KEN PENG'S WRITTEN REVIEW:
“Honey, I can’t describe how good it feels inside,” sang Mariah Carey on her 1997 hit, “Honey”. You know, when she was relevant, still somewhat attractive, and music executive sugar daddy, Tommy Mottola, basically ensured she would be the best damn manufactured pop-star in all the world! Fast forward through a few public meltdowns, a laughable marriage to Nick Cannon, and we come to 2014. Evidently no longer able to belt out a tune in her impressive five-octave range, Mariah has moved on to bigger things in life than music. No, she isn’t attempting to follow up on her blockbuster smash, “Glitter.” Mariah has something better in mind; soft drinks.
Sold exclusively at high-end retailers (specifically Walgreen's), “Butterfly” is Mariah’s foray into the beverage world. Sixteen ounces of quality filtered water, sugar, “natural flavors”, and other wholesome ingredients such as Red 40 and Blue 1 are packed into a hot pink bottle that can easily be mistaken for a bottle of dollar store sexual lubricant. The front of the bottle proudly proclaims, “A melodic beverage inspired by the magic of Mariah Carey.” While I would like to mock this as inaccurate, I can’t really argue against the similarities in both. This drink truly captures the artificial, manufactured, and gaudiness of the real Mariah. For that, Go N’Syde (that’s not a typo) has done a great job of building a product in her image.
Admittedly, I was hesitant to taste this melodic beverage. It was my fear that I would transform into some sort of pop diva who would have an uncontrollable pining for hot pants, Popsicles, and something called TRL. Alas, in the name of science, I cracked open the bottle and took a sip.
At first, it isn’t terrible. My immediate thought was, “oh, grape juice!” followed by “oh…racism?”
Immediately after I took another morally questionable sip, I couldn’t stomach anymore. The overwhelming levels of sugar quickly overpowered the grape flavor and artificial ingredients that left me even more parched than before. I was disappointed. I could not sing five octaves, I still found Nick Cannon incredibly irritating, and most importantly…no hot pants. Instead, I was left thirsty and in search of bottled water as my mouth now felt as terrible as her music. Perhaps it was meant to make me feel like the Mariah of today; forgotten, dried up, and artificially enhanced. I am left feeling desirable no more. The drink was terrible, and all my hopes and dreams were instantly crushed.
A single tear ran down my cheek as I walked the nearly full bottle out to the dumpster. I had placed it inside of a white plastic bag, in fear that my neighbors would mistaken it for a giant bottle of lube. With that, I said goodbye. It is my hope that we would meet again someday, when the time is right, and it is on sale at Big Lots for 75 cents. As Mariah once sang on her 1999 hit, “Heartbreaker.”
“I should have known right from the start, you’d go and break my heart.”
- Ken Peng is a Gainesville Food Reviewer and the man behind
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TOM MILLER'S VIDEO REVIEW: