Pepsi gets into the craft cola game…AGAIN. It’s hard to imagine the #41 company on the fortune 500 list started as “Brad’s Drink” in a North Carolina pharmacy. Pepsi 1893 is a throwback, although the trending craft culture of our modern, urban, artisanal landscape might have you believing otherwise. Here’s a quick history lesson. Caleb Davis Bradham mixes sugar, water, caramel, lemon oil, nutmeg and some fizzy water over ice. People fall in love. He sells 20,000 gallons of syrup. The US goes to war. Sugar is rationed. Post war sugar prices skyrocket. Bradham has no choice but to buy the high priced sugar to keep Pepsi-Cola alive. In 1923 Pepsi-Cola goes bankrupt. Scratching your chin? Fascinating, I know. That 17th century startup eventually became a success (as you know) so, think of this reissue as a return to Pepsi’s roots, a testament to perseverance, a set of simplistic natural flavors and a small (pharmacy) batch refreshment. There’s a ginger flavor too.
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They had us at Murder Your Thirst. At first look Liquid Death Mountain Water seems like Johnny Rotten and Gwyneth Paltrow had an illegitimate tall boy. That still might be largely true but on second glance this is an anarchist’s letter to the perfectly pinkified, millennial, wellness, team member walking through Nomad sipping a CBD infused, Cha Cha Macha in their Sweaty Betty bottoms and color matched Lulu top post Pure Barre class on their way to a M N D F L session. We’re not hating, just maybe a little overtired of the strict, gentrified urban experience that’s all too polished around our office these days. People still work in factories. They still triple shift to feed their kids. They still fall off the wagon, smoke two packs of reds and show up for their 8am shift with their brain beating out of their skull. That is not to say that there’s not a middle ground to those two humans. It is to say, everyone needs to hydrate. That’s where Liquid Death Mountain Water levels the playing field with a beverage design that is as sensational as the people behind it. Every part of the experience has been carefully and perfectly thought through. You want to join the mailing list, no problem, just sign a contract to sell your soul. Not kidding. You want to know “About” why they created it? A word perfect description and philosophy explains everything including their intention to take their healthy water brand and help fund weird art, music, and entertainment that big corporate brands rarely will. They even made a righteous animated explainer video and then this fantastic PSA. As if all that was not enough for you to get on board the death hydration train and order up a case immediately, they even tweaked the “email sign up” toggle button in checkout to read; “I’d like to stay in the loop on news and special offers, just don’t bombard me with stupid bullsh*t”. There’s not much more for us to outline here except to hit their home page and click their FUCK YES buy button. Aces to the Liquid Death crew for this masterpiece.
We don’t really condone soda. It might be one of the worst offensive product types created by us humans. That said, there is a time and a place. For us that was when we were 14 year old BMX rats who spent most of our free time riding fast and jumping off curved stationary objects. aka – We burnt more glycogen than a space shuttle launch. Since those pre-teen days, we’ve cut the soda imbibing down to the random Mexican coke paired with an animal style In and Out burger. But, the nostalgic ring of a Mellow Yellow jingle can still get conjured up pretty fast, especially when you see a move like this. Over the years Mellow Yellow, Coca Cola’s answer to the popularity of Mountain Dew, has gone through it’s iterations of can designs. Initially targeting the post 70’s hippies and then into 80’s surfers. Finally it settled in with a few iterations for the skate and X-games crews of the 90’s and early oughts. The juice hasn’t changed BUT this post was never about that. The new brand graphics are a huge departure from their history. The move puts them squarely into the energy drink line up (although no new energy added). We love the graphics. We love the “MY” double entendre. We can’t say we love the inner contents but sometimes our excitement isn’t just based on taste.
Gray Whale gin could be the hardest working spirit in the business. As gins become more and more interesting to me I’ve begun to seek out the less straight forward botanical mixes. Thankfully the UK is having a craft gin explosion and on a recent trip to California, I discovered the US isn’t far behind. Gray Whale gin chose its flavors based on the migratory path of the gray whale. Aside from being so #verycalifornian the foraged ingredients made for a unique taste and that, after all, is what I am after. With foraged botanicals running from Baja all the way up to Mendocino, the effort for that flavor may be unmatched by any other craft distiller. The outrageously mesmerizing aquamarine bottle that has an enticing depth illusion adds to our allure while their simplistic, contemporary, labeling design sold us. We’re suckers for a well-branded spirit.
Today is the perfect day to talk Sunday Beer. Not just because it’s the first day of the week but because here in NYC the mercury will not stay above 30 degrees. Sunday isn’t just another straight forward lager craft beer brand. To us it represents a little of that Sunday summer sun we so badly wish we had a ray of right now. We know this for many reasons but our favorite is that the first option on their website nav is not beer, it’s vibes. The story of where they brew and why they put it in cans is as good as my intro to this delectable beverage. Getting your hand son this easy drinking beauty is still a little tough. Available around Brooklyn, we fancy one with our Big Matt at Emmy Squared. A few spots in Manhattan are carrying this day of rest in a can, our go to chicken hit, Fields Good Chicken soon to be added to the list. As they expand distribution we’re guessing this spring every corner bodega will soon have a palette. For now you’ll have to slurp one up at one of these spots.