IZZE Sparkling Birch Beverage

Comments Off on IZZE Sparkling Birch Beverage Written on August 3rd, 2011 by
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Son of a birch.

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. Read the rest of this entry »

Empire Bottling Works Ginger Ale

Comments Off on Empire Bottling Works Ginger Ale Written on July 20th, 2011 by
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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 While these assumptions may seem a bit vague and outdated, this is coming from someone living in the Pacific Northwest where it’s generally assumed that we all listen to Nirvana Death Cab for Cutie, wear flannel on a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“. Read the rest of this entry »

Kombucha Wonder Drink

Comments Off on Kombucha Wonder Drink Written on July 16th, 2011 by
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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. Read the rest of this entry »

Malava Lite Sangria

Comments Off on Malava Lite Sangria Written on July 6th, 2011 by
Categories: Drinks

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. Read the rest of this entry »

I Jerk It Out with Another New Energy Drink

Comments Off on I Jerk It Out with Another New Energy Drink Written on June 27th, 2011 by
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First and foremost – no, I have not reached unsavory new levels of things I’m 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. Read the rest of this entry »