Sunday, October 4, 2020

Old Colony UVA Grape Soda

(Dr. Pepper/& Up Inc) So here's the thing about grape pop: it's always OK, but pretty much never as good as you want it to be. Grape Jolly Ranchers or bubble gum or Alexander the Grape candy always have this perfect chemical artificial grape magic that just tastes so purple! And more importantly (and more natural, naturally) grape juice is absolutely delicious. It's so amazing that it is one of the only things that tastes so good you just have to stop. Folks can guzzle apple or orange juice, but grape juice is so sweet, so flavorful, and so powerful that drinking a quart is conceptually as obscene as eating a whole birthday cake by yourself (though not as sad). So it seems like a pop should be easily able to combine the liquid gold of grape juice with the Dupont-level chemical engineering of grape candy flavor and make the ultimate super soda. Alas, it never tastes as complex as great juice and usually has a harshness of carbonation that overwhelms any subtleties in the grape flavor. But I don't give up hope, so when I saw them selling singles of this weirdo can at a small West Side grocery I gave it a go. And I'm glad I did. This is one of my favorite grape pops yet, with a rich flavor, some genuine complexity, a bold, beefy presence and a nice balance of bubbles. I really dig it. That said, what the fuck is it? I guess the mascot is Continental grape plantation owner, and who thinks "colony" is a signifier of positive vibes? And I don't know what UVA means. University of Virginia? UV-ray Alignment? A nick name for a uvula? And I'm not looking it up. I can't get super excited about a slaveowning mascot in 2020, but this does taste good as fuck. SO I will be a reluctant supporter of bad old days cheerleading IF they can make great purple pop. 

Postscript: I did look it up, it's a super popular Puerto Rican drink, and everyone in NYC knows about it (lots of Mexicans live around me and not a lot of Puerto Ricans and I've never even seen this in a store) and uva means grape. And the dude on this design (I've seen others) has unambiguous signifiers of being caucasian, that style hat meant the same thing there, and "colony" has does pretty negative numbers in PR. So same objections. And I still want to drink it. 

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