Sunday, January 30, 2011

Open Cola

No review this time, I've got to mix it up every once and a while! In the software world there is a term called "Open Source Software". The idea is that instead of just getting a little program that gets sent out by the software company they also give out the source code which is basically the guts of the program. The opposite side of the coin is closed source or proprietary software like Windows, where nobody but the company has the guts available to them.

So the idea behind open cola is that when you buy a coca cola the ingredients are listed as "natural and artificial flavorings" which means only the Coca Cola company knows the guts and the recipe. Open Cola is a recipe to make your own cola, that anyone can use.

It's interesting in that for one thing it's a straight forward recipe to good soda that you can make yourself. It also means that you can tweak it. Ever wanted to taste orange coke? Lemon Lime coke? No problem, just change the recipe and double your orange or lemon and lime or whatever extracts, suddenly you have a whole knew and uniquely delicious flavor!

I definitely have interest in producing this. I'm thinking I'll probably make the investment over the summer. I'll make a review then and also keep you all up to date on what I'm up to. I think that it the recipe online makes gallons and gallons, so it's definitely advised to have some way of selling the product rather than just drink it all on your own. If you make it you will also come to the unfortunate conclusion that soda is basically just as much sugar as you can possibly dissolve into water with some flavoring.

It was produced but not very widely available. Only 150,000 cans were ever sold of the original recipe, however who knows how much was actually made.

Here's the wikipedia article for further information.

Review: Date and Coconut Juice

Okay, so it's not soda! Wow! I was in Lansing for a little vacation with my family over winter break . While there we stopped in an arab restaurant that had all sorts of odd drinks. Amongst them were date juice and coconut juice. I was a little bit skeptical but I'm an adventurous guy. I decided to get the coconut and my sister got the date juice.
What ensued was not a fun time.

I tried the date juice first actually because it had an easier to open top. The coconute juice had this weird thing on it:
Its like cat food!

I didn't get any pictures of the date juice. I guess I'll start off with that since it was the first I drank.
Date Juice:
It had real sugar in it which was nice and maybe a little surprising I expected something like this that doesn't really take pride in itself or so I'd assume. The bottling was absolutely boring, just like any old glass jar style bottle you'd get juice in. It tasted pretty good when it was in the mouth. I expected it to be much too thick but it actually drank quite nicely. It left a coating on the mouth though. I really didn't like the taste of it going down too much. The after taste also was not to be desired. I was polite though, didn't go all soda nazi on my family. I can see why they didn't used High Fructose Corn Syrup though, if they had it would be super thick and syrupy and just completely stick to your mouth. Very gross. However, I think the sugar worked nicely. It's basically what one would expect from date juice.

Then there was the coconut juice. Oh, the coconut juice.
Its difficult to describe the sort of visceral reaction one has to drinking this drink so let me try to paint a picture with words and images. First off you are shown this:
You think to yourself, "oh what a nice little bottle! It gets creative with the topping and makes it easier to open. Oh my is that chunks?" Being a suave soda afficiando like me you even notice that it has very promising ingredient. 90% juice? Real sugar? Only 5 ingredient?! This is the stuff that dreams are made of in the soda world! Then the lady at the cash register assures you that they are indeed fresh coconut chunks. What a treat! Then you get it back to the table and really look at it and see this:
What have I done.

Then you decide, "well I'm not going to be mean or weird. I'll drink this since I bought it. Sure it looks mildly reminiscent of some terrible mistake in ninth grade biology, but what's the worst it could be?"

Then you open it, like I showed above it had that weird top that is shockingly hard to get off. I really had to wrench at it. If only it had held strong, maybe I'd never had the drink. This is a good moment to say that I hate the texture of coconut but like the taste pretty well. I really expected to like this because of that fact, I ever got excited. Then that first fateful sip. Oh boy, how it is subtle and deadly. I was trying so hard to like it. But then you realize. It's basically watery coconut juice with chunks floating in it. Then the chunks don't go down so easy. You want to chew them but you can't. They sit in the back of your throat and this combination of a mild taste and chunks in the back of my throat reminds me more strongly of vomiting than anything else ever has. I quite sincerely feel a little unwell writing this. I actually wasn't hit by it until maybe the second sip. By then I had passed it onto my mother as well. She was the one who compared it to vomit. Oh how she was right. My sister told me she really likes coconut so I passed it over to her. She started drinking it happily while my mom and I were cringing.
I quickly went over to the register and bought a Stewart's Root Beer. I drank it quickly and I very honestly still felt nauseas whenever I looked over to the bottle of coconut juice. It was awful.

As an added bonus, I even took some notes immediately after drinking the coconut juice! So here are my thoughts while I was shell shocked. You can pretty clearly read the disgust in my head:
"I don't like coconut. Its subtle but I don't like it. I don't like coconut flavor so this was probably a bad idea. My mom was horrified. Its not good, my sister likes it. Its good to try new things but this was bad. Made me and my mom feel sick, akin to vomit due to the chunks."

It was an adventure and I guess I'm glad I tried it. But nonetheless. It was horrific.