Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Kool-Aid Fun Fizz !

July was an absolute blur for me. Within the span of two short weeks I was in a wedding and then found myself up in  next Minnesota for two days watching the Vikings Training Camp. After that I spend a couple days at the Iowa State Fair. All of this from someone whose used to working and writing and not a whole heck of a lot more. It has been a busy month to say the least, as it seems like just yesterday that I was writing about fireworks and complaining about the heat. Now it I've blinked and suddenly July has transformed into August and the tell-tale signs of the changing seasons are slowly starting to creep up upon us.

Generally August is the month that I really start to wish for ghosts and goblins to hit store shelves while secretly listing to Christmas music in preparation for snowflakes and colored lights. This year... I'm feeling much more complacent in letting summer hang around for a little while longer. Seems like this year in particular has been a good one. Here in Summer 2011 we have seen such awesome abstractions as Mountain Dew Pitch Black and Retro 7Up Bottles  just to name a few. Things like this can go a long way in making one forget just how much I generally hate these middle summer months.

From weddings to football I have had lots of fun distractions during Summer 2011 and right now I am fine with simply living in the moment a little while longer. Let's take these last few weeks of August and enjoy what little time we have left with the season. So with that I mind I set out to search for another new item with that distinctive summer flavor to it. Behold the artificially flavored glory that is Kool-Aid Fun Fizz!

I have always viewed Kool-Aid as a season product of sorts. While I realize that it is technically sold year round on store shelves, I cannot think of a single person who makes this stuff in mid December, myself included and I am one of the biggest Kool-Aid fanatics on the planet. I love Kool-Aid but once we reach a certain point in the year I can walk right by a gigantic display of it and not even bat an eye. It is just far to hard to view it as anything other than strictly a summer product. I guess it is a testament of sorts to just how well the Kraft company has made the connection of warm summer days, barbeque's with the family, and pitchers of Kool-Aid within all of us.

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So while walking through the stores here in the middle part of August and sort of trying to avoid the fact that Halloween candy lurks about an isle away, I was looking for a product to help keep my mind firmly planted on the summer season. As it turns out once again it is Kool-Aid to the rescue! This time with a brand new item for 2011 called Kool-Aid Fun Fizz! Joy! August is about as prime of time as any to make yourself a pitcher of Kool-Aid as the days still get hot enough for it to feel "seasonal" and it is still early enough in the year that most people are not quite ready to surrender over to the fall season.

So what is Kool-Aid Fun Fizz exactly? It is individually packaged tablets that you mix with water which, presumably through some form of black magic or voodoo, gives you an instant glass of Kool-Aid! Very cool stuff! The back of the Fun Fizz package suggests that you add one tablet into an 8 fluid ounce glass of water or two tablets if its a 16 fluid ounce container. Though they do first suggest that if the bottle is "filled to the rim" that you take "a BIG sip first!" Which are the kinds of instructions that only make since when your making Kool-Aid from a tablet and you will never again receive in your life. Enjoy them while you can folk.

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Each individual package comes imprinted with the Kool-Aid mans face on the front of it. It is unfortunate (but still funny all the same) that these packages are the exact same size, shape, and even have the same general texture of that of a condom package. I am sure you could create all kinds of conversation if you walked around with a bunch of these in your pocket and "accidentally" let them fall onto the floor in front of your girlfriend.

I especially like the thought of Kool-Aid branded condoms, complete Kool-Aid Man's smug little grin on the front of them. Though something tells me that is a promotional item we will probably never get to see. As for the actual tablets themselves, well those are just fantastic. They look like those over-sized Sweet Tarts that I remember eating all the time as a kid and am not sure if they are still sold in stores.

And just like the condom-esk package that these tablets are born from, each tablet also come imprinted with Kool-Aid Man's face on the front of them. I approve of this entire package design. Which also photographs much better than I originally thought it was going to. The only question I have left now is what one would taste like if you just ate it directly?

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Initially I had no idea what to expect from these Fun Fizz tablets but as it turns out I could not have picked a better first subject to utilize the video functions on my new HD camera than then this. Fun Fizz turns into a splendid adventure every time you make one. If nothing else you need to buy a whole bunch of the stuff simply because making them is just flat out fun. I forgone the instructions on the back of the package and didn't bother to measure out how many ounces of water was in that glass.

 I understand the need for Kool-Aid to be specific with how much water to use but lets be honest here... you are not going to measure it and neither was I. The whole point of Fun Fizz is to make Kool-Aid and to make it quickly. If I had the time to measure things I would make a whole pitcher of it. So I pored an average size glass of water and slid a tablet inside and the results were... more than expected:


Behold! Kool-Aid Fun Fizz in glorious 1080i high definition! YouTube will never be the same and after viewing this neither will you. Fun Fizz puts on quite a little display from the moment it touches the water to the the minute it completes its task. It fizzes. It pops. It crackles. The tablet flips and flies around the cup. It sinks. It rises. It is blood red. It is quite a show that lasts for just under a minute. Making for a far more interesting video that I thought would have been possible out of Kool-Aid. If you get nothing else from this article, it should be just how awesome Fun Fizz is to make!

So at this point we know that Fun Fizz is cool looking, the package is well designed and it is fun to make. In the grander scheme of beverages its relatively cheap. You get a whole bunch of the tablets for just shy of $2.00 so the only real question left now is how does it taste? Well that is another story in and upon itself. There is a very distinct possibility that I did not let the tablet fully dissolve in the glass before I downed a swig of it, but I feel like it was mostly finished. It had stopped dancing around the cup and had seemingly finished, save for this strange film that built up at the very top of the water and some odd looking blood bubbles around its edges.

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It tasted like something I am just not so sure if that something was the same Kool-Aid that we all know and love. It is not that I did not like the drink that Fun Fizz produced it is just that it did not quite match up to the high standard of beverage to which I hold Kool-Aid accountable for. Although honestly I have had much worse things than this and I do plan on making the rest of them. As a matter of fact, these tablets will work perfect to take to work where I can mix them with a bottle of water. It is a great alternative to drink fifty cups of fountain soda at my job every night.

So I do approve of Kool-Aid Fun Fizz, even though the package kind of looks like a condom and the blood red drink produces a weird layer of film and strange looking possibly toxic bubbles. It is Kool-Aid and if you are like me and are looking for a reason to hold onto these last few weeks of summer... Fun Fizz is a great momentary distraction that can help late August feel like early June again.
... oh and I tried eating one directly and it is the greatest thing I have ever tried! Though I'm not sure I would suggest eating any more than part of a single tablet, the whole thing fizzes and tingles inside your mouth and has a surprisingly good taste to it. Kind of like Pop Rocks on crack. Kool-Aid wins every time.

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