Monday, January 29, 2007

Yes, we really went there: Pop Rocks Vodka

This week's experiment is a little more experimental than most. A few weeks ago, the Mad Scienticians were shopping for groceries and happened upon a display of Pop Rocks. Wayland suggested that we use this in an infusion at some point. I assumed he was joking at first, and laughed it off, but the thought lingered.

A couple weeks later, when The Ferrett reviewed our site, he mentioned that he was looking forward to some more unusual infusions than we've been doing; Pop Rocks was one of his off-the-cuff ideas. The serendipity was too much for us to ignore, and we decided to attempt this experiment as soon as possible.

"Let the puppies fall where they may!"
   - Motto of the Spruse Goose

We started off with two packets of strawberry-flavored Pop Rocks. Each packet is one-third of an ounce.

As we poured the filtered vodka over the Pop Rocks, it began to crackle and pop, but no fizz. We were hoping for some bubbling action, but the effects were audio-only.

Here, Wayland channels the Face of Boe:

This was our fastest infusion ever, clocking in at a cool twelve minutes. (Of course we are aware that this is not an actual infusion, per se, but rather a solution. We are trained scienticians, after all.)

Once the Pop Rocks were fully dissolved, Wayland tried the first shot.

The flavor was very light, and the vodka still kicked like the unflavored baseline.

Brendan tried the next shot:

We agreed that the vodka did not have enough flavor, and decided to add a third packet of Pop Rocks.

Oddly enough, this single packet took longer to dissolve than the first two combined, about sixteen minutes. We tasted another round.

The flavor of Pop Rocks was much more pronounced. Despite the distinct overtones of artificial sweetening, I decided it wasn't bad. The flavor still was not sufficient to cover the kick, however.

As Wayland sampled the second iteration, he was struck with a feeling of déjà vu. He realized that, to him, it tasted much like Cisco, a cheap fortified wine which was his standby in his college days. (Personally, I can see where he's coming from, but I wouldn't make the comparison; Cisco is notoriously nasty stuff.)

Once tested and bottled, we had to come up with a drink to use it in. When we were planning this experiment, we were somewhat confounded about what we would do at this point. Eventually, though, I realized that if we were going to go this route, we had to go all the way.

The Mikey-Killer

Over ice, pour:
2 oz. Mad Scientician™ Pop Rocks vodka
6 oz. Coca-Cola

Of course we are all familiar with the tragic story of Little Mikey, who gained celebrity through his promotions of Life cereal, only to burn out like so many celebrities before him and die of an overdose of Pop Rocks and Coke. The relevant chemical equation is as follows:

Great, now I've got a Cake song stuck in my head.

Of course, the Pop Rocks released their CO2 when dissolved in the vodka, so we should be safe. Whew!

The drink was surprisingly good, giving the cola just a hint of strawberry flavor.

Brendan's score: 3.5 flasks out of 5
Wayland's score: 3.5 flasks out of 5
Overall score:

This wasn't enough, however. Since the Pop Rocks were strawberry flavored, and we just completed an infusion with real strawberries last week, we decided to try the same drink with strawberry vodka, for control purposes.

Mikey's Reprieve

Over ice, pour:
2 oz. Mad Scientician™ strawberry vodka
6 oz. Coca-Cola

Not surprisingly, this drink tasted similar to the Mikey-Killer, but with a bolder and more genuine strawberry taste. Yum!

Brendan's score: 4 flasks out of 5
Wayland's score: 4 flasks out of 5
Overall score:


Will A. Carpenter said...

Cisco is one of the (formerly known as) Canadaigua Wine Co wines (now known as Constelation Brands) And it's made...maybe half a mile from my house.

You'll also recall such Canandaigua Greats as Wile Irish Rose (if you've seen an NYC bum with a bottle in a brown paper bag...passed out and pissing himself...that's probably what he's drinking)

and "I like to pretend I'm upper class" Arbor Mist.

Brendan said...

I imagine the odor wafting through your neighborhood must make life unpleasant. You might want to look into some more favorable living arrangements, like downwind of a hog farm.

Briana the Magnifi-can't said...

You should really put carrots into the vodka! Yum!

Anonymous said...

liquorice flavoured vodka?
could be oh so bad... but oh so good. :)

Brendan said...

If licorice vodka is wrong, I don't want to be right.

On second thought, maybe I do.

Anonymous said...

licorice vodka sound good. DO IT!

Anonymous said...

my daughter just handed me four small packets called "pop shots". They are packaged by Three Olives vodka and are very small packages of pop rocks. I have no idea what you're supposed to do with them but I'm guessing you're supposed to put them in a shot. I tried and got the same results as you did.