Pig Iron Cola

Josh this morning I was trying to figure out what is my favorite Tears For Fears song. I was listening to “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” at the time, which, hello has that song even aged one day? I don’t think so. And then I was remembering how in the band I was in in college, the drummer, every rehearsal, would INSIST that we should do a rockin’ version of that song. And we’d be like Yeah totally, good idea, but no one would ever get around to actually orchestrating it. And I guess, knowing what I know now and wishing I had known it then, if I ever have a time machine (someday!) the one thing I would want to do is go back in time to that crummy-ass basement and darn it we will play that cover version of EWTRTW. Although I would lobby quite strongly that we perform it as a sincere tribute, not an irony-clad rockin’ out cover version. Because god damn. That song.

What does Tears For Fears have to do with Pig Iron Cola, you’re wondering. No idea. Probably nothing! But Pig Iron Cola doesn’t have any kind of website that I can find, and there seems to be absolutely zero information about this product anywhere on the planet aside from that it’s somehow associated with a Seattle BBQ place. And I really liked it, found it totally excellent (real sugar + Pepsi-level sweetness + complete mouth-bite of Coke = best of all 3 worlds), but since they don’t care about marketing or getting information about this product out into the world, I figure we might as well use this space to discuss something that we’re passionate about. ARE YOU WITH ME JOSH ALLEN WATER DRINKER OF AMERICA.

So anyways. I’m sure your favorite T4F song is going to be some deep cut I’m not super familar with, but lay it on me. Everyone else reading this who is down with Orzabal & Co., chime in. Do you know what my favorite one in high school was? You’ll laugh, but it was Badman’s Song. Which also still completely holds up. We used to crank that in Jamie Candiloro’s basement. I love that “Faith can move mountains” part. It’s like spiritual, you know? Which we need more of these days. Well, I do.

Italian Volcano Blood Orange Juice

Italian Volcano Blood Orange Juice. Orange juice made from Italian Volcano Blood. Mount Etna, dude. Pompeii. Complete carnage. A city frozen and buried in time, its treasures lost for eons. This is not some shit to be trifled with. This is fucking lava juice. This is a juice that many men died to bring you. Many burly, muscular men. Men who do not speak so much as grunt. Men who do not ask politely but simply brush you aside and take what they want. Men with sweaty foreheads and a lot of chest hair. Like, A LOT a lot of chest hair. So much chest hair that at first you think “Wow that is gross!” but then you find that you keep thinking about it, and you’re unable to stop yourself from imagining what it would feel like, to lie on it and run your fingers through it, all tufted and pillowy, such a soft and delicate counterpoint to this absolute musky brute of a man, until finally you think “Wow I think I would like to be intimate with a man that hairy!” I mean am I right or am I right? That is the emotion behind this juice. Taste-wise it’s still right in line with regular old orange juice, but STILL. It is a Juice of Men. Drink this juice and then get your comb, because it will be a LONG night. And then tomorrow you will have to hand-vac all in and around the bed, probably. There will be hair everywhere. Actually I bet it’s kind of a gross situation in the shower drain, too. But still. Drink deep of the Lava juice, my friend. You now have within you the fiery blood and aged spirit of Italian volcanoes, and they will fortify you for the task at hand. Also: check your MySpace, I sent you a picture of me with my shirt off. Tell me what you think, and be honest. I know I need to lift weights more.

Pepsi Summer Mix

I know, I know. My special lady friend saw me walking out of the gas station carrying two of these, and she rolled her eyes with a force that just about flipped the car over. Why do you even buy those when you know you’re not going to like them. OK point taken, but still: whatever happened to a little thing called science? I’m sure Marie Curie didn’t want to die of radiation poisoning, but here we all are, totally happy that she did.

