Thursday, March 6, 2014

Gourmet Pop Review 1

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I love gourmet pop.  You know all the people who love to try all the different local microbrews or brew their own beer or go wine tasting?  Well, I'm like that, but with pop.  I haven't started brewing my own yet, but I have a book on it and it's on the list of projects.

I've tried a fair number of different birch beers, ginger beers, root beers, and more (all non-alcoholic, if that's not clear).  A lot of the time, though, I've forgotten exactly which ones I have tried, and my opinions of them.  So I decided that I would start blogging about the ones I try, and review them.  That way I will be able to look these up later, and spread my love of gourmet pop at the same time.

Here are the two places I currently get my new gourmet pops to try on a regular basis:
  • World Market: This is a chain store, but it's such a fun place.  They have quirky furniture and kitchen supplies, along with amazing food from all over the world.  I go here to get the best chocolate bars I've ever had (Maple Bacon from chuao and Alpine Milk from Milka, currently).  They also have an extensive selection of gourmet pop.  
  • Cravings Gourmet Popcorn:  This is a fantastic mom-and-pop store in Lansing, Michigan.  If you have the ability to go here, go.  They make their own gourmet popcorn, and it is unlike any popcorn I've ever had before.  It ranges from classics like their Premium Signature Gold, which is a mixture of kettle corn and caramel corn, to really unique flavors like Dill Pickle Popcorn.  They also stock tons of gourmet pop.  Yum!
Both of these places are dangerous for my wallet.  I never leave World Market without having spent at least $30, and Cravings isn't much safer.  But they are both so delicious that it's worth the occasional treat, and I highly recommend them.  :)  I also love picking up random ones I find when I come across them in unexpected places.



I'm starting with the four I just purchased last week.

Plantation Style Mint Julep:  This one was new for me (which is why it's empty in the picture - I drank it first!).  The liquid was originally a light turquoise color.  My reaction from one sip: it tastes like the mint in toothpaste.  Which is not my favorite flavor of mint.  Matt finished drinking the rest of it, and his main response was "it doesn't taste like a beverage."  So this one wasn't a hit.  If you love the minty flavor of toothpaste, though, this might be for you.

Bundaberg Ginger Beer:  This is my favorite ginger beer to date.  I love the burn.  It's very strong and ginger-y, but not so strong that it is painful.  I've had other ginger beers that hurt my mouth, almost like capsaicin.  I've also had other ones that are pretty weak and don't taste like much of anything.  This is neither of those things.  It is delicious.

Hippo Size Burley Birch Beer:  This might be my favorite birch beer I've ever had (it wars with another one, which I'll mention in an upcoming review).  I have a special place in my heart for anything related to birch trees, as my SCA name means birch in German (Birke), so I'm always so happy to find more birch beers to add to favorite beverages.  I'm not sure how to describe the flavor besides awesome - hints of wintergreen and that lovely birch taste that's so different and tasty.

Bundaberg Lemon Lime & Bitters:  Another wonderful beverage!  The citrus is perfectly balanced with delicious bitterness.  It's like a more nuanced version of lemonade, and I highly recommend it.

Hope you enjoyed!  ~Kelly

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