Archive for Potability

Somewhat unlike Mountain Dew

At least, that’s what I’ve been given to believe:

You know, plants, if you’re just gonna hurl all over the place — well, I don’t know if it’s worth it burning all that Shell V-Power just to get you guys some carbon dioxide.

If you can deal with this, you can use it to wash down some Kale Granola Chocolate Bark by Coracao Confections.

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Whose vault is this?

Part of the Coca-Cola legend is its quadruple-secret formula, allegedly known to only a few:

After Dr. John S. Pemberton invented Coca-Cola in 1886, the formula was kept a close secret, only shared with a small group and not written down. In 1891, Asa Candler became the sole proprietor of Coca-Cola after purchasing the rights to the business. Then, in 1919, Ernest Woodruff and a group of investors purchased the Company from Candler and his family. To finance the purchase Woodruff arranged a loan and as collateral he provided documentation of the formula by asking Candler’s son to commit the formula to paper. This was placed in a vault in the Guaranty Bank in New York until the loan was repaid in 1925. At that point, Woodruff reclaimed the secret formula and returned it to Atlanta and placed it in the Trust Company Bank, now SunTrust Bank, where it remained through 2011. On December 8, 2011, the Coca-Cola Company moved the secret formula to a purpose built vault in a permanent interactive exhibit at the World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta.

Headquartered just up the road from Coca-Cola, in Sandy Springs, Georgia, is an eatery whose recipes, until this week, were owned by somebody else:

It might seem completely irrational for a fast-food company to not own the recipes that it uses every day, but that’s exactly what fried chicken place Popeyes has been doing for the last 23 years. The company has been paying an outside company $3.1 million per year in royalties for certain recipes that are crucial to its business, and recently paid $43 million for the rights to them.

If you’re wondering how this happens and how you can get into the rent-a-recipe business, it helps to know that the company that owned the recipes was started by the chain’s founder, Al Copeland, in 1984. Diversified Foods and Seasonings is a separate entity that sells most of the food that a Popeyes franchisee needs, from biscuit mixes to chicken batter to premade soups and macaroni and cheese.

In 1994, the company filed for bankruptcy and reorganized, and Copeland was ousted from the company he founded. He got to keep some Popeyes franchises … and DFS, the company with the contract to supply Popeyes restaurants with, well, food and seasonings.

Al Copeland didn’t live to see this development; he died in 2008 at sixty-four.

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I’m waiting for a Pixy Stix version

The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau has approved, and then suddenly disapproved, the line of Palcohol powdered cocktails produced by Lipsmark LLC of Arizona.

The individual packets weigh one ounce and should be mixed with five ounces of water or your favorite mixer. And they are not snortable:

To take precautions against this action, we’ve added volume to the powder so it would take more than a half of a cup of powder to get the equivalent of one drink up your nose. You would feel a lot of pain for very little gain. Just use it the right way.

This technique could make for a truly dry martini. (Current methodology: pour the gin, open the bottle of vermouth just long enough for the gin to sense its presence, and then close the bottle.) At least, it ought to be worth a, um, shot.

(Via Consumerist.)

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Spot almost hit

Among the Big Three colas, I’ve pretty much always seen Pepsi as third, maybe even fourth if Shasta was being discounted more heavily than usual; but for no really good reason, I had an urge for a Pepsi yesterday, and the wherewithal to obtain a 20-ounce bottle. Which I did.

While it was occurring to me that I could have gotten the same results by opening an RC Cola and letting it sit until Tuesday, I started reading the label, and discovered something I hadn’t actually noticed before: the full name “Pepsi-Cola” is no longer being used.

When did this happen? According to Wikipedia, it’s been simply Pepsi since 1961. I know I’ve had several Pepsis since the year I turned eight, but maybe it’s a we-don’t-serve-Coke kind of deal.

Come to think of it, in 1961, Pepsi kicked off that “For Those Who Think Young” business, so the actual transition might have been in this very advertisement. That’s Joanie Sommers on the vocal; now I wonder if Johnny got angry because she brought home a carton of Coke.

And anyway, before it was Pepsi-Cola, it was, um, Brad’s Drink. This is Brad.

