I have returned from my long break and I’m sure the rumors about my departure were just staring to run rampant. Had I gone off the deep end, sold my Soda Jerk stock and purchased a yacht? Perhaps I gave up soda drinking and was living in a little cave with only the essentials. Maybe I was prepping for Game of Thrones Season 4 to start. I’m not sure we’ll ever figure out what I was up too, but I’m sure it’s a tale for the police.
Today’s review comes from the folks at Honest Tea. They make a soda called Honest Fizz that comes in four (hopefully) fantastic flavors. Honest Fizz is a zero calorie soda that’s naturally sweetened with stevia. Here’s their ingredient list for those interested. You know there won’t be a lot of ingredients, because I’d be too lazy to type them. Anywho, here they are: Carbonated Water, Erythritol, Organic Caramel Color, Natural Flavors, Stevia Leaf Extract, Citric Acid, and Caffeine. For those who don’t know what Erythritol is it’s a sugar that’s sometimes found in fruit and fermented food. I don’t know if Honest Fizz’s is from fruit or from a lab, either way it’s in there.
What I’ve chosen today is called Professor Fizz. Honestly I don’t really know what flavor Professor Fizz is as the label has what looks to be a cherry on it, but the description on the back reads like this may have Dr Pepper similarity. You be the judge.
“Professor Fizz has a Ph.D. in taste, and one sip will tell you why. There’s no way to describe this unique, all-natural spiced cherry flavor, other than to say it’s a definite A+.”
So I counted a total of two puns in there. I’m ok with puns… the lip of the can says “So-da-lightful”…I’m no longer comfortable with this many puns/plays on words. Now that I’ve written my longest intro yet, lets me get to actually reviewing.
Judging by the smell of Professor Fizz I’m going to say they’re going for the Dr Pepper experience in this soda. To back up my theory the color is brown with a light red hue. Scent wise they’re doing a pretty good job matching it though. Should be interesting to see how the taste stacks up.
Curse you stevia. The first third of my sip tastes like Diet Dr Pepper. The cherry/cola/root beer taste is there. It’s sweet, it’s light, and it’s enjoyable. The carbonation brushes gently across my tongue in a playful way. I want to take another sip, but then the first third of my sip ends abruptly. The second third of my sip begins to taste like Diet Dr. The sweetness is turning into a somewhat bitter chemical sensation. The cherry/cola/root beer flavor is fading quickly and the overall makeup of the soda is deteriorating. By the time I’m in the home stretch it’s a bitter liquid that doesn’t even resemble what it sought out to be like so many of us out there.
You leave home at 18 to go out into the world with so many ideas. You have your flaws, but you still feel unstoppable. As time marches on you gain a more realistic view. Bills, work, and booze infiltrate your life. You black out. Now you sit hunched over a computer writing soda reviews for the masses. Three meals a day are passed to you through the bars of your “office”. You tell them you have a peanut allergy, but they keep putting them on the brownies to spite you. Your boss comes in every hour on the hour to make sure you’re still cranking them out. Finally one day you find a way to escape.
A speck of sunlight is seen at the end of the long hall. You make a break for it. For over a month you’re out in the world again, feeling light and airy. A few weeks later you check the site and see that some other schmuck has posted a review. Relief passes over your body as you figure the search for you is all but over. You go to your family’s house to spend Easter Sunday with them, but that’s where they get you. Before you can ring the doorbell the men in blue gag you and bring you back to your computer so that you can write more reviews.
That “fictional tale” is what Professor Fizz’s journey seems like. It started off with such hope and promise, but the speed in which is deconstructed into a bitter beverage with a stevia aftertaste is astounding. I know they want to have a zero calorie soda and I don’t fault them for that. If they want to have an improved flavor then they need to cut the stevia with some sugar. Just do half and half to see what it tastes like. It’ll still be pretty low in calorie and you might have a wider appeal. What do I know though? I don’t make soda; I just sit here in my office eating brownies all day.
Verdict – Buyer Beware