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Did you know that the taxes on spirits are significantly higher than the taxes on beer and wine? What’s up with that? Due to the alcohol content, spirits tend to be taxed more, and for some states its a whopping five times the amount of its alcohol counterparts. Washington as you can see below is the most heavily taxed at $31.48 per gallon, YIKES! Meanwhile the lowest state tax goes to Wyoming and New Hampshire who use a state run system that offers low pricing and almost no tax. Where does your state fall? Would this influence where you move in the future? Check out the map below!
I would be lying if I said I was a regular saké consumer. I’ve probably had some a handful of times, usually when out with friends eating sushi or enjoying some hibachi and even then I’ll usually opt for a nice Japanese whiskey first. So when the premium saké brewer, SakéOne, reached out to us to sample some of the premium infused craft saké’s they offer we leaped at the chance. All in all we received about six different samples and our first was one of the newest. Moonstone Cucumber Mint is the latest release from the brewer, joining previously released flavors of Asian Pear, Coconut Lemongrass (YUM!), and Plum. If you’re new to saké, it’s ok, so were we only a few years back. For many, saké is a big mystery. It isn’t a beer, a wine, or a distilled spirit. It’s simply saké. You can watch this video to check out how saké is made and get a bit more familiar with it first if you like! But let’s get into the review…
First Impression: Moonstone comes in a slick blue cobalt bottle that if you weren’t paying attention you might confuse for a bottle of wine. They recently went under some re-branding and although I didn’t see the previous looks I can say this one is catchy. When you first crack open the bottle it’s very soft and subtle on the nose. There is almost a light champagne aroma if you’re really trying to find something to compare it to. There’s the slightest bit of cucumber but the mint isn’t really noticeable.
Tasting: A spirit made from rice has a distinct complexity. We notice it in Horchata (Spanish spirit made with rice), we notice it in Baijiu (Chinese spirit made from rice) and it’s also noticeable in saké. It’s a bit like a slightly dry white wine but it’s very smooth and nothing overpowering. Much like in the initial aroma we got, we taste the cucumber, it’s very crisp and mixes in well with the base spirit but the mint while almost non-existent in smell is here VERY subtly. I would almost wonder if any more of a mint presence would through off the overall flavor they were going for because it’s very refreshing and very smooth from start to finish but the mint isn’t the dominating taste here like it can be in any vodka or even whiskey cocktails and infusions. I like the taste of mint, but in this one it takes a backseat and I’m a fan.
Price: $12.99 [750/ml]
Final Word: The presentation is solid, the cucumber and mint combination is balanced well between flavor and crispness and it has 12% alcohol, whats not to love? Oh and did we mention it’s sulfite free, vegan friendly, and kosher? This is made for pretty much everyone except children, pregnant women, recovering alcoholics. I can’t say I’ve had a large variety of saké but I can say if you’re new to the category it’s probably a great entry into saké.
Disclaimer: Sample bottle of Moonstone Cucumber Mint Sake was provided courtesy of the brand. For more information including where you can try or buy it visit their website at www.sakeone.com
We’ve all been there. You’re out with your friends enjoying life, adulting, throwing back a few drinks when all of a sudden it’s the next morning and you feel like $%&@!. How did this happen? Did you drink too much? Did you mix the wrong types of spirits? Did you forget to eat before hand? Hangovers SUCK, I think we can all agree to that right? A simple good search tells me I’m not alone because EVERYONE has some sort of article out there about how to prevent one or how to cure one. Here’s 13 legit ways to stop a hangover, and here are 18 expert tested ways to prevent a hangover as well. There are tons of suggestions out there, but in the last decade there have been several companies working on a solution that makes it a little easier for the social drinkers of the world to go out, have fun, and not regret it later. One of those companies is DrinkAde, and a few weeks back they sent us some samples of their product to let us try so we could know if it was the real deal or not. This past weekend the Mrs. and I attended a good friends wedding shower so it was the perfect chance to give DrinkAde a try.
So what exactly is DrinkAde? DrinkAde came from the mind of Parrish Whitaker, who originally began tinkering with nutrient rich antioxidant formulas to help an ailing family member battling Lupus. In his experiments, he realized his formula was quite effective in restoring nutrients and attacking dehydration. Originally called “Never Too Hungover”, the brand got some investment backing in 2013 that increased their distribution and in 2018 it was officially rebranded as DrinkAde. DrinkAde products are composed of a proprietary natural vitamin blend, amino acids, nutrients, and minerals. It is sugar-free, gluten-free, and low-calorie (5 calories per serving). Key ingredients include Vitamin B, Potassium, Electrolytes, Milk Thistle, Green Tea Extract, Aloe Vera, and Gotu Kola. Currently there are two different products they offer, DrinkAde Prevention and DrinkAde Boost. Prevention is a vitamin blend that helps support the body in neutralizing toxins, restoring vital nutrients, and rehydrating the body. Boost is the same formula as Prevention, but it also has 189mg of natural caffeine (about two cups of coffee) and extra B-12. We tried both last weekend and here’s what we thought:
Taste: Before we mention the taste, we always give products the smell test. When you crack either the Boost or the Prevention open, there’s a pleasant citrus aroma that hits the nose but you’ll also get a kind of “medicinal” aroma as well. This makes sense given the vitamins but just be prepared for that. First we tried the Boost which is a berry flavor and is designed to be consumed either before, while, or a day after celebrating. The berry flavor is pretty crisp and does have a bit of a medicinal after taste but that’s all its ingredients working their magic to keep you upright. Prevention is a limeade flavor, probably my favorite of the two, it works well with the ingredients to give you a pretty good tasting supplement. This one is designed to be taken before or while celebrating. Prevention reminds me of a zero calorie vitamin water or even a zero calorie Powerade with its lemon-lime like taste mixed with the taste of supplements and sweetener. All in all both taste good enough so that you won’t have to chug it and hope to get it over with fast.
