Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Trader Joe's Peppermint Hot Chocolate

Well, with Thanksgiving behind us, the beginning of the holiday season is here. To start that warm fuzzy feeling you get inside of you, I've got a cup of hot chocolate. I should also note that this is also my first Trader Joe's product review. I'll be adding some of their house brand's lineup of drinks because they just opened a new store in Portland, ME, and they've gotten quite a bit of attention. So before you try to make it through their extensive lines to the cashier, I'll let you know if it's worth it.

You don't have to get your nose very close to notice the peppermint. This peppermint is also peppermint. The light foam on the surface doesn't last long, but the little bits of chocolate in the mix don't melt completely. On the tongue the chocolate take the front seat from the peppermint, but it's certainly still there. As for the body of the drink, that's up to you, and who doesn't want it thick and creamy? So I'd recommend using the milk instead of boiling water, and don't be scarce with the powder.

For a powder based hot chocolate, this will be my choice for the cupboard. Not a bad start for Trader Joe's. B (good)

P.S. What everyone's talking about around town is the "two-buck-chuck" wines. I'll get to that soon.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Maine Mead Works HoneyMaker Apple Cyser

Portland, ME is well known for it's breweries with beers getting national attention. Maine Mead Works is expanding Portland's drink spectrum. With a brand new location on the east end, being available at many more places, and more flavors since their start in 2007, there has to be a reason behind their success. Tonight I have a glass of their newest mead, Apple Cyser.

The fact that this has apple in the title and is a mead it should be quite obvious that honey and apple are the prime factors. They are but they work together so well. The body of this mead is lighter than others and not 'sticky' sweet so the crisp and light tang of apple compliment it great. When chilled the apple is more apparent and the honey comes out more when warmer. In either temperature you get a tart finish from the apple, but still the sweet in your mouth.

Quite the balance. I'm not hesitating to give this an A (excellent) and it won't be uncommon for me to keep a bottle of this in my stash. Maine Mead Works has many other choices as well and a quick visit to taste what they have will let you know which one would be your best investment. Portland is more than a beer town now.