There are times when the universe looks inward, onto the tiny, insignificant head of a Quaffmaster, and says “Let’s make this guy’s day”. It’s on days like that that Weird Soda retail establishments open in the Quaffmaster’s home town.
Yes, loyal and hypothetical reader, a chain called “Rocket Fizz” has opened a storefront in downtown Vista, California. I’ll be posting a “Pilgrimage” account as soon as I can, but in the meantime, my beloved Kibbitzer-in-Chief paid them a visit and came back with a bonanza. I’m going to go through them…lovingly…joyfully. Not only that, but an old friend of mine sent a whole batch of excellent review candidates, so we’re rolling in Weirdness.
What better way to celebrate such a windfall–such a felicitous turn of fate–than to review something which almost certainly should NEVER have been made into a soda?
Rocket Fizz Peanut Butter soda, displaying a high degree of camouflage expertise in its natural environment of vases and knickknacks.
There are many wonderful tastes in the world. Vanilla extract. Cream cheese. Cumin.* Peanut butter is one of them–it’s wonderful, versatile stuff, which was never ever ever meant to be carbonated and bottled. Thus, of course, I must sample it. I mean, it could be worse, right? It could be peanut butter and jelly soda.**
A quick ingredients check reveals no peanuts–in fact, the only recognizable foodlike substance after “sugar” and “citric acid” is “modified food starch”. Other than that, it’s water, flavor, and color.
Where and when: Purchased by the Kibbitzer-in-Chief at Rocket Fizz, in downtown Vista.
Color: Opaque and beige. The Kibbitzer is referring to it as “clogged toilet color”, but it’s not that brown. It is a truly unappetizing color. Yellowish beige…about the same color as the outside of a cantaloupe.
Scent: Errr…this is not promising. The scent is faint, and has a slight note of synthetic peanut butter. A little like what you get in Nutter Butter cookies. You know–nothing even resembling peanuts. And under the faint pseudo-peanut butter, a hint of acidity. Not the “ripe orange” kind, rather more of a “slightly acid taste in the back of your throat while wondering if it was REALLY necessary to linger QUITE so lovingly over the disembowelments in Game of Thrones” kind. This is gonna be rough.
Taste: *grimace shudder* Uuuuuhhhh. This is not good. Actually, it’s bad enough that, several seconds after sipping it, I’m still kind of shuddering.
Kibbitzer: *Sip* *Cough splutter* “I won’t be drinking that.”
It’s got this sort of oily, lingering aftertaste…I had one small sip *minutes* ago, and I can still clearly taste it. I can still clearly FEEL it on my tongue. But–and here’s the worst part–not well enough that I can provide a description without taking another sip.
We who are about to quaff salute you, my readers.
Auugh. Okay, here goes. First, it’s extremely sweet, to the point of being syrupy. There’s a slight acid under the sweet as well. That fake peanut butter taste is there, too, but rather than working together with the sweet and acid, the three flavors mingle awkwardly, not making eye contact. The flavors of this soda interact in much the same way as three men who have just discovered that they have inadvertently all been using the same athletic supporter.
The next major problem is the endurance. More than most, this particular mix of flavors lingers. It sits on the tongue, and is quite hard to dispel. For something without any oil in it, it has a distinctly oily feel.
Nobody would drink this to refresh themselves on a hot day. Nobody would drink this to refresh themselves on a cold day. Nobody would drink this on a day during which–by direct order of the President–refreshment was not *legal* except via drinking of this soda
Quaff rating: 1.0. I suppose there’s a bit of interest in the sheer unusualness, but it’s pretty unpleasant.
Cough rating: 2.5. I didn’t retch, or even feel that I had to spit it out, but there was definite face-making and shoulder-shuddering in the Lab.
*I should note, at this point, that I tried once to combine these three lovely things into one uber-taste which could bring joy to my heart and peace to the Middle East. As it turns out, three lovely tastes do not necessarily combine into one messianic flavor of goodness. In fact, the result may have been directly responsible for the current problems in mortgage finance, as thousands of people in the US stopped paying their mortgages on the grounds that they didn’t want to live in a country where making tastes like what came out of that was legal.
**Hold that thought.
Dedicated to unearthing and quaffing unusual, independent, and fascinating non-alcoholic beverages.