I’m not so adventurous when it comes to tasting unfamiliar foods, but beverages are another story. As long as it’s free of sucralose, I’ll sample just about any new bebida I can get my hands on. This habit drives me frequently to high-end specialty markets and obscure mini-marts in search of new elixirs. Below are some of the best drinks I’ve tried in the last several months:
- Zevia Soda: I’ve never been into diet soda. Something about sugar substitutes just never does it for me. Zevia, however, is the first widely available (in the U.S.) soda sweetened with Stevia, a 100% natural sugar substitute. The sodas don’t taste quite as sweet as sugar-sweetened drinks, but I kind of like that. The orange flavor is particularly good.
- Jeff’s New York Egg Cream: I’ve always been a huge fan of the good old-fashioned New York egg cream; the drink that paradoxically contains no eggs and no cream. They are tough to find outside of authentic New York delis, but “Jeff” bottles them up and will ship you a case for a reasonable charge. I got a little overzealous and ordered six cases so I’m slowly working my way through them, but they are great. I recommend the chocolate and vanilla flavors.
- Jones Gaba Tea-Juice: Just tried these for the first time last week. Very, very smooth. They are like a less sweet version of Snapple Iced Tea, with plenty of amino acids and other things that are supposed to make you operate better.
- Sence Rose Nectar: (Pictured above) This one is tough to describe. Imagine a glass of slightly sweetened water with rose hips infused into it. Pretty good stuff. May also mix well with vodka.
- Hi Ball Soda: I’ve mentioned this one before. It’s like Pellegrino with a bit of caffeine. Refreshing.
- Kaboom: Kaboom is an organic energy drink with much more wholesome ingredients than most energy drinks and plenty of vitamins. Tastes good too.
- Red Bull Cola: This is the biggest shocker of the bunch. I don’t even like Red Bull, but Red Bull Cola is different. It’s not even made by Red Bull, apparently. Not only is this among the tastiest colas I’ve ever tried, but get a load of the ingredients — water, sugar, vanilla, mustard seed, lime, kola nut, cocoa, liquorice, cinnamon, lemon, ginger, coca leaf (!), orange, corn mint, pine, and clove. Wow. Lots of good natural flavors in there… and it’s evident in the great taste.
- Pinot Noir Wine: Ok, Pinot Noir is hardly new or even novel, but I’ve recently gained a taste for it as my red wine of choice. As a merlot convert, I appreciate Pinot’s mildness immensely. Cheap Pinot, however, seems worse than cheap merlot or cabernet, so my wine bill may be in for a sharp increase in the coming months.
What other novel beverages out there am I missing? Anything new and exciting on the market?