A few weeks ago I won a competition organised by Funkin Puree via Bar Magazine where the prize was a bottle of Eristoff vodka and 4 boxes of there Strawberry Woo Woo pre-mix pouches. Never one to shy away from experiencing new things, me and my flat mate poured ourselves a glass with a 25ml shot of Eristoff and tasted a surprisingly nice drink.
The aroma of Strawberry naturally gives the dominant flavour, and the same for its taste. And that’s a good sign when you’re enjoying a drink that you primarily buy for its fruit flavour, and you know has got alcohol in it, yet the vodka doesn’t overpower it. It blends very well and gave a very smooth texture on the palate.
This is an enjoyable drink and one that im glad I have around 30 pouches to enjoy! I may also give it a try with different vodka types, see if it gives a different edge to an already great mix.
Funkin Puree are a well-known brand of fruit purees commonly used in most bars and restaurants. When I contacted Funkin regarding the use of their purees back when I worked at Casa Tapas, they sent me 3 ready-to-serve pouches to try – Cosmopolitan, Mojito and Passion Fruit Margarita. The Mojito pouch has unfortunately long gone but today I review the other two classics.
Passion Fruit Margarita –
I mixed the pouch with 1 25ml shot of Jose Cuervo Silver and stirred in a high-ball glass. As you can see by the picture, the cocktail would look a lot better with more ice in it – I only used two cubes for a short drink. As you can imagine, the distinctive smell of passion fruit hits your nostrils straight away and it seems to mask the tequila aroma. Upon taste there was a subtle sweet passion fruit texture until it hits your throat where it seems to release itself on your senses. You get the slight kick of the tequila but the mixer seems to subtly over-power it and I think it works well.
If you were to choose a tequila to go with the Passion Fruit or even the classic Margartia they have, try to edge for the silver variety. I think gold tequila may clash a little too much with the mix and take the enjoyment away from you.
This was hard to put my thumb on. The taste gave me a slight cranberry and lime on the palate, yet no hint of vodka (although admittedly that may have to do with the choice of the only open bottle of vodka I had – Co-op Imperial). The aromas gave off the same ingredients, yet they seem to mix quite well together. Don’t understand? I think what I’m trying to say is that it’s not the same Cosmopolitan you would order in a bar, and it doesn’t look like one either. But if you did a blind tasting of this, although a little thicker in texture, the only drink you would think is the Cosmo. I think it’s a hard drink to master in a puree style, it’s a little delicate if ordered fresh and is well-known to a lot of people. But I think they have just about done it. Its well worth a try, even if it’s just to check off your drinks list.
With a strength of 6.4% and my love of rum, this is a perfect mix! The aromas and smells of vanilla instantly hit your nostrils with a spice mix following closely behind. A huge vanilla hit surprises you when you first taste, with the unmistakable flavour of Morgan’s Spice coming through soon after. A slight spicy end lingers in the back of your throat but its smoothness almost soothes it to a mouth-watering effect. Granted it’s not on par with the fresh pairing of Morgan’s Spiced and Coke, and at 6.4%, you don’t seem to get a strong taste of the base spirit, but don’t let that put you off. It’s like a mask for alcohol – it’s there, you know it’s there, and after 5 of these you will be close to having a very good night! This is a top 5 pre-mix contender!
Upon opening the can, no distinct aromas came out, although you may receive the obvious flavours of Southern Comfort and lime if you poured it into a glass. Tasting it though, SoCo is definitely there! If you had to do a blind tasting of pre-mixers, you’ll be kicking yourself if you got this wrong. The sweet spices and fruit hit you instantly with the lime lingering around and subtly mixing well. The low carbonated lemonade makes this a smooth beverage to have and gives that classic Southern Comfort after-taste, albeit a little dry. It’s not too strong on your senses but you don’t feel like you’ve been cheated out of anything like other pre-mixers can.
This would be great for a summer’s day drink, especially if poured into a lime rimmed glass to add some extra fresh flavour (and just look at the can! Strikingly better than the other pre-mixer can out there!). Give it a try, I know I wouldn’t pass up on the opportunity if I saw it again.
I found myself purchasing another pre-mixed drink in the form of Jack Daniels and they’ve released two versions – Coke and Ginger, both £2.12 from Sainsburys.
