Sunday, November 22, 2009

hint Water: Hibiscus Vanilla

I really like hint products. Sadly, until recently I didn't have a local source, so I only got to have it on my New York trips (now that's a heck of an excuse to go to New York!).

What I like about hint is that the flavors are really pure and clean. Even if it's something I don't end up loving (like the apple), it's hard to knock something that actually tastes like the natural version of what it's supposed to be.

That's what intrigued me about the Hibiscus Vanilla. Granted, it sounds like a faux-Hawaiian air freshener. It also sounds like some sort of exotic drink that would come in a bright color with way too many garnishes, probably including a little plastic mini-umbrella. It doesn't sound like a flavor of water. And that made it more interesting to me.

It's clear water, so there's not much in the way of color going on there. And since I spend my days garnishing drinks anyway, I wasn't about to do it at home. Besides, you wouldn't pull out little umbrellas just for bottled water, either. And if you do: WOW, just WOW. So, skipping appearances...

The smell is vaguely floral. I can honestly say I am not 100% sure what hibiscus smells like, but even if I were I don't think the smell is strong enough that I could pin it to one particular flower. There's another aroma in there too, and try as I might, I just couldn't place it. It was kinda like strawberry, kinda sweet and sort of like cheap candle. Not unpleasant, but not what I was expecting.

The taste: Also not what I was expecting. I had an idea of what it would taste like. I thought the vanilla would be the stronger flavor, and that the hibiscus would float in the background like a happy water fairy (or something like that). What I got was different.

First, much like with the scent, I couldn't really detect the vanilla. The water initially tastes vaguely like a Luden's cherry cough drop, and then there is a floral taste. I assume that's the hibiscus (cuz, y'know, it is hibiscus flavored after all). I reminded me of rose water, only a little more bitter. I know that doesn't sound like it would be the best tasting drink ever. And the first couple sips...well, it needs to grow on you.

Once you have had those first few sips, the flavor improves. It is quite refreshing, but it is distinct. Because it is an acquired taste, I am not sure how often I would pick this over some of the other hint flavors. (I love the cucumber! And I realize I haven't reviewed it yet, so watch for it). What I would love to try is making this flavor into ice and using the cubes in mixed drinks.

Great? No. Good, even? Meh, it's okay. Interesting? Yes.

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