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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Trader Joe's Spiced Cranberry Cider

As a young boy, my parents would regularly take me to visit my grandparents and various elderly friends of the family. During these visits I noted that older folks, for some reason, were quite fond of putting out candy, often unwrapped, in little dishes on endtables and coffee tables throughout their homes. That didn't bother me one bit. A source of free, quickly-replenished, easy-access candy was the stuff that my young dreams were made of. Before my parents could call me off, I would easily down a third of the dish. Then, inevitably, they'd yell something about spoiling my dinner, and I'd stomp off reluctantly with bits of chocolate smeared on my face and shirt.

One of the types of confections I'd frequently discover in such a candy dish were multi-colored, fruit-flavored gumdrops. I loved trying each flavor to see which was the best, and then I'd attempt to eat every gumdrop of that flavor in the entire dish. Or, I'd take one yellow gumdrop and one green gumdrop and try to create my own flavor combination: lemon-lime. In short, I loved gumdrops.

However, I can distinctly recall on one occasion stuffing my face with what I assumed were sweet, delicious gumdrops, only to be shocked by a biting, unpleasant flavor. I grimaced and choked back my gag reflex. The aged owner of the candy dish, taking note of my sufferings, said, "Aw! You don't like the spice drops, hmm?"

I thought to myself, "What on earth are spice drops?" For a moment, I thought I had eaten something that was intended for decorative or aromatic purposes only. Had I inadvertently eaten some bizarre form of potpourri?

Drinking this cider was a similarly disappointing experience. Maybe I should have taken the word "spiced" in the title as a warning sign. But I thought they meant they put a dash of cinnamon in it or something...

Typical spice drop flavors include: cardamom, clove, allspice, pimeneta, spearmint, anise, and licorice. This drink tastes like a base of cranberry juice with each and every one of those spices dumped in it. It's like drinking a glass of liquid potpourri. We finished the bottle, but it took some effort. Honestly, I'd rather down a bottle of Nyquil than drink this stuff again. Not a fan.

Sonia gives it a 2. I give it a 1. Bottom line: 3 out of 10.

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