Jack Daniels & Coke
Now the nearest competitor around is Jim Beam & Coke and having already tried the latter I was expecting high hopes, however, I was disappointed at not smelling a stronger smell of the Jack Daniels (at 6% you expect to sense something). It was there don’t get me wrong, but compared to the Jim Beam, you had to hunt for it. Now that aside, the drink itself isn’t too bad. A low-carbonated cola is used so you can drink it quickly, but it won’t make you too bloated, and you do get that refreshing taste afterwards. The down side? You feel like your not drinking a JD & Coke. It’s not got that freshness about it like the Jim Beam did, and it sometimes put me off finishing the can. But finish it i did, which can I only be a plus as im sure, like most of you, you wouldn’t finish something if you didn’t like it.
Jack Daniels & Ginger
I followed the Jack Daniels & Coke with its other variety – ginger. After looking over the can, it doesn’t mention if it’s ginger beer or ginger ale (not being a lover of ginger ale, I was hoping for the former) but then I thought that Jack Daniels could have used ‘actual’ ginger, and I was right. I’ve personally rarely come across a drink as simple as Jack Daniels and mixer to have the sole ingredient as ginger, yet could see it working rather well.
Upon opening, there’s an immediate aroma of ginger, and hardly a scent of Jack Daniels. Give it a few seconds though and you do slowly get that unmistakable JD wafting through your nostrils. The taste is rather the same as the smell, with the whiskey taking a back-seat to the raw ginger, yet creating a pleasant slow mix of the two flavours in your mouth. It leaves a slight sweet taste in the back of your mouth as it makes its way through which resulted in me drinking this can quicker than the JD & Coke (the sweet tooth in me took over!). Again at 6%, you do expect to see more of the Jack Daniels coming through as you drink but it just doesn’t seem to happen.
Out of the two I would recommend the Jack Daniels & Ginger for 2 reasons –
1. It’s unique. When was the last time you had a whiskey with just ginger? And I can guarantee it would taste even better fresh.
2. On a summer’s day, a Jack Daniels & Ginger sounds like a hell of a drink to have, a chilled one at that.
A Jack Daniels & Coke? You can have that any day of the week at any place that sells alcohol. JD & Ginger? Your high-end expensive bars would charge you 4x as much as the £2.12 you could get it for.
Got back from Corks Out in Timperley today on the hunt for my flat-mates payday spirit buying – bottle of Goslings Black Seal rum. As always we had to sample some of the other dark rums on offer including Chairman’s Reserve and Ron Barcelo Gran Anejo! I also sampled an Amaretto, slightly more expensive than Disaranno, named Saliza. I myself bought 3 bottles of ale from Robinsons Brewery, Old Tom – original strength, chocolate and ginger. Personally, some of the best ales around.
Also recently tried the new Eristoff Gold, toffee and vanilla flavoured. I’ll be posting a full review of it A.S.A.P.
I also hope to be tasting in more detail the Goslings Black Seal, Chairman’s Reserve, the Polish beer Leche, the 3 Old Tom Ale’s, and the pre-mixed Jack Daniel & Coke and Jack Daniel & Ginger Ale.
I promised Malibu on there twitter feed I would try out some of their pre-mixed drinks that they offer so on a recent trip to the supermarket I bought a can of Malibu & Cranberry (£1.49). Having tasted my first pre-mixed drink only a few days ago (Jim Beam & Coke), I had high hopes for this version and at 5% it comes stronger than the JB too.
After opening the can you get the instant strong smell and aromas of Malibu and the cranberry sneaking in later, and with pouring into two glasses (i shared it with a friend to get a females perspective on what to me is seen as more a lady style drink) an intense red/purple colour, not your traditional cranberry colour. Once in the glass the aromas we had when i first opened the can were nowhere to be seen, which was a bit disappointing, but it may also be due to the fact the open glass releases a lot more than a can would.
The taste was surprisingly ok, not as strong as i thought it might have been but you could definitely tell the Malibu is there. Unfortunately, after the first few tastes my palate got used to the taste of Malibu a little too quickly and i finished it wondering if I’d drank all the Malibu at the beginning. Don’t let that put you off though, a refreshing mouth-watering aftertaste will get you finishing the can fairly quickly and I would recommend for a pre-party drink due to the price and the attraction of you can drink it quickly due to it being still instead of carbonated. If your thinking of having it in a glass i may recommend adding some fresh limes like your traditional Malibu and mixer drink.
Now to try there pre-mixed cocktail pouches, an eye catching find in the pre mixed section!