Tuesday, June 05, 2012

In the Mail: Joia Sodas

It's no secret that I like a nice mixer - and that's exactly what Joia sodas are. Oh, they're good on their own, too, but each of the four flavors seems made for booze. Judging by the variety of cocktail recipes on their website, Joia's creators agree.

A few weeks ago, I got an email from a PR rep for the Joia brand, offering to send me a few samples [NOTE: Yes, I got these drinks for free]. Now, I usually shy away from that sort of thing, but the sodas sounded genuinely intriguing. They're all natural (good for Dixon!) and come in flavors like pineapple, coconut and nutmeg; lime, hibiscus and clove; blackberry, pomegranate and ginger; and grapefruit, chamomile and cardamom. Interesting, right?

And they were. Interesting, I mean. On their own, each soda has great fruit-driven flavor. On my first sip of each, I tasted much more fruit than spice, but one or two sips later, after some of the carbonation died down, the spices were readily apparent.

The blackberry, pomegranate and ginger soda was most drinkable on its own. Dixon and I just crushed it - I didn't even get a chance to mix it with anything, though it would definitely complement vodka or even champagne.

I saved the other three flavors for happy hour this past week. It was stormy outside, which always makes me feel beachy, so I tried the pineapple, coconut and nutmeg soda with a splash of dark rum (and a tiny paper umbrella) - instant boat drink. Mary mixed the same soda with Malibu, with equally tropical results. But be warned: if pina coladas aren't your bag, this soda won't be, either.

Cooper got a little crazier, mixing gin with both the lime and grapefruit sodas. We discovered this week that he doesn't really like cloves, so that flavor in the lime soda was a bit much for him (not for me), but the combination of bitter grapefruit, acidic lime and gin was a good one. I think the grapefruit soda would also make a nice base for a Salty Dog.

The sodas are all natural, gluten-free, etc., etc. So you don't even have to feel guilty about drinking them (or letting your kids drink them). And for those of you in Maryland, Joia sodas are now available at The Fresh Market. Get some!

DISCLAIMER: As I mentioned above, these were given to me, for free, by Joia. That did not, however, influence my opinion of them - I'll buy them, too. They're good!

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