The Tasting Panel magazine

May 2012

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Page 38 of 132

ALTERNATIVE BEVERAGES AND MORE BIRDS ARE ATWITTER, FLOWERS ARE BLOOMING, AND I CAN'T STOP SNEEZING: HERE ARE FOUR PRODUCTS THAT, WHILE LACKING THE SAINTLY POWER OF ANTIHISTAMINES, WILL MAKE THIS A Sweet, Sweet Spring by Rachel Burkons Cream Can-Do Innovations in the beverage industry have led to a constant creation of new spirits categories, and let's be real: Some are better than others. Bursting into the drink-as-dessert/whipped cream category is Cream, a sweet-treat alcohol- infused whipped cream that's shelf-stable at room temperature, making it as easy as shake, spray, savor. With a lineup of flavors to top all sorts of desserts and cocktails (I cannot stop daydreaming of a Raspberry Cream–topped Daiquiri), Cream's latest flavor, Peppermint, is practically perfect in every way: Drop a dollop on your Irish Coffee nightcap and thank me later. Sweet, Surprisingly Skinny Simplicity With a freshly tart limeade taste, Margarita Sensations Original Margarita Mix is a bright addition to the overly-saccharine Marg-mix market, and with only 100 calories per serving, offers a fresh alternative to other skinny mixers that punch you in the taste buds with fake-sugar flavor. Made from fresh lime and lemon juice, filtered water, natural sugar and a touch of agave nectar, Margarita Sensations is an alternative so palatable that you can actually drink it straight from the bottle — although it really makes a killer Margarita, (or is a suitable swapper for any recipe calling for a classic sweet- and-sour), so pick your poison and pour away! If Tea Could Hug You With her warm smile and seemly-outstretched arms pulling you closer, the Sweet Leaf Tea Grandma, inspired by the creators' own grand- mother, is an emblem of comfort and old-timey goodness. The stuff inside ain't bad either: With a lineup of flavored iced teas in both diet and 38 / the tasting panel / may 2012 regular versions, Sweet Leaf offers a flavor for every fête. Although I've got nothing against a quiet afternoon on a porch sipping iced tea (I envision myself somewhat of a Southern belle on occasion), I think Grandma and I could kick this party up a notch by adding splash of sweet tea vodka to the Diet Sweet Tea offering for a special tea-treat. Snack on This Summer is still far enough away for us to indulge just a bit before the panic of "swimsuit season," so live a little, won't you? For a snacktastic treat, Sweet Mary's Sweets Mix is a perfect sweet/salty combo with pretzels, cereals, candies and chocolate com- ing together to bring joy to taste buds around the world. The brand also offers gorgeous goodies like superfancy caramel apples and various gourmet popcorns, making these treats a surefire way to say, "I love you enough to inhale chocolate in front of you." It's Not Hard Being Lite Classic party-in-a-bottle product Mike's Hard Lemonade has done it again, but this time, the fun-loving brand packs a punch that's high in flavor and lower in calories with Mike's Lite Hard Lemonade. Available in classic and hard cranberry lemonade expressions, these easy-drinking sparklers are crisp, refreshing, made with all-natural flavors and sweeteners and blissfully skinny, with just 119 pesky calories per bottle. Fun and waistline-friendly? You make it look so easy, Mike.

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