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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My first brush with this was in a small, craft spirits shop near my house. My father has a penchant for ginger and rum so I thought gifting him a bottle would be thoughtful. The following weekend a text storm from my mother was requesting a case. Some for them. Some for the friends they had over for dinner. Apparently, after decoding iMessage, the four of them were really enjoying the Ready-to-Drink part of Gingeroo. My father later expressed to me, in a way only he can, that every adjective on the bottle was completely true to the product. He emphatically recited those adjectives using his self declared third rule of learning, repetition. Last week we got a little closer to the root of the Gingeroo when we were perusing the New Orleans Whole Foods. The Celebration Distillation, located on Frenchmen Street in New Orleans, is the oldest premium rum distillery in the United States and the nice peeps at Gingeroo welcome pop-ins. With descriptors like refreshing, spicy and delicious, if the folks that make this nectar are as true to the words on their bottle, it’s worth a stop and a sip.
There’s no doubt we live in a rosé world right now. If you have no idea what that means you’re either blinded by the latest micro, small batch, Queens brewery release OR you’ve been in more 12 step meetings than IG rabbit holes (Which we highly applaud). The reality is we’ve gone pink crazy thanks to some brilliant marketing by Yes Way Rosé, the White Girl boys, Pinknic, Summer Water and now Forty Ounce Wines. No doubt the ‘share-ability” appeal breaks the FOMO meter but does any of this tinted hooch actually taste good? Enter Patrick Cappiello, Food + Wine’s sommelier of the year and his idea to make young peeps more excited about wine by putting it into a 40oz bottle. Add in a St. Ides-Classic Muscadet mashup design by Carolyn Frisch and you have your next viral IG double like. Patrick, as we discovered, does back his bottle with flavor as one would expect from a dude who’s wine knowledge is his bread and butter. Although, this isn’t his first maverick wine move. He also hosts this crazy supperclub style dinner at Rebelle Restaurant that uses the wine focus of the night to create the menu. Sometimes it’s a region that leads the dinner, sometimes a grape and sometimes a specific vinyard. Either way, they are as renegade as their namesake and let’s just say, you’re not driving home. Back to the palatability of this Billy Dee Williams throwback with deep french roots, the wine maker Patrick and his partner, Chris Desor, worked with was actually responsible for the whole thing. Had the two not been on a wine trip visiting Julien Braud, a classic producer in Muscadet, and discovered he used 40oz style bottles to store his grape juice, there wouldn’t be a Forty Ounce Wines. (Full interview here.) Which is to say this fruity vino tastes as good as it #hashtags. Backed by some big restaurants and their somms, Patrick’s goal of making wine more accessibly was deemed a success when the first run sold out immediately. You can grab a bottle in person at these spots or, if in NYC, word is Marc Forgione, in the village, is pouring by the glass. If stocking up for a rosé draught is your game, smash the link below for online delivery.
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.