Mamosi Beverages is a new line of non-alcoholic soft drinks that aims to replicate the experience of getting hammered on 90s-era girly drinks without the risk of a hangover. (One curious feature of Mamosi is the lack of a twist-off cap; you have to use a church key to open the bottles, making them more reminiscent of a bottle of beer than the elegant cocktail experience they're trying to conjure.)
Crippled with the truly unfortunate slogan "Ain't nothing un-cool about it!!!" (and winning no points for misspelling 'San Antonio' on their website), Mamosi's 12-ounce bottles are sweetened with real sugar, though there's nothing else healthful about the line. This is pure food alchemy, ingredient-wise, and makes its case through novelty and not nature. Still, the label promises that it's "sexy", so I put on my smoking jacket and dived right in.
The Mamosi flagship is a mimosa drink-alike that comes in a regular and light version (the latter is still sugar-sweetened, but drops the calorie count to 50; given the likely target demo, it's curious there's no diet drinks in the line). The overwhelming flavor of both—there's virtually no taste difference between the two, and the ingredients are also almost identical save for the presence of something with the ominous name of "NEOBEE" in the "Lite" version—is a slightly perky citrus fizz, not entirely unlike orange juice but almost totally lacking in anything that smacks of Champagne. It isn't bad, it just doesn't justify its existence as anything more than a alcohol-themed Orangina.
The rest of the line goes for a flavored-martini vibe, starting with the CosMotini. It's got a nice strong scent and a peppy fizz, and its flavor is lighter and more refreshing than the mimosa clones; it still doesn't have any faux-alcohol taste, so it's just basically a cranberry-citrus soda, but as cranberry-citrus sodas go, it's a pretty good one.
PomCheri has a tasty, tangy flavor to start, but it has a bit of a weird finish and is by far the most syrupy of the line. Finally, PuckerUp, the Mamosi flavor meant to ape an appletini, is probably the best of the bunch; it has a fun radioactive green color, and its apple flavor is enhanced but not overwhelmed by the sour quality.
As a line of quirky soft drink flavors, Mamosi is enjoyable enough; but as a substitute for drinking actual cocktails, it's not going to set the world on fire, and leads to some pretty silly claims in the marketing. But it'll look almost as good in your hand as a martini glass, and that's something.
Would you give Mamosi a whirl at a party? What are your favorite cocktail-substitutes?
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