgotten childhood favorite: unfrozen/melted Otter Pops, just like their Poncho Punch and Little Orphan Orange counterparts. However, now as an adult and hearing daily warnings of diabetes and heart attacks, sadly Otter Pops and other such sugary things are not so suited to my grown-up palate.


Ben’s photos are much better than mine.

While I applaud Mexicorp/Frutiking for making little bottles, the soda was just too sweet for me to enjoy on a regular basis. The flavors were nothing out of the ordinary, but Frutiking also comes in Apple, Pineapple, Lemon (Lime) and Grape. Sad fact: only 18 people like Frutiking on Facebook so maybe it’s not just me? If you’re really curious to try Frutiking, maybe pick up some of the bulk bottles at Winco for a sugar-alternative to Halloween candy (they carry the Pineapple flavor too) and pick up a bottle for yourself.

IZZE Sparkling Birch Beverage

No Comments » Written on August 3rd, 2011 by
Categories: Drinks
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Son of a birch.

Product: IZZE Sparkling Birch Beverage
Purchased at: Valley Liquidation
Price: 50 cents per bottle

Sometimes you need a change from the soda classics like cola, lemon-lime and orange. Even former standbys like root beer and ginger ale seem to have gone mainstream. Companies now are even using alternative flavors like lavender, cucumber, rhubarb, lemongrass, etc. (I’m sad I didn’t visit Dry Soda’s tasting room when I worked in Seattle). And of course we all know Jones Soda Co. with their classic holiday flavors (there’s actually a bottle of “Tofurky and Gravy” on eBay at this moment).

My curiously was piqued when I saw this bottle of IZZE’s Sparkling Birch flavored beverage. Up until now I was frankly unaware that the oil extracted from the sap of the good old Betula lenta could be used for drinks, food, gum, syrup and more.

If you’re anywhere skeptical about drinking something flavored with birch, keep in mind we’ve been using roots, bark, leaves for ages to make medicine and drinks (root beer, ginger ale). IZZE’s website also mentions, “Once worshiped as a Goddess in Russia, the birch tree offers a rare extract that gives you the divine taste of IZZE sparkling Birch.” I was hesitant that I’d have an epiphany while drinking the stuff but I gave it a go.

Interestingly enough, birch drink/soda/beverage (or “birch beer” as it’s usually called) is a pretty common thing on the other side of the country (take note there’s actually an alcoholic birch beer, because frankly, you can pretty much make alcohol out of anything). Perhaps evergreen flavored soda and liquor are in order for the Great Northwest, though I’d recommend trying balzams if you’ve ever wanted to experience what a distilled forest would taste like.

At first sip, this drink was very similar to root beer (which I have to honestly admit I’m not the biggest fan of). Compared to its darker brown counterpart, the taste was just slightly fruitier and didn’t have the strong carbonation bite that most commercially produced sodas too. It also uses sugar so there’s none of that syrupy, cloying HFCS taste. The drink is colored with “natural apple extract” which I assumed gave it its apple juice-like hue. The other reviews I read were pretty harsh but I guess if I paid the Whole Foods price for a bottle of this stuff, I might be a bit upset too.

Though IZZE was bought by PepsiCo in 2006, I look forward to trying their other drinks they have on the market. While I wasn’t the biggest fan of this particular drink, I admit I did have by anti-root beer bias going into it. I bet Ben would enjoy it and I think you would to if you’re a fan of the herbal-style flavor (you could even attempt a birch float if you’re so inclined). I do admit I really enjoy the other IZZE flavors I’ve tried in the past (blackberry, clementine and grapefruit flavors) so unfortunately, my dislike of this one was purely a choice of personal preference.

Empire Bottling Works Ginger Ale

3 comments Written on July 20th, 2011 by
Categories: Drinks
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Purchased at: Valley Liquidation
Price: 33 cents

Besides being the smallest state in the union, Rhode Island is also known for seafood, crazy accents, being the birthplace of yours truly, and the originators of the ever popular “HOPE” slogan (sorry Obama). While these assumptions may seem a bit vague and outdated, this is coming from someone living in the Pacific Northwest where it’s generally assumed that we all listen to Nirvana Death Cab for Cutie, wear flannel on a semi-regular basis are pale yet sparkly vampires, and the majority of us have an IV drip of Starbucks mainlining into our veins (don’t get me wrong, all of these are still pretty much true. Especially the vampire part).

While here in the Northwest, our bottled soda of choice is the ever popular Jones Soda (how could I hate a brand that makes Sweat and Fruitcake flavored sodas?), we decided to pick up a bottle of bubbly beverage which hails from Bristol, RI. A little bit of online research determines they’re a smaller producer, but nice enough to put their phone number right on the label (we spared them any prank phone calls).  One of the reviews I found bluntly stated, “The label looks a bit like the product was made in a garage“.

