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Drink Fri May 02 2014
A few years ago, we made an effort to cut down on soft drinks by only buying seltzer water at home. I have no complaints -- I like the light, crisp flavors -- La Croix's pamplemousse is my favorite. And it's nice skipping the massive dose of corn syrup or artificial sweeteners. The one thing I do miss is the caffeine. I'm a caffeine addict, and even delicious grapefruit soda water doesn't scratch that itch.
And that's a tough nut to crack. Caffeine is really harsh. When I've had products with added caffeine in the past, they've made my throat sore and scratchy, and had a raw chemical aftertaste. It's possible a sweetener might take the edge off, but in the case of a carbonated beverage, we'd be right back to soda pop, wouldn't we?
It was with great skepticism, therefore that I tried Caffeinated Club, a new line of caffeinated, flavored club sodas that Glenview-based Rocky's Beverages sent to the Gapers Block office. Caffeinated Club is available in raspberry, orange-grapefruit and lemon as well as plain. We didn't receive any of the plain version, but the flavored options were pretty good. The flavors don't wow, exactly -- it's still just flavored water -- but they're at least as good as the other brands on the market. And most importantly, they don't suffer from the harsh aftertaste I've found in the past. I plan to pick more up just to have around the house.
Founder Rocky Mosele says he was inspired to create Caffeinated Club after ordering a vodka and Red Bull. Which makes sense -- these club sodas would be great mixers for cocktails. The lemon in particular would go nicely with vodka or gin, and add that little extra kick from the caffeine.
The 12-ounce bottles are priced at around $0.99 in stores, as well as Amazon and other online shops.