Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Quebec Malt Beverage with Real Fruit Juice

I discovered these Muse fruit cocktail beverages during our recent heat wave in Montreal. I'm not generally a fan of alco-pops--they tend to be full of sugar and far too sweet for my taste--however these caught my eye because they had some interesting flavours and are made with real fruit juice. Although, exactly how much of the beverage comes from fruit juice, I'm not exactly certain. The drink also uses sugar and flavours.

Like most alco-pops sold in convenience stores in Quebec, Muse cocktails are malt-based. Made in Quebec, they come in three flavours: blood orange, pineapple and pomegranate. I decided to try one of each. Like other alco-pops they are very sweet. Straight out of the bottle, the blood orange cocktail reminded me very much of orange pop; and I found myself drinking it quickly like a pop. It had almost no discernible malt flavour and it was easy to forget that it was an alcoholic beverage. The pomegranate and pineapple cocktails were similar: very tasty, very sweet, and very smooth. Because they taste so much like pop, I would be very leery of having these out at a party with children around.

For my own palate, I found that serving the pomegranate or blood orange cocktail over ice and slightly diluted with club soda worked well to reduce the sweetness of the beverage and to resist the urge to devour the bottle in a matter of minutes. The cocktails would probably work really well in some punches as well.

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