The Drinks of Comic-Con 2012

We all know what Comic-Con is supposed to be: Cannes for Geeks. Still, aside from the fetishization of all things genre-related and the increasingly Hollywood-ized atmosphere, there’s something else it’s about: drinking! But one can grab a $12.00 martini or a $3.00 shot anytime in an upscale yet funky city like San Diego. It takes a Comic-Con for the dipsomanical masses to be able to slurp their way to oblivion with a Captain America, a Spicy Hulk, or drinks saluting the warring dynasties from George R.R. Martin’s “Game of Thrones.”

Which is not to say that the search for the great themed cocktails to be found in Comic-Con’s backyard was an easy one. At times I and my photographing buddy, Rodney Reynaldo, feared we might not have enough drinks to really make this piece sing but, as we trudged through what seemed like every bar in San Diego’s downtown Gaslamp district, we found plenty. Admittedly, we sometimes found ourselves making the news as much as we reported on it; some of these drinks are on the spot creations from some of the area’s more spontaneous mixologists. Still, most of these were created with plenty of forethought, most of them tasted good, and some were downright terrific.

The Captain America

I have to admit that I pretty much knew somebody would come up with an extremely sweet red, white and blue themed salute to good ol’ Cap. I never imagined it would induce near terminal brain freeze while tasting far better than this cocktail snob would have ever expected.

The Captain America, as crafted by Andrea of the Hard Rock Cafe on 4th Avenue, is actually three drinks. The blue is a pina colada featuring Blue Curacao; the red is a raspberry pina colada featuring Bacardi rum; and the white, and possibly the best tasting of the three, was an exceedingly sweet frozen daiquiri made with Bacardi’s Dragon Berry Rum. A million miles away from a classic daiquiri like I’d make, but what would I expect from a red, white and blue cocktail?

The Dark Knight

The Tivoli, which proclaims itself the oldest bar in San Diego, sticks to its old school image by an affinity with a certain reactionary-leaning caped crusader. The Dark Knight, crafted by the bar’s redoubtable Rosie (pictured uptop), was as dark as any black knight but it’s flavor might have pleased a fruit bat with it’s surprisingly refreshing combination of vodka, blue curacao, raspberry liqueur, and a splash of Rumple Minze 100 proof peppermint schnapps.

The Spicy Hulk

There are any number of green drinks named in honor of Bruce Banner’s ill-tempered alter-ego. Yet, it’s hard to imagine any would ever be tastier than this concoction. Whipped up on the spot by the very skilled Oscar Avila of El Vitral, the Spicy Hulk reflected our location just a few miles from the Mexican border with healthy dashes of cucumber, cilantro, serrano peppers, tomatillo, lime juice, agave nectar and, of course, blanco tequila. Nothing puny about this one.

The Marble Room Trilogy

We came to the Gaslamp in search of themed cocktails. We found our first themed bartender in Harlo Stompro of the brothel-esque 5th Avenue watering hole and restaurant. The man might be a joker, but he certainly took the time to come up an assortment of con-friendly libations.

The Alien Secretion contains vodka, both Rose’s Lime Juice and fresh lime, and triple sec. The bright green Romulan Ale might please Trek fans with a yen for another slight twist on a Kamikaze with blue curacao, vodka and fresh lime.  The Darth Vader is an homage to a Long Island Ice Tea with vodka, gin, rum, sour mix, and Chambord sitting in for the traditional triple sec. Since I kind of hate Long Islands, I found the taste appropriately evil.

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New food/drink product roundup

It sure is nice when companies send samples of new food and drink products to review! Here are a few more we tried recently:

Unwind (TM) Low Calorie Relaxation Beverage–This is the opposite of Red Bull. In fact, it’s the polar opposite of those high caffeine drinks. Unwind contains a natural blend of melatonin, valerian root, rose hips and passion flower, and comes in Goji Grape, Pom Berry and Citrus Orange flavors. I tried them all, but not all at the same time. Let me tell you, this stuff works. I would advise that you drink it in the evening or before bed, because it relaxed me to the point of making me extremely sleepy. Not only that, this stuff, despite being low in calories, is delicious. The citrus is a tad bitter but the grape and berry flavors are awesome. Now I need to find more of it. If you’d like to, check out the Unwind website. Happy relaxing!

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Product Review: Perky Jerky

Does the idea of caffeinated beef jerky scare you? Or does it literally get your blood pumping? Well, one taste of Perky Jerky, a new beef jerky coated with caffeine, and it should do the latter without doing the former anymore. Seriously, this stuff not only gives you a bit of a jolt via Guarana (1 oz. of jerky has about as much caffeine as a can of Red Bull), but it tastes delicious. The second ingredient after beef is soy sauce, so as you can imagine you get a really nice flavor similar to that of teriyaki. And really, do you know anyone that doesn’t like the taste of soy sauce or teriyaki? So let’s review…Perky jerky tastes good, gives you a lift, and also gives you some protein to fill you up so you won’t feast on chips or cheese puffs when you’re hungry. Sounds like Grub For Guys heaven, doesn’t it? And no, it’s not too good to be true. Go try it for yourself!

Note: the press materials say that Perky Jerky may not be available yet where you buy jerky, so visit www.perkyjerky.com for more info and be sure to ask your local convenience store to carry it.

  

Mountain Dew DEWMocracy flavors review

As far as caffeinated beverages go, Mountain Dew and its neon green color have always appealed to those in need of a boost, and to those who want something different than cola or less potent than Red Bull.  Well this year, Mountain Dew has launched its DEWMocracy 2, a 12-month consumer driven campaign to choose its new flavor.  We had the chance to taste those three flavors and offer an opinion.

Mountain Dew

Mountain Dew Typhoon—This flavor was like a turbo-charged fruit punch.  If you’re old enough to remember Tahitian Treat Soda, that’s what this tastes like, only with caffeine.  It’s decent, but there is something inherently odd about fruit punch being carbonated.

Mountain Dew Distortion—A regular Mountain Dew, complete with the neon green color, but blasted with lime.  This was our least favorite, as it just tasted like, well, regular Mountain Dew with a lime twist.

Mountain Dew White Out—This was the best of the bunch, as the citrus infusion here tasted more authentic, like a combination of orange and lemon.  It was more like a cross between regular Dew and lemon-lime soda, and overall it left us wanting more.

Also, check out the contest we’re running on DEWMocracy

  

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