There are few beverage companies I can legitimately admire, and even fewer with a flavor as bold as Inca Kola. I’ve had champagne colas before, but I had no idea about the rich history of Inca Kola, and how the company went head to head with Coca Cola in an ongoing rivalry that lasted for decades. The drink originated in Peru, and started off as a small family-made beverage. Soon, it grew due to popular demand from its taste and its insanely unique look. In the 80s and 90s, restaurant chains in Peru were swapping out Coke products in favor of Inca Kola. Coca Cola couldn’t compete with sales of the beverage, and repeatedly sought to buy out the company. Inca Kola wouldn’t budge. Instead, Inca Kola held its ground, forcing Coca Cola to partner with them instead of buying them out. While Inca Kola was never the only Peruvian soda brand, they did become the most popular, and it’s still the #1 selling soft drink in Peru.
Every beverage claims to be different. There’s some kind of hook or allure to it, and while I understand that from a marketing perspective, sometimes companies’ claims are a little too bold. Moonshot asserts themselves as an energy drink with a “different kind of buzz”. We’ll see about that.
There are some cultural moments that none of us understand. CBD has made the rounds in nearly every industry, from skincare to pet snacks. In some cases, the motives are entirely unclear. A few CBD-infused beverages have cropped up on the market over the last few years, and Recess joining the ranks with a perfectly instagrammable can and simple tagline: “calm, cool, collected”. The line currently includes three flavors: peach ginger, pomegranate hibiscus, and blackberry chai. Their website claims that they have “canned a feeling”, with dreamy cloud imagery and relatable millennial adages about how they “have too many browser tabs open”. They’ve managed to target their audience, but my main question is this: does it work?
I didn’t used to be a morning person. I kinda forced it on myself. I had a hard time waking up before 10 AM before. I also was working retail and had no consistent schedule, so it was hard to hold myself to any kind of standard, really. So I started giving myself little things to be excited to wake up to. Usually, it’s a beverage. I have a cold brew drink on most mornings (more recipes for these coming soon), but sometimes I opt for a smoothie. This is one of my favorites. The ingredients are pretty easy to find, and if you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you know what I’m going to say: freeze your produce. It takes virtually no time to do, and it preps you for groggy mornings when you deserve something special but don’t want to take the extra time to make it. This is easy. You just throw everything in a blender and pulse it up. Even though this is a simple recipe, it took a few tries before I got it perfect. It was a journey. Strawberry and kiwi is an elite combination on its own, but I wanted to take it over the edge and give it some subtle enhancements. I’m extremely proud of this drink, and I’m happy to share the recipe. Also, truthfully, I don’t even like strawberries very much, so I took concocting this drink as a personal mission to make it balanced. I usually find strawberries too acidic on their own without the right balance of flavor to acid ratio. They’re too hit or miss, in my opinion, and they don’t stand alone well enough as a Good Fruit. But I’m not here to argue.
I know I said that last week was my final summery drink recipe, but this week I recreated a watermelon drink I made back in July and wanted to share it. This is another simple one, but it’s fun and good so I’m going to walk you through it. Also, watermelon juice is available from a few different brands year-round, so while this is summery in essence, it isn’t relegated to any specific seasonal enjoyment. I juiced this watermelon myself, but if you need a store-bought recommendation, Wonder Melon makes a great watermelon juice. They have a couple of flavors but I really like the watermelon-cucumber-basil one. This was a more spur of the moment recipe, so it was only prepared for one, but the measurements are so simple that you could easily make this for more people.
This is one of the most chaotic things I’ve done in my life. Not just as far as beverages go, but in general. I’m willing to try pretty much any food once, and that extends to beverages as well. There’s no way I can justify what I’m about to do.I’ve been curious about these drinks for years. I’ve seen them on Amazon, but would always talk myself out of trying them, for completely obvious reasons. I have some predictions about which will be the most repulsive. Ranch is topping the list. There’s literally no way it can be good. I’m not really into Ranch dressing. I prefer Caesar. That being said, I wouldn’t want to try a Caesar dressing soda either. I can’t decide if these drinks would be better or worse without carbonation. It doesn’t matter, because they ARE carbonated and I WILL try them all. The minutiae of it all is pretty irrelevant at this point. What I WILL say, before even trying them, is that I appreciate that they’re all made with cane sugar. I appreciate a nice cane sugar soda. I know people will judge me for trying these. I understand that I will be persecuted and my beliefs will be brought into question. I’m not doing this for ME, I’m doing this for YOU and I’m doing this for US. I hope you all appreciate this sacrifice I’m making, even if you yell at me for it. OK, now let’s get into tasting and reviews.