Alka-Seltzer: it’s not for babies who can’t eat Mexican food! Not anymore! Take all the allure and sophistication of being a retiree and combine it with fun, kid-friendly flavors and a freaking wizard. Boom. Fizzies. While I haven’t seen a Formula 1 wheelchair yet or a denture-shaped gummy treat, I can tell you that Fizzies have been a nostalgic and omnipresent part of my life for the last few years. My mom grew up drinking Fizzies and the yout’ of today saw a resurgence in their cool factor with the short-lived Kool-Aid Fun Fizz product of yesteryear, but now we have a new breed to bring back the effervescent game. Fizzies have come out with two limited edition flavors for fall and winter to warm your MS Painted heart and soul. I love wintry drinks. Personally, I’m of the ilk that believes that America is spending too much of our GNP on summer beverage releases with tired flavors like Longboarding Lime and Orange You Glad I Didn’t Say Bikini. I haven’t seen a beverage attempt to riff on the subject of “butt-freezing New England winters” since the short-lived Pepsi Holiday Spice, which tasted like mouthwash mated with suicide.
Learning that Fizzies came out with a tablet to mimic hot cider and hot cocoa set my loins aflame and my nose adrippin’ with the thought of curling my hands around a nice, hot mug of carbonated retro charm. With a little help from my friends at Amerilab, samples were obtained and I waited for my first cold evening to try these out. Fizzies, as I’ve explained before, are pretty easy to make. They’re as instant as instant gets without making a chocolate-flavored Capri Sun and take about thirty seconds to activate in hot water or milk.
I was instantly skeptical about both of these due to their resemblance of homemade, bathtub brewed hops. The darker of the two, the hot cocoa, was exactly what I’d feared it would be after dropping a fat-free, chocolate tablet into a mug of warm milk. All the fizz had risen to the top of the glass, like the foamy head of a Guinness without the drunken payoff. The flavor wasn’t at all like hot chocolate. It was thin and bitter, with a flavor primarily tasting like an unsweetened square of baking chocolate. It felt chalky in my mouth and had a strange additional flavor from the fizziness that I couldn’t put my finger on. The hot cider fared much better as a hot drink, but just barely. The absence of sugar gave it a dirt-like, sour tang.It had all the spices and sweet, earthy flavor of cider, but tasted more like teas that attempt to create an herbal replication of a delicious treat without any additional sugars. They come somewhat close, as close as herbs and spices can get, but inevitably miss due to their just not being as good as a sugar cookie, slice of red velvet cake, or in this case, mug of warm, apple cider.
I don’t think these limited flavors hit the spot for me, but with a website that classifies cocktails for kids and adults underneath the heading of “fizzy fun,” with drinks spelled in the same fashion as The Snake Hole, you can bet I’ll be kicking back this summer with a CherCran Blozzom. I mean, holy cow, that Fizzie Pink Gummies drink looks like something straight out of a Thomas Keller interpretation on Lolita. Too bad their wintry inceptions weren’t so tempting. For now, I’ll satisfy my chilly urges by dreaming of a Lapsang souchong Pepsi Christmas.