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Pick of the week

Crazy Uncle Blood Orange, Rosemary & Maple Punch Add to ...

  • Rating 87
  • Price $17.95/1 litre

You were young once. Perhaps you still are. I hope so, because I believe this product strongly skews toward people who, when asked to what genre the nineties albums of Snoop Dogg belong, might respond: “classical music.” Maybe I’m wrong. But this is a premixed cocktail, and we know that today’s youth can’t possibly mix their own drinks when both hands are busy performing more important functions at parties, like uploading Facebook images.

Compared with most other ready-to-drink alcoholic beverages, this one is ambitious and natural-tasting. Billed as a “culinary cocktail,” the 14-per-cent-alcohol elixir was developed by Toronto brothers Bruno and Davide Codispoti in conjunction with Frankie Solarik, inventive mixologist and owner of BarChef on Toronto’s Queen Street West.

Based on vodka, it’s flavoured with juice concentrates, sweetened with sugar and maple syrup and spiked with natural herbs and spices. Besides rosemary, it comes across with a strong suggestion of nutmeg and clove. I wish the sugar were dialled down a tad, and it begs for a liberal splash of club soda. But the overall flavour is true to the blood-orange billing, and the redneck-moonshine jug is cute. Available at LCBO stores in Ontario, it may soon be joined by two other flavours, Basil & Lime Daiquiri and Cola Bitter & Mint Julep. I like the basil formulation best.

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