Sunday, June 29, 2014

Viva Veev!

Another #klout I finally was able to use, Vita...
(Photo credit: porcupiny)
Disclosure: I received free product from the manufacturer for this review. In fact (as described below), they went an extra mile to get it to me -- KN@PPSTER

I've mentioned Klout Perks on this blog before; they're a great way of connecting products/services with "influencers," and apparently I'm one of the latter in an at least minor way. Awhile back I was selected to receive a coupon for $11 off a bottle of Veev Vita Frute as one of these "perks," the obvious expectation being that I would tell you all about how great it is. Then when the only liquor store offering the product refused the coupon and I emailed Veev to let them know (mostly so they wouldn't blame Klout for hooking them up with people who didn't end up reviewing the product), I heard back directly from Veev CEO Carter Reum and Veev intern Jose Sotomayor, who took the trouble to ship a bottle directly to me.
I never consider anything like that to involve an obligation for a positive review, but they certainly earned the review ... and it is positive, so I guess everyone wins here.

Vita Frute is a line of bottled pre-mixed cocktails in various flavors: Coconut Colada, Margarita, Lemonade and Cosmopolitan. I chose the Lemonade flavor.

Now, keep in mind that I am an alcohol lightweight these last few years. Even setting aside the diabetes, I just prefer a fairly low alcohol level and when I drink (which isn't that often) I usually go for a premium beer (Fat Tire or a nice IPA) or for bourbon heavily diluted with cola. So at 15% alcohol, the Vita Frute lemonade is a little strong versus my own preference.

Nonetheless, I tried a little bit of it straight and I can tell you that it tasted like premium booze. How to quantify that? Can't do it, but those of you who are experienced drinkers can tell the difference between bar bourbon and Maker's Mark, bar vodka and Stolichnaya, etc. Vita Frute had the "mouthfeel" of the top shelf stuff.

The alcohol component in Vita Frute is "neutral spirit" from acai, with agave nectar and natural lemon flavor in the Lemonade product (oh, and all "organic," for those who value such). It had a nice flavor -- a "hard" "hard lemonade." Too "hard" to be my cup of ... er, lemonade ... but I suspect anyone who enjoys a strong Vodka Collins or that sort of thing would be right at home with it.

Figuring I owe Veev more than just to say "nice but too strong for me," I decided to go beyond the bottle instructions ("All natural products settle. Please shake, pour over ice and enjoy") and came up with the idea of doing a "frozen lemonade" -- pretty much a lemonade daiquiri. I filled a blender cup with ice, added a couple of packets of stevia for additional sweetness, filled the empty space with the Vita Frute, blended it down to a smooth frozen drink ...

... VERY nice. The stevia took a little bit of the lemon/alcohol edge off and of course the ice brought the alcohol content down to 5 or 6 percent. I happen to like frozen lemonade, and this tasted like mildly alcoholic frozen lemonade. I enjoyed a few ounces and would have had more if I could have afforded the blood sugar spike involved.

A little bit of quick calculating tells me that from a fifth bottle of the Vita Frute, you should be able to get half a gallon or more of frozen drink out of the procedure I just mentioned. That puts it in the same price range (and the same alcohol content range) as not-very-expensive beer. So you could definitely knock your party rep up a notch or two with it. Just sayin' ...

If you don't drink, don't start drinking because of this review. If you do drink, please enjoy in moderation. And if you're looking for a good alcoholic lemonade cocktail ranging from strong/straight to mild/mixed, Vita Frute is the way to go.

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