The Product: Three Olives Root Beer
The Premise: Vodka and root beer—the kids (?) are sure to love it! A perfect choice for the Fourth of July: vodka imported from England meets a sweet beverage invented in Philadelphia. The pursuit of happiness, yes!
The Tasters and their Qualifications: Reilly, Tom, Jerad, Jan, Brian—total of 52 years of legal drinking.
The Packaging: In a realm where product design reigns supreme (vodka is, after all, by definition flavorless, colorless and odorless, Three Olives might have the very worst logo of all. And the use of typography gives us a premature hangover. That being said, we kind of like the way the root beer mugs on the back of the bottle show through the vodka and the bottle front—the kids are sure to love it!
Tasters rated the following on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being “I wouldn’t take it if it was free” and 10 being “I’m heading to the liquor store right now to get my own!”
The Nose: 8.6, smells like root-beer-barrel candy
The Taste: 5, somewhat bitter, a bit of root beer
The Recipe (wherein we mix up a drink from the company’s Web site):
Brotherly Love: 2 oz. Three Olives Root Beer Vodka, 4 oz. lemon-lime soda. Mix in a glass filled with ice and garnish with a lime wedge. (We substituted a lemon wedge.)
5.2 The Sprite flavor overwhelms the root beer.
The Overall Verdict: The consensus of our expert panel (remember, 52 years of cumulative cocktailing!) seems to be, “nothing special.” Not harmless, but little more than a novelty. True to its medium, its popularity increases as the quantity consumed is increased. (One panelist wrote, “it’s magical!”)