Despite the fact that it’s supposed to be the rainy season in these parts, the temperature continues to be sweltering hot. Throats that were soothed with water, soda, and iced tea are shrieking for comfort from other sources. If you have an adventurous palate like mine, I doubt if you won’t be able to find new tastes. Here are a few sippers that I find most enjoyable in warm weather:
Tazo Brambleberry, shown above, is one such drink. It’s a deep purple libation that smells delicious once you’ve popped off the cap. There are hints of spice and honey, but the primary taste is the wine-like tang of blackberry (also known as brambleberry [because of the thorns] or marionberry): like a sweetish Merlot or Cabernet.
It’s supposed to be a juiced tea – iced tea blended with fruit juice. However, I can hardly taste the tea in this one. It’s overpowered by the blackberry and the addition of lime zest and vitamin-C-rich rose hips. Still, it tastes fab poured over ice or used to dilute iced-tea mix for a good, long drink.
Admittedly, I’m a major ginger ale junkie, but the drink is no longer as commonly available in supermarkets as it was when I was a tot. (Coca-Cola Philippines used to sell ginger ale – marketed under the Royal brand – by the bottle in the late 1970s and early 1980s.) Still, whenever I get a dose of spicy fizziness, I’m automatically transported to my happy place.
Hansen’s, a brand usually available at Healthy Options, I what I usually get. But I recently tried a couple of new brands. Bundaberg Ginger Beer (found at The Market Deli along Leviste St.) tastes nice, but I don’t find it at all that great: it’s a tad too fizzy, too sweet for me. And at P 76.00 per niminy-piminy can, it’s not a good buy at all!
A far better buy – superior to Hansen’s or even Canada Dry for that matter – is Angus O’Neill’s Ginger Beer which I found at The Landmark in Makati for P 45.00 a bottle. The carbonation’s just right and this one isn’t champagne-colored like other ginger sodas: it’s a rather cloudy drink – but never let that put you off. It’s amazingly fragrant: the ginger bites at your nose soon as you crack the cap off and it goes down smooth, full-bodied, with a sharpness tempered by a hint of lemon. I love this straight up right out of the fridge or over ice, but it’s also perfect for making exotic ice cream floats: pour it over two scoops of mango ice cream and enjoy sheer bliss. 😉