Hello Kitty, goodbye liver

They released an official Sanrio sanctioned Hello Kitty beer in China, and I drank it so you don’t have to. You’re welcome, internet. Rumor is that there are at least 4 flavors, possibly 6, but currently I could only find two of them at my local 7-11. The one on the left is lemon-lime and the one on the right is peach. Both contain 2.3% alcohol and 5% fruit juice.

First impression? I swear it looks like Hello Kitty is farting out the fruit. This does not give me a good feeling about the contents of the can.

Lemon-lime and Peach

Lemon-lime and Peach

Kotaku recently had one of their writers test the beers as well, and he actually gave them a glowing review. His takeaway from the experience was this:

They’re so ridiculously smooth and tasty that one can barely tell they’re drinking beer. It’s almost like drinking fruit juice, even if the cans do say “beer” (啤酒 or pi jiu).

So, I figured that I was just being overly cynical when judging the can. Maybe Hello Kitty fruit beer wouldn’t be so bad. Maybe it would be refreshing and enjoyable. Maybe it would make an excellent option for daytime drinking in public.

I saved the can in case I need it at the emergency room

I saved the can in case I need it at the emergency room

I decided to try the lemon-lime beer first because it made a bit more sense to me. You put a lime in Corona or orange in Blue Moon, so a citrus beer is not all that divergent from what I’m used to. I cracked it open and was greeted with the unmistakable aroma of freshly laid asphalt. Seriously, holding the can near my face was like inhaling tar steam. Adorable, cartoon tar steam.

The taste? Absolutely terrible. It was like someone combined watery beer and flat Sprite, poured it on the pavement, had me lick it, then gave me a lemon rind to bite. The aftertaste was distinctly chemical, very bitter, and it lingered on my tongue for an uncomfortably long time. Consulting my notes, it seems I wrote: “I am belching and regretting my decision to drink this.”

I am concerned that this beer may be the world’s cutest poison. I would definitely never consume this again on purpose.

hello kitty peach beer

At least it looks like actual beer

After my harrowing brush with Hello Kitty death, I figured I was already halfway to hell so I may as well finish the journey. It was time to try the peach, and I decided that this time I better pour it into a glass just to make sure it wasn’t caustic. Luckily, this one didn’t smell nearly as toxic. The aroma was identical to that of a popular sweet bottled peach drink that they sell in China, and the flavor was basically a watered-down alcoholic version of it.

It is vaguely drinkable, and I could see non-beer drinkers being willing to drink it socially. If you pour it into a glass, you could blend in with other beer drinkers at a party. Then again, anyone who intentionally purchases Hello Kitty beer probably wants to be seen drinking it directly from the can. It could benefit from more carbonation.

I would also never consume this again on purpose, but at least I’m pretty sure it won’t kill me. I guess only time will tell.

Yep, it's official

Yep, it’s official

Happiness is a warm bun

In this case it’s actually a warm cake, but it didn’t sound quite as snappy.  I realize that I’m very quickly turning this space into a cooking blog, although I get the feeling that most people don’t mind at all.  Considering the four feet of snow and the crankiness and the general hibernating instinct to stuff my face with all manner of deliciousness, cooking is a simple (if not fabulously literal) way to get my spoonful of sugar.

Since it involves both fruit and yogurt, I actually made this cake a few weeks ago for my regular Thursday night romp with Laura and Ryan as way to pretend we were eating a healthy dessert.  I found this recipe for grapefruit yogurt cake at the Smitten Kitchen, which is one of my absolutely favorite cooking websites.  Their food photography alone is luscious enough to cause spontaneous weight gain.  Per usual, I used half sugar and half Splenda and I added lime zest and lime juice because I had some ultra-ripe limes that were practically begging to be juiced.

My favorite element of this cake is the sugar-juice cocktail that you pour over the finished loaf as it cools.  The cake soaks up every last drop of the sweet elixir, resulting in an incredibly moist slice of citrus magic when it is served.  There is an optional glaze, which I’m sure would also be delightful, but since I was pretending to be good it seemed like sugar overkill.  The end result was so tasty, I almost put the leftovers back in my bag to take home.  Of course I didn’t actually do it, because I’m a very polite house guest, but that should tell you just how amazing this cake is.

Check out the original recipe at the Smitten Kitchen, and see for yourself just how scrumptious winter fruit can be!