I didn’t really know what to make of this one at first. “A mix of tropical fruit flavors.” Oh really? Cool, which ones? No idea. Obviously the list of ingredients is no help. I was vaguely intrigued by the lure of pineapple cola, which if you recall (you don’t) is within the ballpark of the drink I mentioned back here. But the actual flavors are too mushy to pick apart, so what is it I’m supposed to be tasting here? Dragonfruit? Durian? Dengar and Zuckuss? Other?

So fine, another half-assed rebranding effort, give it one star and let’s get back to creaming over Bolthouse Farms or whatever it is we do here.

EXCEPT. Pepsi Summer Mix tastes, as near as I can recall, very much like the late lamented Pepsi Blue. So now I don’t know what to believe. Am I outraged that yet again they’ve blindly thrown a handful of miscellaneous flavors into a cola in an effort to generate buzz? Or am I surprised and delighted that they’re figured out an inventive way to bring back a forgotten favorite– something for the fans and true believers? And I didn’t really love this all that much, so why do I think I miss Pepsi Blue so dearly? Was I just swept up in the craziness of the time, caught unawares by the paradigm shifting insanity of an azure cola? Or, like River Phoenix and Eddie & The Cruisers, did its sudden disappearance cast it prematurely into the pantheon of greatness?

Either way, my world is in disarray. So I guess my advice is: drink this, but only if you want to have your mind blown, but only in a way that you are not sure you totally enjoyed. Like listening to Led Zeppelin backwards, and you hear a CSS work-around for the IE box model bug.

Jones 24c Peach Mango

Josh I don’t know if you’re like me, talking to other people, having conversations and so forth. I sense not. But lately in my being social I have been meeting a growing number of people who cannot stand to drink plain water. They’re all: “Water? No thanks!” I guess they only drink juice and soda, so in some ways I think: Oh man, if I was like that, I could probably update this site at least once a week. But in more ways, I am fairly creeped out and wonder what their deal is, and if they have trouble going to the bathroom, and what their chances look like from an evolutionary standpoint.

But it does seem like this is a growing demographic: The Water Haters. People who, when given a choice between water and anything else, will choose anything else. Hopefully we’ll get some of those charming freaks chiming in with their comments on this post. Maybe you and I are like gods to them.

Anyways, this Jones 24c Peach Mango drink didn’t even register with me. I generally demand boldness and character from a beverage, and the enhanced water slash juice drinks are just wimpy as a full-time blogger. But for those water haters, shunning societal conventions and living in the subways or whatever, maybe they would like this. Maybe for them, this is water, this tasteless juice drink the baseline against which other beverages are measured.

Let them have it. Good luck to them as they ignore science and pee all the colors of Nagel’s palette.

Synergy Gingerberry Kombucha

Synergy Gingerberry Kombucha was about as fun to drink as you’d expect, for a beverage that lists “100% pure love!!!” as one of the ingredients. And then: “lactobacillus bacterium: 1 billion* organisms.” And also, this: “Each batch is gently placed in a warm and spiritual environment where the walls are painted purple and spiritual music is played. Though it may sound silly, the most important thing that we do when making our batches is to give them LOTS of love.”

Fine, whatever, I’m not the target demo for this. Supposedly the guy who started this brand was inspired because drinking kombucha cured his mom’s cancer. I am totally down with that, we’ve got heck of cancer in my family and I’m sure that if I ever get it you will find me buying this by the caseload. In the meantime though: eh. It’s just not how I want to spend my time, sucking this down and hoping I don’t get cancer. What kind of life is that. I drink my beverages to forget about the pain of life, not remind me of it. I have you and Coke Zero for that.

*Does that sound rounded-off or what.

Kagome Orange Carrot Blossom

A perennial favorite, and probably my preferred breakfast juice. It always tastes fresh, in a way that supermarket orange juice never does. But it also has a more complex flavor, such that while drinking it a person might be inclined to dig around for a monocle and phrases like “aromatics” and “tongue map.”

