June 4, 2011

Agave sweetened Oogave, preferred by preschoolers, bartenders and distillers

I asked preschoolers, business owners, distillers and bartenders to review Denver based Oogave

The Oogave Afternoon Taste Test

Oogave and nutrition
Oogave has less than 100 calories per bottle and is sweetened with organic agave nectar.  Oogave boasts half of the carbohydrates, calories and sugars as drinks sweetened with sugar or corn syrup. Oogave also registers low on the glycemic index, when compared with beverages sweetened with sugar or corn syrup. Oogave has the full soda fountain taste with eight flavors available, from grapefruit to cola to vanilla cream to agave mandarin key lime. Organic Oogave’s beverages rely on extracts, for example, from grapefruit and ginger to deliver full flavored soda. Oogave is lightly carbonated and markets itself as a fun drink; distancing itself from the more commercial, chemically flavored “soda” makers.

TASTE TEST 1- The Pyatts
Zephyn and Bodi
Enough said. They polished a few bottles and enjoyed the root beer and ginger equally.

Enjoying the Oogave Ginger Ale

TASTE TEST 2- Boulder Distillery
Rob Masters (Distiller, Robs Gin) and Terri Vizbicke (Owner, Boulder Distillery)

On Thursday evening, at the Boulder Distillery, with the Boulder Cruiser Ride assembling, we organized a tasting of Denver based Oogave Sodas organic Agave Root Beer. The Boulder Distillery is famous for its Vootbeer Cocktail, a combination of 303 Vodka (distilled about 30 feet from the tasting room) and Root Beer over ice and topped with whipped cream.

Oogave and taste
We first sampled Oogave’s Agave Root Beer side by side with a national canned variety. The tasters included a master distiller, the distillery’s proprietor and the tasting room’s bartender; needless to say there were some discriminating palates and strong opinions represented.

The team laid claim to the can having a more traditional root beer flavor. I would still maintain the chemical flavor did not sit well with me:  the national canned variety had an over the top sassafras taste and strong chemical bite.

Overall the tasters agreed that the Oogave Agave Root Beer enjoyed good carbonation, sweetness, and flavor, and could be stronger on the traditional root beer finish. The Oogave Root Beer tasted significantly fresher than its canned running mate.

Rob of Robs Mountain Gin after and Oogave tasting, photo by Randi Curtis (Boulder Distillery)

Oogave as a mixer
After our side by side comparison we made two Vootbeer Floats (Oogave Rootbeer, 303 Vodka and Whip Cream) and again the same tasting notes hold true- Agave Root Beer tasted less of chemicals, had great carbonation and flavor profile and we enjoyed its sweetness in the 303 Vodka Oogave cocktail.

Rob Masters, mixing and Oogave photo by Randi Curtis, Boulder Distillery

TASTE TEST 3 Mateo Restaurant
Britt Henze
, Bartender

Britt Henze and Hilary photo by Randi Curtis, Boulder Distillery

From here I marched a few bottles of Oogave over to Mateo Restaurant. Mateo is the home to one of Boulder’s Best Bartenders, Britt Henze and the Root Beer challenge continued. This time we sampled both the root beer and ginger Oogave. The Ginger Oogave has a strong ginger finish.  Reminiscent of the soda fountain quality Oogave was founded on. The Ginger Ale Oogave uses organic agave nectar and ginger extract. Like the Root Beer Oogave, the sodas are also caffeine free.

Oogave's Cool bottles

Cool packaging- nice irreverence and style
If you are looking for additional reasons to try Oogave, pick up a four pack and enjoy their quirky claims. Oogave does not bore you with health claims like a box of cereal (no flax beverages here); rather the Oogave team is having fun with their organic beverage. Drinking Oogave, for example may yield “zen like happiness, good times and all around well being”. I applaud the honest packaging and playful recipes as well: “mix Oogave Ginger Ale with soy sauce, tomato paste, garlic and pepper for a tasty marinade”.

Oogave Root Beer

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