|Gold. Brown liquid gold|
Last week, Minister for the Environment Nick Smith announced plans to make 90% of New Zealand's streams and rivers more swimmable by 2040, primarily, it seemed, by redefining what is accepted by 'swimmable'. To celebrate this bold vision, Frucor Beverages and their H2Go brand released a drink based on the general appearance of the average kiwi body of water after it has passed through prime dairy country.
|Nick Smith after a swim near Frucor's bottling plant|
New Zealand's first chocolate water was here! Based on the run-away
hysterical popularity of the, let's face it, slightly better than average at best Whittaker's Chocolate Milk, how could this fail to be a hit?
Back in 2000, retrospectively cringe-inducing poor spellers and 'musicians' nu metallers Limp Bizkit released an album called Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog
Flavoured Water. Judging solely on my life philosophy that anything that reminds me of Fred Durst cannot possibly be good for me, this wasn't a good start for H2Go. Speaking of which, did you know that Durst's latest a of douchieness was acting as a Russian regime propagandist trying to spread acceptance of their claim to Crimea? That's true, though I reckon I could make up just about any story about him and you wouldn't look it up to confirm it for fear of being reminded further of his crimes against music.
|I did it all for the Putin|
For the Putin
So you can take Crimea and stick it up your YEAH!
Anyway, I put my misgivings about the Bizkit to one side, gritted my teeth, and bought a couple of bottles of the chocolate water, purely for research's sake of course. Limited Edition!! the bottle label screamed at me. Quite the euphemism for 'product which you'll buy once out of curiosity, then never again when you realise what it tastes like.' Though from the full shelves my local New World drinks cabinet, not even curiosity was doing a good sales job.
I poured some water into a glass. A transparent dirty brown colour greeted me. Really Frucor? This doesn't look appetising. My dog swims in a stream out the back of our property that has cleaner looking water than this. The smell though.... Actually pretty good. Which is disappointing. It's rich and dark and promising, it lingers like the smell of that aforementioned Whittaker's milk. There is no way this is going to end in anything but disappointment when the taste turns out to be insipid and flavourless. It's going to be like if you sit down to a Garage Project Pale Ale, and it ends up tasting like Tui.
|Brown, the tastiest of beverage colours|
But I'm kind of wrong. It's palatable. I mean, on the fore tongue, it's just water, slightly sweet. But hold it at the back of the mouth, it actually does taste like chocolate. But it's thin and, well watery. It doesn't FEEL like a chocolate drink should. You want some body, and this has none. I'm not going to be dunking my gingernuts into some muddy looking water, and I think that is where the chocolate water falls down. When we taste a chocolatey drink, we expect to to be creamy and milky, and water is neither. So the limited edition label was perhaps right, I can see a lot of people maybe buying out of curiosity, but it's not going to build a loyal following.
There was one last thing I wanted to do with the chocolate water, and that was to make a cup of coffee with it.... Would the sweet cacao flavouring last the boiling process and give my brew a chocolatey mocha flavour? I boiled up, plunged the plunger, and poured. And it worked! The rich hint of dark chocolate actually lingers at the back of the cup! It's pleasant, it's not overpowering, and actually, it's probably got a helluva lot less sugar than you would get in your traditionally made mochaccino. So maybe this is the H2Go Chocolate Milk's future? Not as a refreshing cold alternative to Coke, but as a healthy-ish coffee alternative.