Fizzy Lizzy

So Fizzy Lizzy sent us some of their beverages to try out, because I guess they’re scrappy up-and-comers? Like three people in some cramped apartment in NYC? Allegedly someone named Lizzy got it in her head that she was going to make juice-and-seltzer drinks and then just went for it — are you buying this? This whole garage-band thing, like they’re all sitting around and squeezing passion fruit and gluing the labels on by hand and basically just full of dreams? I didn’t think that was a viable career path.

Remember a couple years back we were talking about some young upstarts who decided to make their own kind of indie cola and take on the corporate sellout colas? Or something? And we’re like: Son, your naivete would be endearing if it wasn’t so sad, and your cola didn’t taste like patchouli dick. But are we just laying down our own cynical trips on these semi-visionaries? Just because we’ve failed at every single one of our life’s ambitions (well to be fair you did finally get that Death Eater tattoo) doesn’t mean that it’s not possible – at least mathematically – for someone to come up with this mindblowing drink in their basement which ends up toppling the Coca-Cola empire. Isn’t it pretty to think so, et cetera.

Anyway, I don’t see Fizzy Lizzy as the regime-toppler, but they have some pleasant enough flavors. And there’s something to be said for drinking a beverage that’s been made by people excited to be making a beverage (or at least that’s their marketing spin – oh I will be simply furious if I find out this is all some scam by PepsiCo to trick me with indie cred!!!). You can sort of taste the perspiration or inspiration or whatever it is.

The thing here is they’re a blend of sparkling water and around 70% juice, so it’s not quite soda, not quite juice, and this effect works better in some flavors than others. I should also mention that there is often sediment involved.

Anyway let me summarize our binge drinking session. I thought Concord Grape was OK (with booze in it), but Fuji Apple was my fave – like a nice, smooth cider. You thought Passionfruit was far and away the best, kind of like an orange-grapefruit blend (bleh), but gave thumbs down to Ruby Grapefruit (“doesn’t bring anything new to the table”) and Raspberry Lemon (“just sour water”), while I literally had to spit out the Pineapple into my cat’s face because it tastes exactly like pineapple, which is not something I enjoy, at all, ever, in any capacity. Sorry Cap’n Furpants, don’t be all mad, let’s kiss and make up!!

Vitamin Water Formula 50

OK chum I gotta just quickly chime in on the whole Vitamin Water thing. I mean it’s this thing. These babies are everywhere. I feel like they’re going to supplant the whole Snapple stranglehold, given enough marketing dollars. I know you’ve already submitted your review but I need to deposit my fitty cents.

(And at this juncture I have to give a shout out to my wife who was way ahead of the curve on this one [sort of like the whole “write extremely personal things about yourself on the web” deal]. She was all: “Taste this! It’s totally like watered-down orange drink!” Because she’s basically ape for the watered-down drinks? Seriously just the other day I got this delightful carton of potent apple cider, all action-packed with fierce autumn flavor the way it should be, right? Get this: She cuts it with three parts water. I’m like: Why do you hate flavor. Why do you hate pleasure. But that’s a tale for another time.)

Anyway one day I’m desperately dehydro and desperate for w/e and as usual the local beverage provider is filled stem to stern with Vitamin Waters, and I go: fine. I give. And I opted for Formula 50, which allegedly is brought to me by 50 Cent? In some kind of weird, super-subtle (and thus atypical) hip-hop cross-promo thing? And I chug it, not even really tasting anything until the bottle is empty, and I’m left with: OK, I take it this is the watered-down grape Kool-Aid flavor. (No joke, I’m pretty sure it’s actual Kool-Aid that these pricks in Queens are just diluting with shitty sludge from the Sound, and then charging us two bills.)

I tried pretty much every other VW I came across — the watered-down fruit punch, watered-down lemonade, even the more obscure flavors like green tea and peach mango and raspberry apple and lemon tea — and each time I’m all: Zzzzzwha? What time is it? Oh I must’ve driften off while drinking this incredibly dull drink. And then I turn around and realize I’ve had one of these every day for like the last three months. It got its hooks in me. These shiny bottles call out to me every time, cockpunching all competitors with extreme prejudice.

And Formula 50 is the one I keep turning to above all others. It just plain quenches the shit out me and the shrill, bleak grape taste has become increasingly endearing and essential. I’m not proud of my love for this drink, but I have to acknowledge it’s become a regular part of my regimen.

