But I digress. Let's start it off with tonight's Weird Soda: Ironbeer Soft Drink. What political ideology does it represent, you ask? Well, allow me to quote from the can:
"On a Summer's afternoon, in 1917, a mule-drawn, wooden wagon arrived at a popular cafeteria in Havana, Cuba. It delivered the first four cases of a new soft drink that would soon be called, 'The National Beverage'. Now, more than 80 years later, IRONBEER is still enjoyed for its refreshing flavor with just a hint of island spices. A lot can change over the years - but not the original flavor of IRONBEER!"Now, I know very little history, so I had to brush up on the history of Cuba. Apparently, it only became communist in the 1940s, and prior to that (and during 1917) was effectively a client state
of the USA. Thus, while it is tempting to brand a Cuban-oriented Weird Soda as something like "Commie Cola", it would be inaccurate to do so. The Ironbeer Can-ifesto from which I quoted above seems to specifically deny Cuba's current regime, and hearken back to the idyllic days in which it was a beloved, closely-watched niece of the late-WWI United States.
The Kibbitzer-in-Chief is analyzing the artistic representations on the can. At first glance, she says the can (red with yellow graphics depicting a shirtless, heavily-muscled man flexing his bicep) is reminiscent of the socialist "Achievement of the Five-Year-Plan" posters, featuring strapping farmers and such. However, she feels that closer examination suggests that the heavy musculature of the figure suggests a very different imagery.
K-i-C: "This man's body is not covered. He is not serving his role, as represented by his clothing--he is serving himself. He's celebrating his own power, as expressed in the glorification of his own body. He is a superman, and while Superman in the 1930s is nowhere near as conservative as he would later become, he was never a socialist."
The K-i-C is capable of delivering a well-reasoned and insightful analysis of soda can imagery at the drop of a hat. I am capable of making occasional snarky comments and bad puns.
I further note that Ironbeer is currently bottled in Miami. I suspect this is more of an "Anti-Commie Cola", actually. Let's open it up and enjoy the Invisible Hand of Ironbeer!
Where and when: purchased April 2009 at Galco's, Los Angeles, CA
Color: very dark brown, darker than typical cola.
Scent: Hmm, interesting. Cola-ish, but with strong citrus. Sort of like Coke-Sprite mixture, but with a fruity tone, as if there were strawberry Starbursts in there too. Very fruit-juicy.
Taste: Oh, neat. It's cola-based, I think, but with a very strong fruit juice kick. Not all that acidic; the acid is relatively mellow and non-biting. I can't quite decide what fruit that is. It's not lemon or orange, nor passion fruit, nor grapefruit, nor apple nor grape. It's some sort of somewhat tart berry--I think strawberry or raspberry is close. I suppose it could be acai berry, or something exotic of that sort. In any case, it's good. Very good, even.
According to the label, the main sweetener (the only one listed) is fructose. Not high-fructose corn syrup--just fructose. Interesting.
Quaff rating: 4. Very nice. The whole lab staff likes this one.
Cough rating: 0.5. Maybe ever-so-slightly too sweet, but nothing else objectionable.