Despite its humble background, I’m always up for a good ginger ale, even when I’m not cruising at 40,000 feet or keeled over with nausea. If anything, ginger ale needs more exposure since personally, I think it’s way better than root beer (yeah, you heard me) and to quote the late Richard Nixon, “You can’t turn on the TV without seeing Polar Bears drinking Coca-Cola or some Spanish lady with breast implants drinking Pepsi. But what about Ginger Ale? Why the hell doesn’t anybody like Ginger Ale?

I was eager to try this since I usually like to keep it real with good ol’  Kroger Diet Ginger Ale. After wrenching open the cap (then I noticed the “Twist Off Cap” twist), I was surprised by a quite sweet, non-hyper carbonated drink that lingered in my mouth for a bit. As another reviewer mentioned, the taste is less “ginger” and more “generic sweet soda”, though the hint of ginger sneaks up on you at the end. While this soda opts to use “100% cane sugar” instead of the standard/evil High Fructose Corn Syrup, I would say it’s probably equally sweet compared to a mainstream counterpart like Canada Dry, but without that syrupy feeling coating your teeth.

Empire Bottling Works also has a bunch of other varieties that I wouldn’t be opposed to trying, including a cola. I would advise the ginger ale is a decent replacement for your standard Schweppes and we got it for a pretty good price. Plus the retro-vintage style glass bottle makes me feel like a kid pretending to enjoy a beer.

Kombucha Wonder Drink

2 comments Written on July 16th, 2011 by
Categories: Drinks
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Product: Kombucha Wonder Drink
(Flavors Reviewed: Traditional, Green Tea & Lemon, Asian Pear & Ginger)
Purchased at: Grocery Outlet (Lacey)
: 71 cents each

For a drink that’s been around for probably hundreds of years and enjoyed by countless older generations, I find it curious that kombucha has made such a resurgence recently (for other victims of this phenomenon see: knitting, gardening). While I would love to assume that the popularity is because of its touted health benefits and less sugar/calories compared to soda, it’s probably due to its reputation as a possibly alcoholic tea enjoyed by such outstanding citizens like Lindsay Lohan.

If you don’t know much about kombucha, it’s basically a fermented tea made by utilizing a squishy, pancake-like yeast culture (usually called a scoby). Like most other fermented products (beer, wine, vinegar, yogurt), kombucha has attracted quite the cult following, generally of hippies, yuppies and the aforementioned celebrities. Keeping this in mind, I do constantly fear for the day that kimchi and kefir are featured in People magazine (thankfully, the Oprah show isn’t a threat anymore) and I’ll have to insist that I liked them before they went mainstream.

Delicious mold infecting the scoby (image by Nirinjan Singh/Anahata Balance via Wikipedia, with mockups by yours truly)

Kombucha Wonder Drink’s website claims that this stuff can detoxify your body, give you energy, aids digestion, however, all followed by that delightful little asterisk noting, “These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. While I’m not always as skeptical and paranoid as my opinionated partner Ben, honestly, I’d rather just enjoy a food or drink product’s taste, and hey, if it provides some health benefits, more power to me! However, this is being said with the slightest bit of irony, as I just shotgunned a glass full of cod liver oil. Mmm, lemony.

Kombucha Wonder Drink is also described as “curiously tart”. I’ve noted in the food marketing world the word “curiously” may sometimes be used as a synonym for the word “uncomfortably” (note: Altoids – Curiously Strong Mints). While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, if it’s unexpected, it may not float your boat.

We popped open all three 8.4 oz cans at once and dosed them out into tea cups (see below). Coincidentally, the lineup below is the same order I’d rank the flavors in terms of drink-ability. The Asian Pear & Ginger was akin to biting into a juicy pear and realizing that it’s been sitting in your fridge for the past three months. While this may sound like a bad time, you immediately realize the pear is still sweet, a bit tingly and may make you say things you don’t intend to (while kombucha alcohol levels may occasionally get up to 3-4% [which prompting new labeling for some brands] Wonder Drink is way under the 0.5% labeling limit). The Green Tea & Lemon flavor was passable – generally the only thing I want to associate with lemon and effervescence is a toilet bowl cleanser, but to each his own.

The final flavor was the “traditional” kombucha brewed from oolong tea, which contained no juice or fruity flavors. In this case, I think the addition of a juice would be preferred. While some people may prefer the “straight” taste of the plain kombucha, it does have a tart, almost medicinal taste, hence why most brands end up adding juice.

If I chose to have kombucha again, I could always try making it myself but then I risk possible contamination, disease and having a jar with a giant disc of bacteria sitting my garage. However, at 71 cents a can, I may just pick up a few cans of Asian Pear & Ginger to enjoy when I’m not in a boozy mood…though that could be easily remedied.

Bottoms Up – from left to right: Asian Pear & Ginger, Green Tea & Lemon, Traditional

Marisa says Relax with Malava Lite Sangria

No Comments » Written on July 6th, 2011 by
Categories: Drinks

Purchased at: McGregor’s Discount Natural and Organic Foods
Price: 25 cents

Though I’m generally a chill person (which is pretty much a requirement for living in the Pacific Northwest), I usually just chalk it up to just plain apathy, laziness or a little bit of both. While I’m usually pretty disarming with my ‘no worries’ attitude, underneath is a constantly uptight and anxiety-ridden individual whose fingernails are always at risk of being nervously gnawed off.

