Friday, April 24, 2015

Cicero Beverage Co.: Chocolate Hazelnut Soda

I don't really drink soda but I think chocolate soda is the coolest thing.

Because if I think about it, when I do drink soda, I like it to taste sweet in a vintage sort of way and also have an interesting flavor I can think about that will help me get over the unappetizing carbonation (sorry to be so soda snobby, but if you don't drink carbonated drinks for a while, those bubbles really do make you draw back). Root Beer and Cream Soda are the standard flavors that do this for me, or I'll try some of the vintage style sodas from World Market. And chocolate soda meets the criteria, too, though I've only had it once (apart from the rather disgusting Hot Cocoa soda from Fizzies); it was from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory (World Market usually sells those, too, though).

And when it comes to flavors in chocolate, hazelnut is one of my favorites. It has that creamy nuttiness that makes chocolate feel and taste so smooth; I love it. So when I came across a Chocolate Hazelnut Soda from Cicero Beverage Co. (at World Market, yes), I decided that it would either be disgusting or very, very enticing.

You see, the problem with chocolate soda (as with many chocolate products) is that the chocolate element is usually artificial. I guess it's hard to get real chocolate into soda? For whatever reason, it's usually artificial and so it also tastes artificial. The ingredients list on this particular soda lists, sneakily, "natural & artificial flavor." They're trying to hide which elements are artificial, as though they think they can trick me. But I see through the disguise. I taste artificial chocolate. Who knows, maybe I'm not an expert and there is also some real chocolate in there, but my guess would be that there is either none or very little. So. There is that.

And I'm glad we got it out of the way because, artificial flavors aside, I really like this soda. It tastes like caramel and vanilla and cane sugar, with a swirl of chocolate and an edge of nuttiness. It's like all the flavors of a bowl of vanilla ice cream with hot fudge, caramel, and hazelnuts mixed in; except instead of having all those different textures and temperatures, you get it all in one beverage--just with that pesky carbonation.

This is why I've been known to take three days to finish one soda, if I finish it at all. I'm so weird. Even this one, which I say I like, I'm sipping so slowly that you can barely tell anything is missing from the deep brown bottle.

I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that I like it. Though I don't remember hearing of Cicero Beverage Co. before, their labeling looks fairly polished. The single sticker label mimics a piece of worn paper, with an image of chocolate syrup pouring out into a city (I suppose Chicago since that's where the company is based out of). Vintage feel, urban feel, a tad of quirkiness. Yeah, that's about what this soda tastes like.

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