Sparkly Showdown Addendum

April 24th, 2008  |  Published in mixers  |  4 Comments

Being the tireless nerd that I am, I can’t pass by a selection of potential cocktail mixers without at least a cursory glance. I’m sure some of you picked up on that the last time I matched mixers head-to-head, but it really is a compulsion that I have a hard time ignoring. (My health food store is now carrying rhubarb, lemongrass and lavender sodas. Be still my pounding heart!)

As such, when I found myself once again venturing through one of my favorite off-the-wall shopping destinations and came upon their delightful assortment of old-fashioned sodas, I couldn’t help myself. Charlie Brown Farms is a cultural smörgåsbord that lies along Pearblossom Highway in Littlerock, California. Anyone who has done the drive from LA to Vegas has passed Charlie Brown’s, a ramshackle red farm-style building that only hints at the wonders it contains. Life size dinosaurs, a village of gnomes, room after room of dolls, toys, knick-knacks, lawn ornaments, fruits, nuts, snacks, sodas, pickles… It’s something like how I imagine the Mad Hatter’s cottage, had he the space and inclination to acquire a lifetime of popular American ephemera.

After half an hour of perusing the vast selection of snacks (the reason for our visit), I stumbled upon the sodas secreted behind the lunch counter area. In the end I had to limit my selection to three bottles of ginger beer (and two bottles of root beer) only because I avoid purchasing things that contain HFCS, but these three naturally sweetened choices represented themselves proudly despite their small number.

Buderim Aussie Style Ginger Brew | Queensland, AUS | cane sugar – ginger
Cloudy with a distinctly yellow color, akin to lemonade. Very little carbonation. Strong, earthy fresh ginger flavor with some overt spicy notes. Sweet but not saccharine. Category champion!

Jamaica’s Finest Ginger Beer | Pennsylvania, US | sugar – ginger root oil
Golden color, similar to ginger ale, with moderate carbonation. Very spicy, with a pronounced ginger flavor and hefty bite on the end. Moderate sweetness. Category runner-up—makes an excellent Moscow Mule

Jamaica’s Finest Ginger Beer HOT! HOT! HOT! | Pennsylvania, US | sugar – ginger root oil
Dark golden color, like Grade A maple syrup, with moderate carbonation. Very, very spicy, with a pronounced ginger flavor. Clears your sinuses and warms your stomach.

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  1. Dr. Bamboo says:

    May 4th, 2008at 11:06 am(#)

    It’s a small world after all…

    The Jamaica’s Finest is bottled in Natrona, a suburb of Pittsburgh not far from Casa de Bamboo. I’ve been buying it for the last few months and it’s become my “go-to” ginger beer. I’m glad you can get it- It does make a fantastic Moscow Mule.

    I haven’t seen the Hot! Hot! Hot! yet, but I’;m going to kep my eyes open.

  2. Dood says:

    May 5th, 2008at 3:43 pm(#)

    You know…now I have to make my group stop by Charlie Brown’s on our way to Vegas in a few weeks.

    I may have to come up with a better excuse than “Because Marleigh said that I could get kick-ass ginger beer there!!”

  3. Marleigh says:

    May 5th, 2008at 3:50 pm(#)


    The Hot! Hot! Hot! lives up to its name. You know how hot the regular one is, so just turn it up to eleven in your imagination and you’ll have a good idea.


    Did I mention life-size Blues Brothers? And pirates? And dinosaurs? Every snack food you can imagine? BBQ and ice cream?

    If none of those work, you need new friends. ;-)

  4. MxMo Rum Wrap-up | Trader Tiki's Booze Blog says:

    May 12th, 2008at 11:08 pm(#)

    [...] from Sloshed! pops open a new bottle of Ginger Beer for the classic highball and perfect anytime drink, the Dark and Stormy. Perhaps not a surprising [...]

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