It’s filled with all kinds of vegetables I would never put in my body otherwise. Watercress? Beets? These are not things that fit within my cognitive schema and I probably could not pick them out of a produce section line-up. But even so, drinking Kagome doesn’t make me feel like I’m being healthy against my will. It’s sweet and tastes like an actual juice, not some scientific health concoction. Presumably I’m getting my RDA of something or other, maybe even teasing my colon back to life, but that’s all happening in the background while I’m just enjoying my beverage. I can feel good about it without really having to care too much. Sort of my approach to parenting and charitable giving. If only the rest of my life could go as smoothly.

Homer Soda Company

Josh. Oh my goodness and merciful heavens to Betsy. I finally made my pilgrimage to the Homer Soda Company. It’s this tiny little store out in the middle of nowhere, specializing in off-brand and hard-to-find glass bottle sodas. It was as though my whole life up to that point had been a sad, arduous journey, and at long last I was home.

When I first walked in there was a family at the register, buying two cases of some root beer I’d never heard of. Then a group of old ladies came in, asking the owner if she had any of the honey-lime ginger ale left. Meanwhile here’s me, basically giggling and skipping up and down the aisles. A mom came in with her daughter and they sat at one of the little tables at the front of the store, drinking a chocolate cola and a Triple XXX Root Beer.

Josh do you get what I am saying? No one was drinking Coke or Mountain Dew! Everyone there was perfectly comfortable –even disposed towards– the underdog, the indie beverages. We were all drawn there not by expensive marketing campaigns and ridiculous rebranding schemes, but by thirst, and by the desire for something different. It was exactly how I wish life always was.

Obviously I purchased more than a few things there, and will keep you appraised of my progress through these finds. Plus don’t worry, I sent you a care package!

I cannot wait to go back. I want to be there even now, once again amongst my people. Amongst our people.

Archer Farms Mango Juice

Q: HOW excited was I to have mango juice for breakfast every day this week?

A: EXCITED excited.

Q: I am so happy for you, I have not seen you this full of zazz in so long!

A: I know, seriously!

Q: SO HOW WAS IT?????21111!!!!

A: If I was a mango I would go absolutely Rambo on this juice and avenge my name! The Target Corporation would play the role of Colonel Trautman. They drew first juice, not me. And then Mangbo just goes completely nuts, using a bazooka to destroy the vats of orange and grape juice they used to water him down, and in the end, we, the audience, must face the consequences of our role in creating this juice, because we are part of society.

Q: I don’t think he gets a bazooka until Rambo 2.

A: Is that the one where he falls in love with the Asian woman?

Q: Yes.

A: OK.

Lorina Sparkling French Berry Lemonade

Seriously would you just look at that bottle. Is that classy or what. That is classy. A bottle like that says 5-star Zagat. Crisp white linens and at least two forks. Lemon wedges in the water. If Maura Tierney saw me drinking this, she would definitely start returning my calls. Just as high-class as can possibly be. So tell me this: if I’m drinking such a fancy beverage, why don’t I feel superior to everyone else?

The drink is fine. It’s exactly what it says it is, but I wish it was more of everything it purports to be. I wish it was more juice and less soda. I wish it had more berry kick, but I also wish it was more lemony. I wish–I’ll go ahead and say it–I wish it was a bit less sweet. I wish that when I’d purchased it, at the fancy coffee shop near campus, the barista had given me the elevator eyes for just once, and maybe said something like Oh hey is that from France, I did a semester in Paris last year, and I would be like Oh really I bet that was a really amazing experience. And she would be like Yeah, I really learned a lot, not just about myself, but also about the ways of love. And I would lean in closer and hold her stare and be like Wow, cool, I would love to hear more about it, and she would be like Well I would love to show you more about it.


As far as the berry-lemonade genre is concerned, I think Sonic’s Lemon-Berry Slush is still the best bet. But how low-class is that? A “hamburger joint”? God, would you ever? Can you even imagine? Being waited on by people wearing sneakers? And visors? Who’ve never done a semester in Paris? I mean or so I’ve heard?