TrueBlue Blueberry Green Tea

How was your trip to Canada, sir. Did you see naked ladies on regular non-pay-cable TV (or as they call it, “televisioun”). Because that’s what I saw when I went to Montreal that one time. Do you remember that song called “I Just Wanna Stop” that begins “When I think about those nights in Montreal / I get the sweetest thoughts of you and me”? Well allow me to paraphrase Miller’s Crossing and say that if I knew we were going to cast our feelings into words, I would’ve brought The Best of Gino Vanelli.

But moving on, I figured now was the time to finally crack open that special bottle you sent me ages ago that was manufactured in Canada, namely TrueBlue. It has loomed in my refridge for months now, always taking a back seat to flashier beverages like Jasper’s Green Chile Chai and Sour Cream & Onion Dr Pepper and that bottle of Hong Kong SARS-parilla w/protective mask I got on eBay. TrueBlue just seemed so tame and unassuming and basically balls-out Canadian. It looked fine enough, but it was made out of blueberries. And green tea. I’m all: WTF could you possibly make a less xtreme beverage? Maybe in a lab in Vancouver? With like universal health care for all the scientists?

But silly me, I forgot that Canada was full of surprises. Did you know the movie Meatballs was made in Canada? Its French title is Arrête de ramer, t’es sur le sable which roughly translates to “Stop rowing, you’re on the sand.” Just think about it.

Similarly, TrueBlue brought me unexpected delight, despite my loathing of interCaps. It has a nice, sweet, but not overwhelmingly blueberry-y blueberry flavor. And despite its vow to anti my oxidants, I did not feel like they were being mugged as I did with pomegranate. It was all fun and enjoyable, as if Michael J. Fox or Dave Foley or Norm MacDonald or Tommy Chong or some other Canadian funnyman was working those toxins out of me with their delicious brand of hilarity.

Henry Weinhard’s Root Beer

Dear Kevin, I know remembering things is not your forte, e.g., my cat’s birthday (Bastille Day, totally easy) and the anniversary of us starting this site (back when it was mostly just my pervy ASCII art “published” exclusively in your .sig file). But maybe you’ll recall my four-point-five review of Virgil’s Root Beer and how it concluded, as everything in my life does, with flaccid ambiguity. Cliffs Notes: I’d thought Virgil’s was the best root beer ever, but then I revisited it after a couple years and couldn’t help but wonder about my previous favorite: Henry Weinhard’s. In that review I vowed to score some Henry’s ay-sap and make the final call and then I quickly proceeded to not do anything of the kind.

But then yesterday I find myself in a ski resort town in Colorado (don’t ask) — wretchedly parched, as usual — and amble into some deli to pick up a Vitamin Water or off-brand apple juice or whatever three-dollar travesty they have stocked in the fridge, and what do I see but Henry’s. (Plus Henry’s Black Cherry which — well, no spoilers or anything but great jumping jesus more on that later.) And my heart thrilled a little bit upon seeing the familiar old bottle (not that heart-thrillings are anything out of the ordinary for someone of my age and alcohol-dependency but omg still!). But nevertheless I hesitated because I really just wanted something to slake my thirst, not a deluxxxe rootbeer w/all the trimmings.

But momma didn’t raise no fool (technically I was raised by the state) so I bought the Henry’s and popped the cap (featuring an olde tyme gent w/beard proclaiming — as if reading my mind — “MMM my favorite!”) and took a sip and was all: Hey guess what. Compared to this, Virgil’s tastes like sad failure laced with dirty pennies.

This beverage is nasty and shameless in its pursuit of pleasing me. It’s almost embarrassing. It degrades itself to satisfy my every disgusting whim. It lays on the honey and vanilla and it’s thick and sweet and rich and ultra-creamy. It’s basically a meal in itself. It’s flat-out hardcore.

Virgil’s may be a purer root beer, but Henry’s is exactly what I want. For me, sitting here, just a man with a man’s courage, it is the finest root beer available over-the-counter, and QED one of the finest beverages available today.

Five stars, G. No joke. I know I said I was going to save the fiver for The Ultimate Beverage, the one that would finally end my wretched quest and make this site obsolete, but I already gave Virgil’s a 4.5 and Henry’s totally ousts that with extreme prejudice. It’s a hall-of-famer and any haters can just call me at 1-800-YOUR-MOTHER’S-HOUSE and get a clop in chops from yrs truly, absolutely free of charge.

Gatorade Rain

I have some young friends. You don’t know this about me, but I’ve got these young friends. Because of how I transcend trends and am basically timeless? So I can relate to any generation? Right? We’ve talked about this. The youths of today just plain feel comfortable hanging around me and don’t care that I listen to Scritti Politti on cassette and fall asleep on the couch at 8:30 while trying to stay up to watch Dinah Shore. Anyway point being that’s why I have a Coheed & Cambria ringtone and ended up giving Gatorade Rain a shot. The kids were all:

“You’re into hydration, right?”

