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If you ask my inner circle … they would be thrilled to let you know that one of my most noticeable flaws – among the smorgasbord of flaws that I have – would be my love, devotion and addiction to Mountain Dew. I drink it often and I drink it well. Sit with me for awhile – and it is entirely possible that I’ll try to convince you that your heart should be beating for the cool, crisp, refreshingly smooth and delicious neon green delight that has had me in its clutches oh-these-many-years. I’m serious.

So – when we moved Headquarters into the direct fiefdom of a Dunkin’ Donuts – and then the ads and banners and commercials started tooting their own horn about this new concoction that they had concotonated in their labs – labs which are traditionally used for breakfast pastries and an odd assortment of sandwich doo-hickeys – they had me hook, line and sinker.

I need to point out that I am abundantly clear that this drink fabrication isn’t entirely new … there have been Mountain Dew Slushies and Mountain Dew Icees in the land – and that is all well and good. Those drinks are also probably perfectly delicious – but for the sake of a moment of focus (which can be a difficult state to master when under the spell of one of these Coolattas) – let’s just stick to the matter at hand.

The day was warm – but not oppressive. It was the perfect kind of day for an icy treat!

I ordered a medium (24 fl. oz. – 290 calories) and then ran to the end of the counter so that I could watch the magic happen. Basically – the magic consists of filling the clear plastic cup about 1/3 of the way with what seemed to be Mountain Dew syrup (concentrated!), popping a domed top on the cup, going to a machine that dispensed an opaque white slurry and then using a wand mixer to make sure that everything was perfectly blended.

The next step for me was to hold it and count to 1-2-3-4-5 to make sure that I wasn’t dreaming … I would have pinched myself – but didn’t want to drop my treasure. The I grabbed a straw and bingo-blammo-boom! It was every bit as delicious and yummy and wonderful as I could have imagined it would be. It wasn’t overly cold, the taste was spot on and I think that I heard my teeth singing out in unison with my liver that they were both absolutely fine with what I was doing to them by drinking this manufactured green glomp – because in the end – it was all going to be worth it.

My super-favorite thing about the Coolatta was that it never fell into the trap that Slushies and Icees seem to have – where they just turn into lifeless blocks of flavorless ice bits when there is about 18% of the drink to go. This thing was a trooper! I made it 98% of the way through before the ice bits took over.

Hold on a tick … I think that I have to change what my super-favorite thing is … So – now – super-favorite thing is that the Mountain Dew Coolatta actually looks like it is glowing … it is as if Dunkin Donuts has harnessed the power of the stars, nuclear fission and lightning bugs and captured it all in a plastic cup. I can’t say whether if it has the power to glow in the dark – or not … but – I do know that it lit up my life with it’s little light … I definitely do know that.

I’ll even say that I had to leave my drink for about 10 solid minutes – which would have been a death knell for a lot of frozen beverages – but – whatever chemicals were kicking around under the hood of this fantasm kept the consistency as perfect as a marshmallow dream.

So – Dunkin’ Donuts – I would like to aggressively shake your hand and shower you with thanks. Your Mountain Dew Coolatta is an achievement among achievements … a wonder among wonders and I can’t wait to slip into your sweet slurry slumber again and again and again. On one quick side note – I’m none too sure if I am going to be tasting your Blue Raspberry, Tropicana, Coffee, Vanilla Bean or Strawberry Coolatta varieties – mostly because they all look very unnatural to me … and at this point – I consider my body to be a temple – a Mountain Dew Coolatta temple that is …. Whoop-Whoop!

Here is their website – if you feel the need to stare at it – like I do … sometimes.

Dunkin’ Donuts

I heard the stories. I heard the hubbub. I went out and bought a can of Four Loco. Here is my review.

[This is a review of an alcoholic beverage. It is not intended for kiddies. Not even a little bit.]

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I faced down the sourest drink in the land and came out plum puckered.

Maybe you read my review of the Taco Bell Cherry Limeade Sparkler and wondered out loud to yourself “Hmmmm . . . Seems odd that he would go right for the Cherry and skip the Classic Limeade Sparkler.” And, I would tend to agree – except – that there was something extra dubious about the Classic – with it’s neon green glow. The way that it sat there with it’s unwavering gaze on the poster – staring – beckoning – I was honestly not sure what it was offering – and – I was even more unsure if I would be able to handle it – regardless of what it was. The whole situation made me so unsure – that I have been driven to write even more run-on sentences than I ever imagined possible – and – believe me – I can imagine a world overrun by run-ons . . . like kudzu in the deep south – taking over everything – engulfing – obliterating.

Sorry – my Grandmother’s house (where I mostly grew up) has been long abandoned and eaten by a wave kudzu . . . It is a sad site.

So – you see – this Classic Limeade was all up in my grill . . . playing mind games with me. It’s aggressive stance and it’s boardwalk dance were more than I was ready to deal with. I went for the Cherry – and I still contend that it was one of the best drinks that I have ever had – even the one that I had where the drink machine was in the restaurant – and the girl behind the counter put 4 squirts of red into a cup and said “Add ice and Sierra Mist.” I stared at her dumbfoundedly – this was a premium drink (in price and quality) and I was being made to make it? I was being given the keys to the kingdom? Well, I took those reigns and rode that horse to happy drink land . . . Which was great until she called me back over and said “Here.” and dropped a wedge of lemon in my cup. LEMON?! No – no – no. It was supposed to be lime – the photo has a lime – the commercial has a lime – the world isn’t quite right if it isn’t a lime. The drink – however – was still a treat. It persevered.

