Tuesday, October 17, 2006

POP OF THE DAY: Hi Ball Orange

Category: Energy Drink
Ratings (out of 5)
Taste: 2
Fizziness Factor: 5
Bottle/Can Design: 4
Availability: 4

Tasting Notes: You know how most herbal teas smell great but taste like ditchwater spiked with rosehips? Hi Ball Orange (seen above at left) has a minor case of Herbal Tea Disease. When I sniffed it, I thought "fresh-picked orange." When I sipped it, I thought "um...bubbly water." Halfway through the 10-ounce bottle, I detected something orangesque, but mostly I got that vaguely aggrieved feeling I used to get when I was a kid and somebody offered me a "soft drink" that turned out to be tonic water. Hi Ball is certainly a grown-up beverage: no sugar, no carbs, nothing artificial, less than 10 calories. It contains the Holy Trinity of energy drinks (taurine, guarana, and caffeine), plus ginseng and B-vitamins. B-vitamins? In my soda? The only thing playful about Hi Ball is the snazzy clear glass bottle, which fits in your hand just like a water balloon. (Total score 15/20)

Suggested Food Pairings: Cornish game hen with fennel pomegranate reduction, a handful of sugar

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