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At least it isn’t head cheese

Just calling it “beer” seems suddenly inadequate:

[M]icrobrewers at Dock Street Brewing Co. did go that extra mile for fans of AMC’s The Walking Dead — or any zombie fans, really — by cooking up some goat brains for a new brew called Dock Street Walker.

Yes, goat brains. Smoked brains, to be specific, an ingredient enjoyed by others around the world but perhaps not so much the American public.

According to the brewery’s press release, it’s “an American Pale Stout brewed with wheat, oats, flaked barley, organic cranberry, and Smoked Goat Brains!”

Enjoy it with a slab of goat cheese, and toast The Governor. (Oh, wait, The Governor is already toast.)

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This schist is gneiss

Or some sort of rock, because it definitely doesn’t seem to be moo juice:

Might go well with a Cheese Sandwich, though.

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You will not drink it here or there

In fact, you will not drink it anywhere:

Sign posted in Marks & Spencer

Hardly seems worth buying, given those conditions.

(Via this Neil Killham tweet.)

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While we’re drinking 3.2

Supposedly, this is the World’s Strongest Beer:

Snake Venom is the latest pushing-the-limits beer produced by Scottish outfit Brewmeister. The 135-proof concoction beat out the previous record-holder, Armageddon, also made by Brewmeister.

“Unlike Armageddon, Snake Venom is not designed to mask the taste of the alcohol,” reads a statement on the company’s site. “The alcohol is very strong but the beer still tastes like a beer rather than a spirit. It’s hoppy, malty and very pleasant.”

A bottle of Snake Venom will run you about $80 (if you can find it) and contains a warning label cautioning imbibers from drinking too much.

Let’s see. 67.5 divided by 3.2 is, um, 21.1. This is, therefore, the one beer to have when you’re not having twenty-one.

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What the cat dragged in

Hello Kitty beerThat fruity-looking stuff in the can is, in fact, Hello Kitty beer, brewed in Taiwan and sold in China:

The Hello Kitty brew, licensed by the Shanghai KT trading company and made by Taiwanese beer maker Long Chuan, comes in at least six tropical flavors, from passion fruit to banana… the beers are only 2.3 percent alcohol by volume.

Two point three? That’s near near-beer.

Says Kotaku in a review:

[T]hese beers are dangerous. They’re so ridiculously smooth and tasty that one can barely tell they’re drinking beer. It’s almost like drinking fruit juice.

The guy in the corner nursing a Mike’s Hard Lemonade is laughing his face off.

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I’d give it a 6, maybe

Royal Crown Cola has been owned for several years by Dr Pepper Snapple Group, and try saying that fast three times. Since there was already a Dr Pepper Ten, I figured an RC Ten was inevitable, and when a few bottles showed up at the local store, I snagged a two-liter.

I needn’t have bothered. I have come to the conclusion that diet soda — which is probably no better for you than non-diet soda anyway — uses the flavor equivalent of active noise cancellation: the taste is sufficiently dire to make the inevitable artificial-sweetener aftertaste seem acceptable by comparison. Still, there are worse items on the shelf, and I’m sure I’ve bought them from time to time.

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There exists a recipe for ice cubes, because, as the person who posted it explained:

I’m publishing this recipe because I’m sure that there are other families who have members, who don’t know how or have forgotten how to make ice when the ice tray is empty.

And it’s pretty simple: two minutes to prepare, let stand in the freezer for two hours, and there you have it. Beyond the capacity of coworkers, though.

More amusing, perhaps, are the categories under which it’s listed: among others, Beverages, Very low carbs, and Lactose Free. Not a speck of gluten, either.

(Tip from @GaelFC: “Do not substitute vodka.”)

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I’m assuming it wasn’t Tang

The original title of this piece, judging by the URL, was “Energy drink with controversial name unwelcome in neighborhood store.” And, judging by the circumlocutions, unwelcome in the news copy:

There are dozens of energy drinks on the market, but a new product has a name that’s causing a stir in a Houston neighborhood.

“I think it’s disgraceful,” said Emma Broussard, an officer with the Independence Heights Super Neighborhood Association. “I don’t want this out here.”