Price: A six-pack of either formula (the minis) will run you $24.99. You can also purchase DrinkAde in a 12 pack ($47.99), 24 pack ($99.99), two 750 ML bottles ($39.99), or a party pack of 96 minis ($287.99). The six-pack breaks down to roughly $4 a bottle, pretty similarly priced to your 5-hour energy shots you’ll find at the convenience store.
Results: It’s not rocket science, well maybe it is. Does DrinkAde work? We went through a lot of complimentary gin & tonics, and then countered those with several whiskey & gingers. This is usually Lori’s limit so she shut it down but I kept the party going with a few more whiskies. Keep in mind, we had light snacks prior to drinking because we’re not crazy, but no full meals and no other preventative actions to help us through the night. Sunday morning was a breeze with no lingering issues usually associated with drinking too much. So I would say yes, it works and it works well.
Final Thoughts: This isn’t our first rodeo. We know all the things you SHOULD do before during and after drinking, but that’s common sense and let’s be honest, not everyone has common sense. So we tried DrinkAde while purposely NOT doing the things you should t0 prevent a hangover. We’ve tried other hangover prevention products on the market and we’ve had a fair amount of success in using them but none we’ve had really nailed the right combination of purpose AND taste. DrinkAde seems to have figured it out. It’s light, it’s refreshing, it’s not loaded with sugar, and it works. Overall I’d say DrinkAde boost and prevention are the perfect pairing for your next night out.
Disclaimer: DrinkAde samples were provided courtesy of the brand. For more information on DrinkAde including where to purchase it, visit their website at www.Drinkade.com or check them out on Facebook & Instagram.
So a few weeks back we were contacted by the BeatBox Beverages brand and asked to try their product. I thought it sounded familiar but couldn’t quite put my finger on it, and then it hit me. I saw BeatBox on Shark Tank a few years ago! The creators ultimately walked away with one of the biggest deals in Shark Tank history teaming up with Mark Cuban. Anyone that knows me knows I’m a Shark Tank fanatic and a true entrepreneur at heart so when I had the chance to try BeatBox I was pretty excited. Now to be fair, I haven’t always been the biggest fan of pre-made drinks or “ready to drink” cocktails but I was curious to see what the buzz around BeatBox beverages was. For those unfamiliar, BeatBox is a premium wine-cocktail brand based out of Austin, Texas that’s perfect for parties and brings a little more fun to the drinking experience with fruity flavors, high alcohol content, low calories and some pretty dope packaging.
How it Looks: Probably one of the coolest packaging I’ve seen over the years, Beatbox comes in two main sizes: The party package is a cardboard “beatbox” look alike and contains about twenty 5 oz servings. It’s got a simple bag-in-a-box system much like the wine in a bag system you’ve seen at your grocery and package stores. It’s pretty easy to open so you don’t waste time getting the party started. The single-serve packaging more closely resembles a muscle milk container and while it isn’t as cool as the beatbox shaped party pack, it’s still pretty convenient and sticks out on the shelf. Either way, two thumbs up from us for both packages. Also a big win, on both packages they let you know the number of servings inside, the alcohol content and even the calorie content (130 calories per 5oz serving). That’s pretty rare in the alcohol biz.
How it Smells: All three samples we received smelled pretty fruity and had very limited traces of alcohol. That can be a good or bad thing depending on how you look at it. If it tastes how it smells this will probably creep up on you.
How it Tastes: So we had the pleasure of sampling all three flavors they sent us over the weekend and I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’ve had some really rough experiences in the past with pre-made drinks but all three flavors we received were pretty tasty. The Fruit punch was probably my least favorite as it had a bit of an aftertaste that reminded me of sports drinks that contain too much protein powder. The pink lemonade was by far the tastiest of the three and went down a little too easy if you know what I mean. We also had blue raspberry which was pretty damn good as well. I was surprised to be able to taste the flavors so clearly with so much alcohol. We’ve seen issues in the past with brands trying to ride that fine line between taste and strength and it doesn’t usually go well. Many of the high alcohol malt beverages you’ll find at the liquor store suffer from this problem and it seems BeatBox has figured it out.
Final Word: This is a wine based drink but if you’re a wine snob or even a casual wine drinker this likely isn’t for you. This is fun, refreshing, convenient and really appeals to the younger crowd looking for some easy drinking. This is for the partygoers, for your next trip to the beach, or with football season kicking off this is perfect for tailgating. The alcohol content is strong, don’t let it sneak up on you, but even with 11.1 % you can still taste the flavor unlike some similar products on the market. Think of this as a smoother and tastier version of a Four Loko. If you’re looking for something new and fun to try the next time you’re planning a party, I’d highly recommend giving these a try.
For more information on BeatBox Beverages including where to find them, visit them at www.BeatBoxBeverages.com or check them out on Facebook. Samples were provided courtesy of the brand.