I’ve already reviewed Fentimans Dandelion & Burdock Botanically Brewed Soda and their Rose Lemonade as well. They have quite a few other flavors, and I suppose I’ve been bitten by the “try them all” bug. So, without further ado, here’s my review of the next one: Mandarin and Seville Orange Jigger. As usual, we picked up this bottle while at the Natural Living Center.
Price: All of Fentimans’ drinks are about $2.00 per bottle. They aren’t as cheap as a can of mass-market soda in a twelve pack – they’re more of a “sip and savor” sort of beverage. Still, you can easily pay a couple of bucks for a regular soda at a gas station or super market, so these aren’t a bad deal. I wouldn’t buy them by the case, though.
Taste: Immediately, I was hit with sourness – not too much, but enough that you know you’re drinking something with quite a bit of citrus in it. That mellowed out quite quickly, though, as the bubbles set in on my tongue. The flavor of orange faded and was replaced by something herbal, almost medicinal – nearly savory. Reading the ingredients, the only herb/spice was ginger, so what I tasted had to be that interacting with the orange. This soda has a thicker mouth feel than others – it’s a bit slick on your tongue. The carbonation doesn’t last very long. The ginger will be the last taste to leave your mouth. Fia commented that it felt like drinking orange juice that had begun to ferment in the fridge. And you know, she’s right – this drink is distinctly boozy. It’s not bad, but it’s definitely unusual.
Presentation: Fentimans’ bottles are quite nice. I love custom glass because it makes a product stand out from all the others on the shelf. Their labels are a bit more generic, though they do fit the scheme they have going – still, I kind of expected some sort of oval etching or raised detail in the glass to help integrate the label shape, which currently gets a bit lost. I can’t fault them for their style, but that doesn’t mean I can’t envision ways to improve it.
Would I buy it again? Probably not. It was something interesting to try, but I’m not really in love with the way the ginger and orange flavors combine. It’s a bit like a weak screwdriver mixed with club soda – not bad, but not great either.
Rating: 2.5/5 Forks