"Mixologists" at Polar Beverages have created a limited-edition collection of premium seltzers with flavors inspired by the summer season. Each of five "destination flavors" come with a passport-like stamp across the label that references the port of origin.
Miami is paid homage to via Mint Mojito, a mix of muddled mint and lime. The other four varieties are Orange Mango (Brazil), Pineapple Passionfruit (Hawaii), Piña Colada (Puerto Rico, where the cocktail was invented), and Ginger Lemonade (Jamaica).
"We decided to challenge ourselves this season and surprise the consumer with this delightful assortment of limited-edition flavors," explains Polar CEO/president Ralph Crowley. Ralph's great-grandfather, Dennis Crowley, created the selzter company more than a century ago.
The Polar people sent me samples of Mint Mojito and Ginger Lemonade. Apparently the person who packed the pair of liter-size plastic bottles forgot to incude the bottle of rum that surely belongs with the Mint Mojito. So I supplied my own. Here's what I think:
The Ginger Lemonade packs a potent ginger bite cut with the tartness of lemon. I found it to be too gingery to satisfy as a ginger ale, and because there's no sugar (which is good), the balancing taste was that of lemon -- which is different from "lemonade" flavor. Those who enjoy strong ginger flavoring will likely take to this beverage. Still, I'm pretty sure it would be vastly improved with some vodka.
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Polar isn't pushing the "mixer" potential for these sodas. In fact, the company doesn't even mention it in the marketing -- which is strange considering that Polar produces its own line of mixers. But take a gander at the flavors offered and you can see the potential for use as a base for nonsweet cocktails.
This might be especially true for the Mint Mojito, although the distinctive taste -- that of fresh mint soda water -- is quite scintillating on its own (ideal for a muggy afternoon). Delicious, really. It's good with some rum too, but there are other nonbooze additions one can turn to -- steeping slices of cucumber in the soda would be great, as would combining the mint flavor with real lemonade.
There are many more ways to try these fizzy drinks, but you'd better hurry -- the reason these flavors are called "limited edition" is that they're available only through the end of this month. A liter bottle retails for 99 cents.