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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Belvoir Elderflower Presse

Once again, the Lab is facing a backlog of soda. What can we say? There are other pressures* even on the life of a Quaffmaster, and though braving the heights and depths of Weird sodadom and penning epistles for you who seek the vicarious experience of imbibing is my deepest calling, I cannot utterly ignore all other demands for my time**.

Thus, as though a Mentos had been dropped in the Diet Coke of the life of the Lab, we must attempt to relieve the growing pressure of Weirdness before it explodes into a sticky flood of bubbly broubaha***.

Fortunately, I have high hopes that today's item will be a pleasant experience.

Belvoir Elderflower, here depicted next to actual elderflowers. It's kind of like a family portrait.
We've reviewed one other elderflower soda--Sweet Blossom Elderflower. It was fantastic, and still ranks amongst my favorite Weird sodas of all time. Good science practice, however, demands that we assess other elderflower beverages to determine whether the exquisite flavor of the Sweet Blossom was due to the presence of elderflower, or some other unidentified factor.

Enter Belvoir Elderflower Pressé.

I'm not actually sure what a "pressé" is. My mind, of course, imagines elderflowers being picked, arranged on some sort of sluice, and smacked Muppahone-like with mallets****. This is admittedly unlikely. Let's see if the bottle label holds any clues.

First, the label appears to be real paper; it's thin, and wrinkly where moisture has caused it to peel a bit. On the back, it becomes clear that this is from England, and it claims to contain fresh, hand-picked elderflowers. Seeing none floating in the bottle, I have to assume that it is more like a tea made from said elderflowers (although I note that a Muppaphone-type apparatus is not ruled out; it would presumably have an English accent). The ingredients list includes only water, sugar, elderflowers, and lemon juice. Spiffy!

Bonus points: the little drawing of elderflowers on the label is pretty realistic.

Where and when:  To be honest, I can't remember.
Color: Transparent, slightly yellow tinge.
Scent: Flowery, slightly tart, sweet. A bit like a very sweet, milder lavender. Pleasant.
Olorin: "Kind of like honeysuckle pear-y lemon."

Taste: Much more sour than the smell; the lemon juice is prominent, but not unpleasant. The sweet, flowery smell is very pleasant in the taste. It's quite strong; this is potent stuff, much more so than the sedate label would suggest. Really, the overwrought labels and names of American sodas (e.g. the various "EXTREME!" Mountain Dew variants) would be better applied here, as this has more of a bold, strong taste than most of those. However, given that it's a British label, it'd have to be different.

I'm envisioning a formal English garden, tended by a grandmotherly woman in a bonnet, who is trimming the gardenias with a six-foot serrated broadsword from the sidecar of a motorcycle driven by Ozzy Osbourne. The title:

Belvoir Fruit Farms
X-TREME ELDERFLOWER PRESSÉ
"It's practically rude!"

Olorin: "Kind of the flavor of lemon juice, but with the flavor of pear. Leaves a dry-ish texture in the back of your mouth, like not quite ripe fruit."

Kibbitzer-in-Chief: *shrugs*

Nazgul: "It's all right".

This is getting decidedly unimpressed responses from the rest of the Lab. As for me, I like it well enough, and I admire the boldness of the flavor...but the Sweet Blossom was much nicer. This lacks the pleasant fruit flavors, and substitutes a very strong lemon. It's much like a slightly bubbly floral British lemonade.

Quaff rating: 2.5. Meh. The label is pretty, and the floral flavor is interesting...
Cough rating: 0.5. The lemon, while not unpleasant, it very strong.

* For example, recently reinstalling Diablo 2, because...well, because.
** Some of those Unique items are really hard to find.
*** A.k.a. the Kibbitzer-in-Chief giving me that look.

****  The Muppaphone:

3 comments:

  1. if you're up for a third elderflower cordial, try bottle green. their lemongrass flavor is pretty tasty as well.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Where did you get this!!!!????

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh my gods this stuff is good. I tried it on our first trip to the UK this spring. I was cursing the TSA for preventing me from bringing back a case!

    ReplyDelete

 
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