Other members of the association agreed.

“This is not the kind of thing we want our children to see,” said John Branch.

The drink uses a slang term that refers to part of the female anatomy.

And if you’re a normal person of an age in double digits, you might well have thought something worse than the actual name of the product.

No, really. Consider “Greenback Dollar,” a hit for the Kingston Trio in 1963. On the 45, the first line of the chorus is “And I don’t give a [guitar strum] about a greenback dollar,” leaving you to imagine what went ungiven. (If you paid five bucks for the LP, you found out.)

Mulva Dolores was not available for comment.

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Five-hour food stamps

Sign in Crest Foods today: “ENERGY DRINKS ARE NO LONGER AVAILABLE THROUGH ACS.” “ACS,” I presume from the context, is short for “Access,” the brand name on Oklahoma’s EBT card.

Wondering if there had been a legal change, I went to the USDA, and found this:

When considering the eligibility of energy drinks, and other branded products, the primary determinant is the type of product label chosen by the manufacturer to conform to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines:

  • Energy drinks that have a nutrition facts label are eligible foods
  • Energy drinks that have a supplement facts label are classified by the FDA as supplements, and are therefore not eligible

I didn’t go back to read any labels, but I did come up with what I think is a reasonable hypothesis: the store was letting this issue slide a bit, and was slapped down by the authorities for so doing.

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Perhaps not the best mixer

Then again, you’ll probably drink it straight anyway:

A while ago, my buddy, Captain Artie told me about Van Gogh PB&J vodka, but, alas, my local liquor emporium did not have it. Artie promised to bring me a bottle on the occasion of his next visit, but my most excellent daughter beat him to the punch. Ten seconds after she gifted me with the bottle, out came two tall shot glasses for an instant tasting. The fragrance is more nutty than fruity, but it all comes together when sipped slammed down.

All I need is a bacon vodka, and my life will be complete.

Oh, wait…

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Not a cola or a root beer

Will Truman’s Hierarchy of Soft Drinks:

Livewire is better than Supernova is better than Gamefuel Green is better than Voltage is better than Gamefuel Red is better than Whiteout and anything is better than Code Red.

Well, almost anything:

I dislike Code Red 99% of the time, but it alternates with Pitch Black as the go-to flavor if I want something that tastes putrid. But not V8 putrid. That stuff is nasty.

I’m not about to ask him how often he actually wants something that tastes putrid.

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Are you Duff enough?

Last year I noted that Duff beer was actually available in several Latin American countries. It’s also in Europe, and there’s a UK distributor, describing the product thusly:

  • Premium 4.7% ABV
  • Pack contains 330ml Duff Beer
  • Light refreshing lager style
  • Available in the iconic 330ml bottle or can
  • Brewed by the highly acclaimed brewery — Eschweger Klosterbrauerei
  • Brewed to the German purity laws of 1864
  • Cult brand with iconic packaging that is fully trademarked

Note that this is 4.7 alcohol by volume; on the Oklahoma near-beer scale, it’s about 3.9.

And “fully trademarked”? Does Fox get a piece of the action? Apparently not.

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Dew diligence

This seems rather cut and dried:

Madison County Circuit Judge Dennis Ruth on Dec. 14 continued a case management conference until PepsiCo’s motion to dismiss is heard in a lawsuit claiming a mouse was found in a can of Mountain Dew.

The defendant is granted 28 days or until Jan. 11 to answer or otherwise plead the plaintiff’s second amended complaint.

Until you get to this part:

Pepsi denies [Ronald] Ball’s claims, and has moved to dismiss the case.

In support of that move, Pepsi cited expert testimony that the mouse would have dissolved in the soda had it been in the can from the time of its bottling until the day the plaintiff drank it.

Got that, Ron? At worst, you would have had a 12-ounce can of presweetened mouse juice. Very thick mouse juice. With caffeine.

(Via Gizmodo.)

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Kiddie seltzer

Dave Schuler goes poking into the sub-basement below the food pyramid, and comes up with Fizzies:

Fizzies were tablets put into water to make a disgusting colored, flavored, and sweetened drink. Sort of like carbonated Kool-Aid but worse in flavor. Fizzies were dealt a deathblow by the federal government when some of the substances used to make them were banned. I understand they’ve made a resurgence with a new formulation.

