Sunday, January 4, 2009

Wide eye schnapps

With all the caffeinated alcohol drinks in bars these days, it is not surprising there are not a ton of energy fueled pre-made drinks on the market. Wide eye is one of the few liquors that have gone this route, coming up with 3 very unique flavors which don't mix well with anything. I opted for the Pomegranate Spice flavor, and like most schnapps, this overly strong and syrupy concoction is hampered by the pure fact that this caffeinated alcohol is beset by rules that make the drink a mediocre success.
This is the nature of all schnapps. All fruity schnapps tastes like maple syrup with food colorings - that is what you expect, whether buying Wide Eye Pomegranate, dekuypers flavors, Hiram Walker's Pomegranate or any of the dozens of corn syrupy glack in the market. Schnapps is one of those things that you never really drink alone, but are used to enhance the flavor of other beverages. This is great if you are looking for some 100 proof peppermint for your hot chocolate, but not so good when all that you have in your house is a bottle of this stuff and a cold shot glass. Ever try to get drunk on warm sour lemon liqueur schnapps? Stuff of nightmares. But this is not really Wide Eye's fault, as I would have a hard time drinking almost any schnapps even cold and straight - not just this one.
This leads to the second problem for most schnapps - mixibility. Unlike Vodka or Tequila, which lend themselves to dozens of drink combinations, there is only so far you could go with a recipe with spiced pomegranate. After trying it in a martini and with some champagne, I was just about done with the flavor. Like a Root Beer flavored liqueur, there is only so far this drink can take you.

Another problem is the low caffeine content. For being a drink which prides itself on helping you stay awake, there is relatively little caffeine in here. Again, not their fault, as the FDA demands a limit on the amount of caffeine they can put into a hard alcohol. While they don't list how much caffeine is in a shot, the FDA does not allow very much caffeine into any alcoholic products, so there is really nothing more Wide Eye can do, other than ask people to mix it with something more caffeinated, like soda pop. They also leave a relatively low alcohol content in here, going for 30 proof - instead of a stronger and more interesting mix. While not bad - for the genre - this product certainly does not stand out by the content of the bottle.
The biggest standout feature, and probably the reason this sells at all is the cool design on the front of the package. The liquid in all 3 flavors runs clear, and the regular sized and shaped bottle has a glossy sticker slapped on the front of it with a cool tribal design that directly appeals to its customer base. Not the most unique on the shelf, but the design still attracts enough attention to make me, at least, have to give this a try. We don't get any other information on the bottle, except the governmental warnings on drinking alcohol - and a website. Not great - but the lovely design on the front does go a long way.

The Wide Eye line features three flavors, which are Pomegranate Spice, Mango Chili and Cherry Bomb (a cherry cola flavor profile). The parent company tested eight different formulas with consumers to arrive at the three choices. Unless Barton feels generous - I doubt I will get the urge to spend as much as the going price to try the other two.


  1. How do I buy this?

  2. I absolutely loved the Mango mixed two shots with orange juice and grenadine!! I can only find it on the internet now:(

  3. The mango chili and orange juice works.. Otherwise this stuff is horrid. I had never seen it before until today where it just showed up at my local store discounted at half the original price.