As has been noted by other blogs across the interwebz, it’s pretty obvious that Smirnoff was inspired by Gatorade when they came up with the bottle design for their Electric line of non-carbonated malt beverages. They even made the bottles out of a similar, heavy gauge plastic and topped them off with a resealable lid. This beverage looks so similar to Gatorade that Limpd and I came up with a parent’s nightmare scenario…
Picture it. 6:30am. You’ve got to get ready for work AND get your kid ready for school. Time is of the essence. Your kid decides that he’d like to pack a lunch instead of eating the slop that they pass off as food in the school cafeteria (their words, not ours. I’m sure ARAMARK serves healthy and delicious meals to our growing children). You’ve made the turkey sandwich, grabbed an apple and a granola bar, and placed it neatly into their lunch box. At the last minute you remember that they need a drink too, so you blindly reach into the fridge and grab a bottle of Gatorade. You’ve done this a hundred times and know exactly what a Gatorade bottle feels like, so you don’t bother to look at the label, and just stuff it into the lunch box with all of the other goodies. Everyone gets to where they need to be, and all is right with the world. Or at least that’s what you thought.
A little later in the day, you get a call from the school nurse. Little Johnnie isn’t feeling well. Stomach ache and a dull headache are the symptoms. You leave work early to pick him up from school. Before they let you leave, you’re called in to the Principal’s office. A half finished bottle of Smirnoff Ice Electric Mandarin is standing in the middle of the desk. You get immediate flashbacks of your high school days, when you weren’t exactly a model citizen, and sweat starts to form on your brow. The Principal looks at you and asks, “Care to explain how this drink wound up in your son’s lunch box?”. Being the responsible adult that you are, you immediately take responsibility for this mistake. You thought it was an orange flavored Gatorade when you stuffed it into Little Johnnie’s lunchbox. You apologize ad nauseum. You say, “I’ll never let it happen again. Next time, I’ll be more careful and make his lunch the night before so as to avoid making the same mistake.” The Principal eventually let’s you off the hook. Crisis averted.
Ok, so maybe our parent’s nightmare scenario is a bit ridiculous (and no, the Principal would never let you off the hook that easily. A call to your state’s Department of Children and Family Services is a more likely outcome), but hey, this is America. We print warning labels on EVERYTHING! Yes, I know that there’s a “Must Be 21+ To Purchase” warning on the label AND on the bottle cap, but given the shape of the bottle and the color of the stuff inside the bottle, who knows what could happen!
Now that I got that rant out of the way. Let’s find out if this Smirnoff Ice Electric stuff is any good. First up, Electric Berry…
- Appearance: Crystal clear, aquamarine color.
- ABV: 5.0%
- Limpd: Sweet with a medium mouthfeel. There is definite Fla-Vor-Ice vibe but it is not as cloyingly sweet as one. In the finish, there is an odd aftertaste; it is a bit like tea, a bit like antiseptic and a bit malty. Not good or bad; just a flavor that I can’t quite place.
- G-LO: Somewhat syrupy mouthfeel. Not very sweet. Definitely leans towards the tart end of the flavor spectrum. As far as berry flavors go, it tastes kind of raspberry or blackberryish. The finish leaves you with a slight pucker and a lingering berry aftertaste.
Next up, Electric Mandarin…
- Appearance: Neon orange color.
- ABV: 5.0%
- Limpd: Like a carton of orange drink from your elementary cafeteria lunch line.
- G-LO: Definitely smells like some sort of orange, but not a fresh one. This reminds me of an orange flavored Starburst or a bowl of orange sherbet.
- Limpd: A bit less sweet than the Electric Berry with more of the odd aftertaste. As it warms up a bit, the citrus flavors come more to the forefront and the balance improves. I found the Electric Mandarin to be much more to my liking once it wasn’t ice cold.
- G-LO: Once again, not overly sweet with a somewhat syrupy mouthfeel. The flavor is definitely tart with lots of orange flavor. Kind of tastes like a cross between orange Jello and one of those orange flavored Cold-EEZE lozenges. When compared to the Electric Berry flavor, this one has a much cleaner finish, i.e. not as much pucker, though there is a lingering orange zest flavor in the aftertaste.
Limpd: When G-LO offered to do a combined review, I was a little reluctant as I didn’t think this would be to my liking. Boy was I wrong. While I’d still prefer a beer on a hot summer afternoon, the refreshing flavors and advanced portability make Smirnoffs a nice change of pace. No need to worry about glass or bottle openers, just load a cooler and go. One word of caution: the bottles are 16 ounces and with the sweetness and the refreshing flavors, I could see these going down way too fast.
G-LO: While I really don’t like the packaging of this product, I can’t slam it from a taste perspective. Even though it’s not my kind of drink, that doesn’t make it bad. And to tell you the truth, the whole resealable lid thing is a pretty smart move since it may lead to slower drinking, i.e. you won’t feel compelled to chug your drink for fear of it going flat. Now if I had to pick a favorite flavor, I’d probably go with the Electric Mandarin since it was somewhat more refreshing and very easy to drink.