I probably shouldn’t mention this, but they were a thousand million times more godawful if you simply took the tablet (like some giant pastel-colored pill) and then washed it down with a glass of water.

Maybe it was the sugar substitute:

[I]n 1968, the FDA came out and banned the the artificial sweeteners used to make Fizzies, called cyclamates. Cyclamates were an essential part of making Fizzies tablets, and the scientist didn’t know how to reformulate. Retailers were allowed to sell out their remaining stock through 1970, but after that Fizzies disappeared.

There was a brief reappearance in the 1990s with aspartame, but that, um, fizzled out; the current formula, marketed since 2005, contains sucralose.

I have never tried the allegedly-similar Creamola Foam product.

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Occupying a carton near you

I Am The 2%

(Swiped from Christina Hopper’s Facebook page; it traces back at least this far.)

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Patriarchy Cola

Oh, sorry. It’s not a cola, or a root beer. It’s Dr Pepper Ten, and no girls allowed:

[T]hat’s the idea behind Dr Pepper Ten, a 10-calorie soft drink Dr Pepper Snapple Group is rolling out on Monday with a macho ad campaign that proclaims “It’s not for women.” The soft drink was developed after the company’s research found that men shy away from diet drinks that aren’t perceived as “manly” enough.

This promotion can’t lose, says Lynn:

The only women seriously offended will be those in the Perpetually Pissed Off At Men Brigade. The rest of us will either roll our eyes at the silliness of it all or be enticed to try it because we’re told it’s for men only.

Me, I’d use it to wash down a Yorkie bar.

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Decant be serious

Former Microsoft wiseguy Nathan Myhrvold dabbles in Technological Oenophilia:

Wine lovers have known for centuries that decanting wine before serving it often improves its flavor. Whatever the dominant process, the traditional decanter is a rather pathetic tool to accomplish it. A few years ago, I found I could get much better results by using an ordinary kitchen blender. I just pour the wine in, frappé away at the highest power setting for 30 to 60 seconds, and then allow the froth to subside (which happens quickly) before serving. I call it “hyperdecanting.”

Myhrvold says it “almost invariably” improves red wines; white wines don’t generally accumulate much sediment, unless they’re allowed to get too cold.


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Slenderize your soda

The Coca-Cola Company, citing its 125th anniversary, has introduced a new 1.25-liter bottle, complete with traditional Coke waistline, which showed up on my local store shelves this week.

Coca-Cola says:

The perfect take-home size for smaller households, the 1.25-liter bottle, which will be available for less than $1.00, extends the growing stable of Coca-Cola packages designed to provide people with more ways to enjoy the beverages they love.

“Less than $1.00” = what, 99 cents? Actually, the local store in question had the new-style bottle for 98 cents, which is twice as much of a discount as I might have expected. Then again, shelf space inevitably being limited, the 1.25-liter bottles were shoved in hard against their 2-liter brethren — which were being sold for a buck and a quarter.

The three-liter bottle has been missing in action for several years.

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Can’t get enough of that wonderful Duff

In fact, if you’re in any of the American cities named Springfield, you can’t get it at all. But venture south of the border, and “Woo-hoo!”

Homer Simpson would feel at home in Latin America. His favorite beer, Duff, is available in Mexico, Argentina, Colombia and Chile.

The lager has the same logo as the brew that Homer guzzles at Moe’s, his local bar in the Fox cartoon series. In South America, the beer’s motto is “Yes it does exist!” But nobody seems to be willing to discuss Springfield’s finest.

The makers of Duff in South America say they aren’t allowed to talk to the U.S. media. Duff Mexico — which started the Latin American trend — would not respond to interview requests. And 20th Century Fox, which owns the rights to The Simpsons, said it would not comment on the story and would not say if it has a licensing agreement with any of the Duff producers.

Asked for comment, Homer Simpson replied: “Homer no function beer well without.”

(Via Fark. Mmmm…Fark.)