And I go: “What time is it? How did you scalawags get in here? I smell a Sharpie mustache that someone drew on my face.”

And they say try this Gatorade Rain, it’s the “shit.” And I just scoffed because as you well know I do not like drinking s**t or having potty-mouthed teens use my ears as garbage cans! But then they called my commitment to hydration into question and I couldn’t back down — they might lose respect for me and find somebody else to buy them beer!

So I grabbed the too-big, overcomplicated, ghastly plastic bottle — it was the Berry flavor, kind of a sickly pale purple — and took a hearty swig.

Now the kids swore up and down that Rain was a tremendous alternative to regular Gatorade, with a nice clean aftertaste, and I said they better be right because regular Gatorade tastes like something pissed out of a hobo with urethral lesions (if memory serves — I have not taken a sip of that vile concoction since 1986 when I played two games of badminton in a row). And they said: Oh yeah, old timer, Gatorade knows how “ass-nasty” its drinks are so it decided to market this new product as something that doesn’t taste quite so wretched. And I said: Bully to them.

And I will grant you that Rain has a pretty inoffensive aftertaste. Unfortunately they forgot to do something about the foretaste which has that patented Gatorade gym-sock flavor and makes me think of nothing more than their advertisements where they show athletes actually sweating out Gatorade and I’m forced to assume that a key ingredient is, indeed, the perspiration collected from a football player’s moist, stinking, pendulous, postgame jockstrap.


You know better than anyone that energy drinks and I have a troubled past. Bloodshot eyes, heart palpitations, amateur karate competitions, god complexes, picnic, lightning, etc. I’m just not the target audience. I long ago hung up my extreme parachute and developed secondary sexual characteristics.

But my lucrative job as a Junior Bevolologist [sic] requires me to sample every drink I come across. And these days you can’t drunkenly stagger into a convenience store shrieking obscenities and grabbing handfuls of pep vitamins without running into a wall of energy drinks.

This brings me to Celsius, which not only plies you with the caffeine and guarana seed that your body so desperately needs, but also promises to raise your metabolism by 12% and “significantly increase calorie burning for three hours.” This has been proven by science.

For someone like me who enjoys nothing better than drinking and watching his gut slowly expand, this sounded like the perfect beverage. I tried the lemon-lime Celsius, and even though the flavor was not unlike that of a household cleanser or urinal cake, I didn’t care because my metabolism was going ape and the ladies were appreciatively eyeing my very slightly diminished waistline. Science tastes like shit, but isn’t that sort of the point?

Melon Ramune

Before you even start, I know. I know Ramune is old news for Mr. Worldly Beverage Maestro over there. I know you always have a bottle at the ready to impress the meganekko down at Club Yank or wherever you prowl on Friday nights nowadays. But since you haven’t deigned to share your little secret with our reader(s), I shall once again pick up the slickity-slack.

OK let’s pretend Kfan isn’t here right now. Ahh! It’s like a black cloud has just cleared away from our skies. Look at this spring in our steps! Rad! Anyway this one is just between us. Shhh. So listen: Ramune is a soda that comes in a bottle that’s shaped like a Victorian woman who had some ribs removed in order to fit into an xtreme corset. There are also some dimples. Instead of a bottle cap or its ilk, the top is sealed with a marble and a plastic lid. The lid is disassembled into a little tool which allows you to push the marble into the liquid within. The marble rests in the Victorian waist of the bottle and rolls around while you drink.

You kind of have to work at popping the marble, which only makes the moment of breakthrough all the more satisfying. And innuendo-filled, looks like.

I guess Ramune in general has a bubble gum kind of flavor, and it’s still the dominant thing going on even with this melon iteration. But the melon complicates the experience a little. It’s the drifter who comes into the small town and changes everyone’s lives that summer. It softens the sickly-sweetness, makes you feel a little better about yourself for drinking something that tastes like bubble gum.

Nevertheless I still sort of feel pukey. But I mean who cares when there’s a marble trapped inside there! Clinking! Sometimes blocking the outflow of the iffy green soda! This is a marvel of ridiculous and user-unfriendly packaging. It makes me want to go hunt replicants. Zura karu ze.


Dear Kevin, as you know I’ve been slacktastica on my beviews as of late. And though you have done your darnedest to take advantage of my absence by pretending I was never a part of this site, going power-mad and shoving your ill-informed thoughts down the gaping maw of our readership day after day, I must unfortunately inform you that your little coup has come to a humiliating end. The heart of The Knowledge For Thirst is back.

