Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Beverage Review

Yes, it's come to this. I have so little inspiration in my brain that I'm now posting reviews about beverages I have recently tasted.

How does it come to this? What is the basis of this lack of subject matter? Hmmmmm, let's see. This is post number 892 on this blog. You read that right. My photoblog has 757 posts and there have been some minor sub-blogs that I never really had the energy for. Let's say that was another 25 posts or so.

Let's do the math. Gosh, you know how I love to do the math.

892 + 757 + 25 = 1,674 posts!!!

That's why I can think of what else to say. I could start repeating myself, that comes naturally lately.

Anyway, I thought I'd share some thoughts about some beverages I've had in the last month or so. And no, no one is paying me to review anything. YET. I'm waiting patiently though.



It looks pretty, doesn't it? I was out running errands one day and suddenly had the urge for a strawberry shake. It hit me like a lightning bolt from the blue. A McDonald's was nearby and I pulled in the drive through lane. I cannot remember whether this is a small, medium or large. I can just tell you that it was TOO MUCH, whatever size it was.

I did see bits of strawberry suspended in the mix but it was very sweet and my thought was that they used some kind of strawberry syrup, or frozen strawberries heavily laden with sugar syrup that had been blended. I have no idea what that white stuff is swirled in the mix. Perhaps it's regular vanilla shake that's been blended with the strawberry stuff. It was sweet and a bit odd tasting.

It was very apparent to me about 1/4 of the way through this shake that I would not be able to finish it. In fact, I started to turn a little green at the thought.

This is NOT the strawberry shake of my dreams.


I've rarely met a martini that I didn't love, except for a dirty martini that was so salty I almost gagged. My favorite was a martini that included Hypnotiq. It was a diaphanous blue drink that was wonderful.

Oh, back to the Gingerbread Cookie Martini. The Farmer took me to our favorite hangout, the Outback restaurant in South Elgin. I ordered my normal Tanqueray and tonic but was fascinated by the photo of the Gingerbread Cookie Martini. It had crumbled cookies on the rim of the glass and was topped with a gingerbread cookie. The drink includes vodka, Baileys, Kahlua, Monin gingerbread syrup and cream. I am not a huge gingerbread fan so I definitely didn't want to order one to find that I couldn't finish it. Luckily, my friend ordered one and I got to taste hers.

It was good. It had a slight aftertaste, probably the gingerbread syrup. It made me think that the syrup was chemically flavored, but maybe I'm wrong. It would make a good shooter or shot but an entire martini glass of this stuff would be TOO MUCH.

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I'm probably the only person on the planet that does not like Starbucks, maybe not. Their coffee tastes burnt, bitter and besides I don't like to learn a new language just to order a cup of coffee.

My sister is a Chai lover and one day I was along for the ride when she stopped in a Starbucks for her daily tea run. She insisted that I order the Pumpkin Latte.

Oh. Good. Gosh.

It was fantastic and I would walk over broken glass for a Starbuck's Pumpkin Latte.

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Anybody who has spent any time in the Chicagoland area will know the name Portillo's. It's a fast food restaurant that serves Italian beef, sausage, salads and such.

Their signature drink is called the Chocolate Cake Shake. If I was having a rough day at the newspaper I'd go order a chocolate cake shake and bury my sorrows in it's goodness. It's crazy rich but wonderful.

They take a chocolate shake and throw a whole slice of their famous chocolate cake into the mixer, whirl it all up and BAM... you've got a sweet dream. It's rich, so you might want to share it with someone. YUM.

This is another walk-across-broken-glass beverage.

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It sounded like a delicious treat for the holiday season. On my way out to run errands I ordered a peppermint hot chocolate from McDonald's and being very cautious after the strawberry shake incident, I ordered the smallest size.

It's a good thing because I wasn't wild about it. That's unusual because I absolutely love hot chocolate. As with some of the other drinks this had an odd aftertaste. The peppermint flavot just tasted strange. Perhaps it would have been better if it was just mint and not peppermint, a hot chocolate version of a Ande's mint. Yeah, that would be good.

Regardless, I slogged through the steaming cup and decided one was enough. It's not something that I'd order again and I certainly wouldn't walk across even rose petals for this drink.

That's my beverage review!

How about you? Do you have any favorite beverages? Have you tried any of the ones I've mentioned?


chocolatechic said...

What I want to know is why you are charged the same price for shakes, but they are now putting them in the smaller plastic cups.

Belle said...