Thankfully, the onslaught of energy drinks has now paved the way for pills, drinks, and even brownies (sorry folks, not those kind of brownies, remember this is Clearance Cuisine) that can help you unwind after getting jacked up on energy drinks all day or just relax from the troubles of living in a first-world nation. These products can use a variety of active ingredients whether it be melatonin, Valerian root, but this particular beverage uses Kava root powder to achieve its goal. Since I was pretty much ignorant about the history of this plant, I decided to take a gander at good ol’ Wikipedia to know what to expect on my magical mystery tour.

The sensations, in order of appearance, are slight tongue and lip numbing (the lips and skin surrounding may appear unusually pale); mildly talkative and sociable behavior; clear thinking; calmness; relaxed muscles; and a sense of well-being. Medical literature sometimes claims Kava has a ‘potential for addiction’ because ‘it produces mild euphoria and relaxation’. In a traditional setting, a moderately potent kava drink causes effects within 20–30 minutes that last for about two and a half hours, but can be felt for up to eight hours. Some report longer term effects up to two days after ingestion, including a feeling of mental clarity, patience, and an ease of acceptance. The effects of kava are most often compared to alcohol, or diazepam.

Wait – sociable behavior? Ease of acceptance? Holy shit, why wasn’t I downing this stuff in high school?

(If you’re wondering why the random dentist quip on the back of the bottle, apparently the creators of this beverage are a dentist and a hygienist. The more you know.)

Upon popping open the lid, a whiff of the stuff reminded me less of sangria and more of your childhood friend Dimetapp (which I suppose can also help you “relax” if you chugged a bottle of it). However, when combined with ice on a balmy Northwest summer evening, it tastes more like a watery grape Otter Pop with a hint artificial sweetener (aka sucralose/Splenda) and an unknown taste I can only describe as “earthy” (whether that’s due to the kava root powder of the length of time this was sitting in my pantry? Truly a mystery).

Unfortunately, if you’re jonesin’ to try this drink yourself, looks like you’re out of luck unless you can find a stash. According to BevNet, this drink has been discontinued to make way for Malava’s newest drink called Novocaine (get it?), which apparently can help take the edge off:

  • “PMS”
  • “Peeing on the stick” (for those times when you don’t enjoy Malava while PMSing)
  • “When the wife goes shopping”

At this point in the review and halfway through my beverage, I would say I could could care about writing any more but either the drink or my 5am wakeup time is taking its toll on me. Until next time – turn on, tune in, drop out, drink up.

I Jerk It Out with Another New Energy Drink

2 comments Written on June 27th, 2011 by
Categories: Drinks
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Product: Jerk Energy Soda
Purchased at: Grocery Outlet (Seattle – 4th Avenue/SODO)
Price: 50 cents

First and foremost – no, we have not reached unsavory new levels of things we’re doing to attract readership (we’re also not giving any free iPods). Though hey, if you’re already here, why not stick around?

Jerk Energy Soda is just another foray into the over-saturated and over-caffeinated energy drink market. While there’s a new energy drink born every minute, this one piqued my interest pretty much solely for the name alone. Plus it’s got some 80s era retro gaming style graphics so I figured the 50 cents price tag was reasonable. Also I get to say the phrase “Jerk Juice”. Heh…jerk juice.

Curiously enough, for a product that we found at two separate Grocery Outlets, I couldn’t find any reviews from any mainstream energy drink websites right off the bat, though lots of social media content and promos from hip hop groups. The only input we got about this drink beforehand was that the gal at the store told us it “tasted like Sweet Tarts”. With 36g of scrumptious sugar per can (regular Coca-Cola has 39g, for reference), we figured it really couldn’t taste like anything besides candy.

While most energy drinks are a fluorescent, doctor-shocking urine yellow, Jerk’s got a nice blue-green color to it (blue whens it comes from the can, green in the glass, so we figured we have some wacky light refraction action going on in our photo). I was secretly hoping it’d be purple though.

One swig of this stuff immediately brought back memories of watermelon Jolly Ranchers (though I can see how it would taste like Sweet Tarts too). Since this stuff is pretty sweet, I probably got more of a rush from the HFCS instead of the caffeine and ginseng and taurine and guarana and all that garden-variety energy drink jazz. Suffice to say, if you’d want to get crazy and FourLoko it up, this drink earns my “Would Also Work Good as a Mixer” seal of approval. If anything, it needs a bit of a kick to cut through the syrupy sweet twinge of corn syrup and water. (Looking back at our past soda and energy drink reviews, you’d think we were alcoholics with all the stuff we end up just mixing with booze.)

All in all, not a terrible drink for 50 cents a can. While I would enjoy a diet version since more sugar is the last thing I need (though artificial sweeteners probably aren’t much better), Jerk has a decent taste for what it’s worth. I might just buy a few more cans and get my jerk on again in the future.