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Ballsy Beverage


I have a bottle of Orbitz. I bought it in the beginning of 1997 for the purpose of drinking. But, I chose not to drink it after all because I didn't want to lose it's novelty. I now have it for sale on ebay. They've been selling for $30 a bottle. So, time to cash in. The following is two very funny posts I found concerning the drink:

Orbitz was made by Clearly Canadian, who if you'll recall were neck-and-neck with Mistic for jurisdiction over the realm of sodas that posed as fruit-flavored waters. Orbitz was much like regular Clearly Canadian fruit sodas, save for two important differences: It was a lot thicker, and it had tiny candy balls from Jupiter floating around inside it.

Yes, it's that drink -- the one with the balls. While Orbitz drinks would've seemed worlds apart from the competition sheerly on the merits of their oddball flavors (Pineapple Banana Cherry Coconut?), it was the dozens of gelatinous, colored balls floating around each bottle that made it famous. The balls were more or less flavorless, serving only to soak up whatever flavors their liquid homes bore. This was like the kiddy version of the flakes in a bottle of Goldschlager.

I remember buying them in the Woodbridge Mall over in Jersey, for no other reason than the fact that the Woodbridge Mall was the only place around that sold Orbitz. So, I'd buy it, and I'd wander around the mall sucking up piles of Fruit Roll-Up feces with a straw, and only now do I realize what an (edited out) I must've looked like. As the brand boasted screwy flavor varieties that were a real round of Russian Roulette to try, the public refused to push Orbitz past its status on the novelty echelon. It wasn't long before its makers realized that they couldn't survive on the sales of curious five-year-old girls alone.

The drinks weren't carbonated. This and other factors have made Orbitz almost safe to drink if you're still able to find them. Of course, it was hard for me to guzzle down sips of something "Pineapple Banana Cherry Coconut" flavored and not chalk up what I was tasting to an expiration date past, but on the other hand, it didn't kill me. I can't decide if the floating balls look more like pastina or tadpole larva or the end result of trying to grab a piece of Styrofoam out of its container with too much force. There was nothing like Orbitz previous to its debut, and there hasn't been anything like it since. (1996)



The Tasting

To fully appreciate a classy drink like Orbitz, we decided we needed to take "Doggy Style" out of the CD player and put in Schumann's "Kinderszenn op. 15." One amusing side effect of this choice is that like that guy in The Clockwork Orange, we are now programmed to retch whenever we hear classical music.


See

Ah, neutral buoyancy. Suspended in the beverage (or "solution") are little nasty-looking gelatin globules. They're just floating there. Somehow one would expect them to mill around. They're not really orbiting anything. One might also say (as in fact one does say if one is the inside of the Orbitz cap) that they "defy gravity."


Sniff

The tasters are of two minds. Nate smells "legitimate citrus." Paul smells "Robitussin." Paul was unable to smell legitimate citrus, even when he fanned his hand over the drink to waft the scent to his nose, like they do in the movies. Remember, there are no right or wrong perceptions in extinct beverage tasting, but one of the tasters spent several years in the food service industry and one of them is Paul.


Sip

Putting aside the globules for a moment, let's discuss the basic taste of the syrup. You know when your mom makes frozen lemonade and she puts in one can of water too many? It somehow manages to be a nastier experience than drinking lemonade or drinking water. It's not an average of the two as you'd expect. Orbitz is nasty on the same principle, but the base flavor is Pine Sol. You find yourself wishing they put in more Pine Sol because 1) it would taste better and 2) it would kill you.

The globules are no walk in the park either. Let's face it, when we were kids, we all sampled our own boogers. You know how they melt in your mouth? The wizards at Clearly Canadian have recreated this treasured childhood experience, but they have made it more nasty. Because on some deep subconscious level, we know that these boogers don't come from our body.


Savor

It is impossible to savor this drink because after you swallow the fluid, there are little lumps in your mouth that have to be dealt with. Your tongue is too busy trying to push them away... into your stomach, your cheeks... anything to make it another body part's problem.

Another thing about the pellets... they're cold and clammy.


Suffer

The whole experience of drinking Orbitz is deeply gross in an inexplicably Hannibal Lecter-like way. You feel like you're eating something that you have no business to be eating, like somebody's sinus.


The first article was a snippet out of a larger blog called Dead Sodas and Old Soda Pop Cans. It's pretty funny but has the occasional cuss word so beware.

The taste test and review was from a hysterical blog called Extinct Beverage Tasting: Raspberry Citrus Orbitz. There are lots more like it as the author has made it a recurring blog theme. I look forward to reading more of them. And, as far as I can tell, he/she keeps has a cleaner vocabulary so I recommend it.

5 comments:

I totally remember drinking these - yuck! I was a big fan of Clearly Canadian which tasted 100 x's better than the flavored water stuff they make today:P

btw, I'm digging the new blog look! Did you design it yourself, or are you using a template?

I liked Clearly Canadian, too. Though, in those days Pepsi was my drink of choice. I'm just a water drinker now. Well... and coffee.

Thanks! I love the new blog. Especially the drop down menus so I can display my links and downloads easily. No, I didn't design it. I'm not that crafty. I found the template online, replaced all the generic stuff with my stuff, took out some extra menus, and personalized the menus I kept.

Well, it sold. For a anti-climactic 15.50. That's with shipping. I figure after actual shipping costs I sold it for about $10. That's over five times what I paid for it, so that's a pretty good return, I suppose.

Believe it or not Clearly Canadian is re-launching their original formulas in glass bottles via a fan-led campaign to bring them back to production.
Only a matter of time until we get to taste the effervescent satisfaction of memories long last...
And perhaps if the launch is a huge success, we might yet see Orbitz one day too...

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