There are many examples of excellent three-flavor combinations. Bacon, eggs, and orange juice. Brown sugar, vanilla, and lemon. Pineapple, orange, and guava. Garlic, mushrooms, and butter. Larry, Moe, and Curly. Barbecue sauce, chicken, and red onion.
It may be worth noting that none of these would make good Weird sodas. Whether this is due to some inherent mathematical incompatibility between Weird soda and the three-ness of such flavor combinations is unclear. Pairs of flavors seem to work well; Weird soda is inherently quadratic, rather than cubic?
Those people with normal senses of aesthetics learn to pay attention to such laws. Indeed, a sense of aethetics might be argued to be inherently dependent on their observance--or carefully balanced violation. But the world of Weirdness must not be held back by such constraints. It must stride boldly forward, unhesitatingly violating such quaint concepts as balance, proportion, and good taste. And that brings us to tonight's review: Joia Lime, Hibiscus, and Clove soda.
There are, as we have discussed before, multiple schools of Weirdness. When I can, I prefer to dip my toes in the sweet streams of fruit and cream sodas. However, a growing subsector seems to consist of sodas whose sole purpose in existence is to combine odd fruit, herbal, and other flavors* in novel and ill-advised combinations. Usually in threes.
Where and when: Purchased April 2013 at Frazier Farms, Vista, CA
Color: Transparent, ever so slightly yellowish-greenish. The color of pale, sun-dried hay.
Scent: Faint, cool, a bit of citrus, and a hint of floor cleaner. I'm not sure what that last is; volatile and spicy.
Nazgul: "I know I've smelled it before." Given the state of the Lab floors, this is unlikely.
Taste: Hmmm...mmm...blech. Let's see--the first taste is citrus, strong and a bit lemony. The hibiscus comes through clearly. However, what happens next is less than ideal.
My mouth becomes slightly dry, and an odd taste spreads through it--a bit like alcohol, a bit spicy. Maybe a bit reminiscent of dry champagne. Not good.
Kibbitzer in Chief: "Nice. It's clean, bright, and textured."
I swear that this woman and I have a great deal in common.
K-i-C: "It tastes like it should be alcoholic, though."
Nazgul: "Very sour, but with a weird sweetness, too."
So the Kibbitzer-in-Chief, whose aesthetic sense is generally considered a squillion times better than my own, likes this one. Let's consult Olorin; he also has a finely developed sense of balance, proportion, and beauty in all things.
Olorin: "Mmmmm! That's really good!"
Well, crud. Okay, I'm a buffoon.
Quaff rating: I must be true to myself. 2.5.
Cough rating: 1. The floor-cleaner part is icky.
*The term is loosely defined here; it's only a matter of time before Weird sodas come in "coal", "breath-of-a-mermaid", and "esprit de corps" varieties.
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