Where have I been all this time, you didn’t bother to ask? The desert. The West. A land where people understand what it is to be truly parched. Where thirst is not a word to be lightly bandied around by chubby liberal arts majors but rather a thing to be feared. An actual living entity that can take your black heart between its arid fingers and crush it into a kind of coal-dust without even really thinking about it. I have been out in the wilderness with people — well, let me come right out and say it: men — who can appreciate thirst on a level that you can’t even see from where you’re standing. I’m talking about Level 42.

Anyway during my journeys I ended up at Target. And I guess they have lots of “alternative beverages” (that’s how they labeled the aisle) that you can only get at Target? Like they’ve cut exclusive deals? And one of those is called Snow, which as expected is a clear liquid in a clear bottle.

I was wary to give it a shot because it’s another mint drink, and your recent experience in this category left me shaken and expecting more of the same. If I wanted to drink Scope neat that’s what I’d do (and will do later on — it is Saturday night, after all).

But what ho here comes M. Night to shake things up at the last minute. Snow is a mint beverage, yes, I am not arguing that point. But the mint is way dialed down. It’s not a flavor that goes in for the cockpunch but rather gently caresses your package like a lover or kindly old doctor checking for lumps. There’s a nice balance of carbonation and cane sugar going on, too. Crisp and refreshing. Subtle mint action, a good degree of sweetness — I think this one is right up your alley. Probably more than mine, really, considering I prefer to take my mint in some form of chewable gum or flavored prophylactic.

Dr Pepper Berries & Cream

Let’s say you got a really rock-solid beverage in the market. A distinctive spin on the standard cola formula. A name with personality — a goddamn postgrad degree.

This is Dr Pepper. This is a drink with heritage. Well, chum, that doesn’t cut it anymore. Consumers are all, “Boo-hoo, I’m bored of this bewitching nectar.” So Dr Pepper goes and creates flavor spin-offs to generate excitement and maximize reach. My love for the Dr is so deep-down that I was willing to play ball — even though Red Fusion was a spectacular failure and Cherry Vanilla was basically like licking the floor of a second-run movie theater. But I did it because there was still a little Pepper in there somewhere, tantalizing me.

The latest installment is Dr Pepper Berries & Cream, and it’s not bad. Raspberry is underrepresented in mainstream sodas, and the fakey cream flavor is subtle enough to ignore. One problem: There’s no Dr Pepper in it. That unique vibe is almost entirely absent, and I’m all: Why exactly am I wasting my time with the knockoffs? Daddy wants the original. Sometimes I call myself “Daddy” when crushing a half-finished can of disappointing soda and throwing it, with vigor, at a loved one.

V8 V.Fusion Peach Mango

A while back you had this short-lived but steamy affair with some V8 product and I thought maybe it was the V.Fusion here. (No seriously somebody approved the name “V.Fusion.” That is not a typo.) You were basically jumping up and down and flapping your hands all excitedly, saying “omigod omigod omigod”? Remember?

Anyway I don’t know if it was this stuff or not (maybe it was Splash?) but I decided to pick up a bottle because it was time to get back to the juice. You know. No more soda. No more lies. The real deal. It keeps me sharp [snaps fingers], on the edge [snaps fingers], where I gotta be.

But believe you me I cracked open this stuff with extreme prejudice. V.Fusion [sic] is a fruit and vegetable combo plate, OK? Sure it makes the fruit the hero on the label, but they sneak in — and I am not even kidding — sweet potato, yellow tomatoes (?!), and squash.

Sometimes I try to sell myself on the whole drink-your-vegetables concept, and I pick up the regular V8 and think: You know, this is going to be fine. No, this is good, this is good. This is the start of a whole new me. This is definitely the best way to get tomato and watercress and 2000% of my daily sodium needs in liquid format. And then I take one sip and make a big show of gagging and choking and then scramble around dramatically for the worst vodka ever to mix it with.

So I was all ready to start my shenanigans when I tried the Peach Mango iteration of V.Fusion, but what ho it went down nice and smooth. And although I feel like I semi-detected a smidge of vegetable flavor (or maybe just texture) in there, I wouldn’t have if I hadn’t known the ingredients beforehand. It just tasted like your standard multi-fruit juice blend, nothing fancy but a refreshing enough orange-ish mango-esque flavor. EXCEPT! A full serving of vegetables totally snuck into my body, ninja-style! I like tricking my body this way. My body deserves it after all the shit it’s pulled over the years.