I love the Pumpkin Latte from Starbucks. I guess my favorite drink is their Carmel Frappachino. Everything is so expensive there, I don't go too often.
I love the French Vanilla coffee from Tim Hortons. My favorite martini is Apple Caramel.

Hey, for running out of ideas, this was a great post.

Anonymous said...

I am not a coffee fan so I can't comment on that. But I do know that I no longer care for any shake or the hot chocolate from McDonalds, they have changed something. I still like the iced tea at our local McDonald's, as long as it is fresh!
I did have a grape drink at Mitchel's Fish Market that was good, can't remember the name.
thanks for the review.

Vee said...

I like the blue stuff that I won't even begin to spell...I want to try the Hot Chocolate Supreme from Tim Horton's and the pumpkin latte from Starbucks is now officially on my list because you and Brenda of Coffee Tea Books and Me have raved about it.

Lisa D. said...

You are not the only one that doesn't like Starbucks coffee. My mom, who is addicted to her coffee, doesn't like Starbucks. I was not that impressed either. I have a friend who loves the Pumpkin Latte as much as you did, though.
I agree with you on the McDonald's strawberry shake. They very clearly do not use real strawberries, and there is just nothing worse than that fake, chemical tasting strawberry flavour when you're craving real strawberry. I think the strawberry shake is probably the clearest test of whether a place is making "real" milkshakes or not. Sounds like Portillo's is making the real thing.
My favourite "shake" is the one I have every morning. I use my Magic Bullet (the same Magic Bullet that I made fun of until I was given one as a gift, and now I use it every day). It's about 5 or six frozen strawberries, about a 1/4 c. strawberry yogourt, 2 Tbsp. flax seed, 3 Tbsp. wheat germ, then fill the cup with soy milk. It's a smoothie that's on the chewy side with all the flax and wheat germ, but I like it. I don't want a heavy breakfast and this fills me up nicely and increases my fibre intake. I also like a Pina Colada smoothie, with 1/2 a banana, a bit of rum flavouring, flax again, and coconut milk.

Thirkellgirl said...

I live for eggnog latte season at Starbucks. :) And I love Long Island Iced Tea, but I never get it. Happy Thanksgiving!

Kat said...

It's nine below zero F here this morning. My favorite drink is the latte in my hands right now....
I have an espresso maker that I love all year long, but especially on these colder winter mornings.

Mary said...

Thanks for the review. I am glad you liked the pumpkin spice latte, as I have informed the hubby that we are stopping for one on our way to PA on Friday. (Have to spend some time with the new grandbaby, you know)

DON'T try the eggnog shake at McDOnalds. I had one last night and it was awful, fake tasting and overpowering rum flavor.

Have a happy THanksgiving, my friend.

Steph said...

There's a new drink at Sonic, it's called Sugar Cookie Blast. Lance got it the other night and I tried a little. It's okay, but very very nutmeggy!

And I tried this new coffee drink from McDonalds. Completely forgot the name of it, but it's on big signs in the drive thru. Some kind of caramel mocha java something. I normally hate coffee, but that was really good!

QuiltNCards said...

Acai Mango tea from Celestial Seasonings!!! Even though I'm diabetic I can have one whenever, since there are no calories and it is sweetened with Stevia. Yummy. Get this tea - it's like dessert! (It's at your grocery so you don't have to pay the exorbitant prices for it either. 20 bags for around $3.50)

MelissaD said...

Not a fan of StarYucks either - they roast their coffee too long. I was told by a friend who has a coffee roasting business that they do it on purpose to counteract all the chocolate and goo people want in their drinks - otherwise they wouldn't taste the coffee.
So - I like Peets coffee - I grind up fresh MochaJava beans every morning yum :)
I will drink a chai tea latte from either place though when it starts to get cold outside!
Thanks for all the reviews - though I guess I won't order any of those foo-foo drinks at McD's!

lifeinredshoes said...

Well now, I know what NOT to order:)
Happy Turkey Day!

Becky K. said...

Starbucks Chocolate Mint Frappuccino!


Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Anonymous said...

What's the difference between just mint and peppermint? Spearmint? I think of spearmint for one of my favorite drinks, a mojito. I think of peppermint for candy canes. And speaking of candy canes I hope you have Chick-fil-a near you because their (available only at Christmas) Peppermint Chocolate Chip milkshake is truly wonderful. I am trying very hard to limit myself to one a week during this holiday season. I do love mint.

Marilyn from Norfolk

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