I eventually got up the guff – raised the cackles on the back of my neck – and got a Classic Limeade Sparkler. The entire time, I was looking at the poster of the Cherry. I was Mister Natty Nervous. The drink came out – with the proper lime wedge – and I took a sip. Bling-o, Blamm-o, Bloom-o – it was one of the sourest drinks that I’ve ever had. It has to be the drink that Sourpatch Kids drink in place of Gatorade . . . they probably even dump coolers of it on their Sourpatch coaches heads at the end of Sourpatch sporting events. My brain couldn’t figure out what in the world was going on – I tried to shake the cup to mix the sour green in with the Sierra Mist – but it was too full. I then got smart and moved my straw out of the danger zone and lowered the level of the beverage . . . it was not going to beat me . . . no way.

I drank and I shook and I drank and I shook. Eventually, it got to the point where the Sierra Mist was so overpowered that the shaking stopped doing any good – and so, I just drank. I started looking like a dog who had just been given tart raspberry jam – just smacking my lips and tongue to try to maintain all senses of feeling in my mouth. I could have had the Cherry – I could have had the Cherry . . . but – for you guys – I went Classic all the way – and boy did Classic make me pay.

On their website, Taco Bell goes a long way towards running it home that the use REAL limes and REAL lime juice . . . even going so far as to capitalize on the “REAL” twice – because that makes everything all that much more REAL . . . Well – my review of this drink is about to get as REAL as I can possibly get. Unless you are a prickly pear, a sourpuss, a cat with a lisp or a face in need of a serious pucker job – then I highly recommend scooting just a little bit over on the Taco Bell menu and ordering the Cherry Limeade Sparkler – because the Classic? It’ll hurt you.

One crazy thing that I need to bring up – after having a few of these Sparklers – is that Taco Bell insists on using the straws that are designed for a drink with an ICEE consistency. The straw has that little flipper of a spoon on the end – which means that you are automatically missing out on the last inch – or so – of your drink . . . and this makes no sense whatsoever. I have started saying “No thank you” to their offering of their malformed straw and moving over to grab a real straw for myself . . . I suggest that  you maybe should do the same for yourselves. Take charge of your drinks. Straw revolution!

A quick side-note, after writing the bulk of this review – and getting depressed – I went to my Grandmother’s old house with several large Classic Limeade Sparklers in tow – I put them into a garden sprayer and sprayed down all of the kudzu that had overtaken the house. I am happy to say that the kudzu pulled back with amazing speed – almost looking puckered. I now know the ultimate proper use for this drink – fighting the scourge of kudzu . . .

Yep.

We’ll take that point for the team.

There is a fountain of goodness that is flowing into the world . . . and you should hurry quickly to take a sip before it disappears. Maybe forever.

I am, of course, talking about the absolutely tantalizingly delicious treat known as the Cherry Limeade Sparkler at Taco Bell. Seriously, I can see it in your eyes that you don’t even believe me for a moment . . . but I’m not kidding. I’m not joking. My tongue isn’t anywhere near being in my cheek. There is also not a single twinkle in my eye. I just love it that much.

I’ll try to calm down a bit – now – so that I can give you some sort of moderately subjective description of my (current) favorite beverage.

It is pretty much either a Sprite – or – a 7up that has been expertly fountained on top of some cherry goopy goodness in a clear plastic cup so that you can actually see the sparkling happening in real time! The cherry is sweet – but – has a tiny bit of tart, of tang, that gives the drink a nice balance. And don’t even get me started on the fact that nestled down in the ice – there is a wedge of lime glistening an luscious green . . . like a tiny emerald lighthouse beckoning me to drink more and more and more.

This is the best drink in the universe, at least until we explore all of space and find other planets with other drinks. I suppose that – then – there is the possibility – no matter how slight – that there could be a better drink out there . . . somewhere. Maybe it is the Classic Limeade Sparkler – which I haven’t had yet – maybe that is the drink that will know the Cherry Sparkler off of it’s throne – which is on top of a pedestal – maybe – maybe.

I mean – come on people. It is a mixed drink at Taco Bell . . . that has the added benefit of potentially being healthy (don’t forget that there is that piece of real fruit at the bottom). I would like one right now.

Act quickly – because on the Taco Bell website – I found this coupon for a free Limeade Sparkler . . . so now you can tell me what you think of it.

Goooooooooooo and drink!

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Oh boy. I just realized that I totally forgot to put a link up to the latest Know Show . . . Well – fear not – campers . . . because – here it is!

And … we’re back. Hey, life gets busy. Ask us! We know. When it rains, it pours. No, but really — ask us! And then tell us what’s what — talk-radio style! Call (707) 909-SHOW and you might just end up on the next one.
For now, we invite you to check out lucky episode number seven (7!) of the show. We dive in again to discover that where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Let’s raise a glass to the Universal Solvent. Hold the Crystal Light. It’s gonna be a long summer.
Splish-splashin’ up a storm, we present the latest installment of The Know Show.