Finally, after years (well, months (well, weeks (well, OK, I ran across it))) of searching, I have found the elusive fourth element in the Dry Soda line. Previously, we have sampled Lavender, Rhubarb, and Lemongrass; now it's time to complete the tetrafecta and quaff some Kumquat.
I don't ctually know what kumquat tastes like, having never tried one. The Kibbitzer-in-Chief, however, has. She describes it as a "very tart, bitter kind of citrus". She also claims that the rind is sweeter than the pulp (the ingredients list does not specify rind or pulp; it does not, in fact, say there is any kumquat in this at all), and says that while some like to eat them straight, she prefers them in marmalade form. I am beginning to suspect that there are culinary depths to this woman that I am not aware of. Kumquat marmalade?
Come to think of it, "Kumquat Marmalade" would make a good band name.
Where and when: purchased 3/28/09 at BevMo, Oceanside, CA
Color: perfectly clear. I give the Dry Soda line credit for using clear bottles with minimal labels; the rhubarb version, for example, is a very odd brown which might have benefitted from a colored-glass obscuration. However, this just looks like water.
Scent: Pleasant citrus. A bit bitter. Smells a bit like grapefruit peel. Actually, I like the smell a lot. The K-i-C says it smells a bit like bergamot.
Taste: Very mild and crisp. Mostly tastes like club soda--that slightly bitter, sour mineralish taste--with a citrus overlay. Actually, this tastes almost exactly like the unsweetened mandarin orange-flavored sparkling mineral water my family used to buy, except just a bit sweeter. It's kind of a lot like Sprite without enough syrup--you know, when you fill your cup at the fast food place with Sprite, but their syrup is almost out, and what you get is slightly sweet but mostly just carbonated water?
It's like that.
After a bit more, the sweet is coming through a little more clearly, which is good. This is definitely a sipping soda; I think that taking a huge swig of this would be unpleasant. Let's try it.
Hmm. Not as bad as I thought, but kind of a waste. The nice part of this soda is the delicate taste, which is not very perceptible with a big swig. Big swigs just make it very expensive club soda.
This is pretty nice. It would be really excellent on a hot day.
Quaff rating: 3.5, but keep it at a sipping pace.
Cough rating: 0.5. Very little offensive here, although the bitterness might put you off if you're fond of syrupy soda.
Chama River Brewery Root Beer
1 day ago