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He only loves me for my can

Diet Pepsi has introduced a new beverage can. Same volume, but taller than the industry average; the rules of geometry being what they are, it’s also narrower than average, and you can predict what happens next:

The National Eating Disorders Association said it takes offense to the can.

Reinforcing stereotypes, doncha know, especially the one where women are “more attractive if they appear to be five or six inches high, a little thinner than the usual Pepsi can, and made of aluminum.”

Obviously what these poor, overwrought ladies need is to lap their empty calories out of a short, squat bowl, which won’t upset their worldview quite so much as something Disgustingly Skinny.

Me, I’ll go pour another Dr Pepper.

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The Drs are in

Including Dr B, Dr Extreme, and Dr Fizz.

And, oh yes, a couple of civilians, though Mr Pibb has pretty much given up his title by now.

(Via Mr Consumerist.)

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Things go better with less Coke

So I’m looking at a two-liter bottle of Coca-Cola with the “Join the Global Celebration” indicia thereupon — yes, there’s a vuvuzela — and there’s the not-particularly-cryptic nutrition information, outside the Federally-approved data box: “8 servings per package / 100 calories per serving.”

So I duly turn the bottle 90 degrees to inspect the data box. Sure enough, one serving is 8 ounces (240 ml), 100 calories. Now this isn’t precisely accurate if this is really two liters, which would be eight servings of 250 ml, but it’s close enough for government work.

But now I’m perplexed. If I go to the machine and fetch a 12-ounce can, which has been one serving / 140 calories for all these years, am I now going to find that it really contains a serving and a half? I’ve seen those little sawed-off cans in the stores, but never in a vending machine. And if this is a ruse to make the product look like it’s packing fewer calories than before, in a sop to the Nanny State, how long before, say, Frito-Lay starts quoting calories per individual Dorito?

Addendum: The machine had no 12-ounce cans, but did offer 20-ounce bottles, which contained, yes, 2.5 8-ounce servings.

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Make mine Beri-Berry

Which of these Slurpee flavors do not actually exist?

  • Mango Malaria
  • Sucker Punch
  • Bumblebee Blast
  • Strawberry Scorpion
  • Apocalyptic Ice
  • Agent Orange

Answers here.

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Washer fluid with bubbles

It’s called “Mountain Dew Voltage,” it was apparently chosen by Dew devotees nationwide, and mostly, it’s blue:

My brain and heart are at odds on this one. My brain wonders how PepsiCo could forget the massive risk involved with blue soft drinks, as evidenced with their earlier “Pepsi Blue” nightmare. (Which I covered in that oft-plagiarized opus, Dead Sodas.) Still, my heart loves the idea of drinking carbonated Romulan Ale too much to care.

When it comes to blue drinks, everyone wants to like them. Hell, just typing the term “blue drink” had made me 15% happier overall. We want to like blue drinks — and maybe we genuinely do — but when you get all objective and philosophical about it, there just aren’t going to be a lot of opportunities to down a bottle of blue soda without feeling stupid. It’s a little too precious. If McDonald’s started shaping their McNuggets like ninja stars, I’d be the first person in line for a golden arches tattoo, but I’d probably never eat Chicken McNuggets again.

On the other hand, reconfiguring the McRib to look like gold-pressed latinum — no, never mind, forget I said it, obviously I’ve been hitting the Windex pretty hard.

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Transcend dental

Hmmm. Bacon floss has a spiritual cousin, or something:

In South Korea their favorite toothpaste, Bukwang, tastes exactly like Dr. Pepper. When some Korean friends of mine visited the US for the first time, they tried Dr. Pepper. They wondered if I was insulting them or playing with them by giving them toothpaste-flavored soda to drink. It took a while to explain but we have had a good laugh ever since then. But they will not drink Dr. Pepper. I do not blame them.

The score was subsequently evened, you may be sure:

They paid me back by having me eat Korean foods that would burn off the roof of my mouth. It is the differences between cultures that make life so enjoyable.

I note for reference that the last tube of Pepsodent I used contained no detectable traces of Pepsi.

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I want some of that

engrish, drink, store, anything, whatever, brunei
more the engrish!

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