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Black Fly Soda Fizz

Review: Black Fly Soda Fizz  85/100
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Published October 29, 2019

Black Fly Beverage Company promotes itself as Ontario’s first micro-distillery and was was founded in 2005 by husband & wife Rob Kelly and Cathy Siskind-Kelly. Named after the iconic insect immortalized by Canadian Folk Singer Wade Hemsworth, their company was given the first Distillery License granted in Ontario in over 100 years. The vision of Rob and Kathy is to create premium spirits with more natural flavours and less sweetness with quality ingredients and unique innovative packaging.

I was sent a variety of samples from Black Fly Beverages and I recently decided to publish a small review series of their product line. I began a few weeks ago with a review of the Black Fly Tequila Shaker Shots which I found very enjoyable. Today I am tackling their line-up of Soda Fizz, which includes Vodka Fizz (Lemon Lime) and Gin Fizz (Grapefruit).

In mixology, a Fizz Cocktail is a alcoholic beverage which combines a sour or acidic fruit juice with carbonated water and an alcohol base (usually vodka or gin). This means the Black Fly Soda Fizz beverages while sold primarily in the ‘cooler’ section are in fact premixed Fizz Cocktails as well.

As you can see from the photos, the Black Fly Soda Fizz Beverages are sold in 355 ml cans at 6% alcohol by volume. The labels tells us that the soda drink is “Highly Refreshing”  and “Not Too Sweet“.  I should also point out that in the case of the Vodka Fizz: Vodka as well as real lemon and lime juices are used to produce the beverages; and in the case of the Gin Fizz: Dry Gin and real grapefruit Juice is used.

The main feature which sets the Black Fly Soda Fizz beverages apart from their competition is the use of real fruit juices, and the reduced sweetness of the premixed drink.

Of course I had to sample each beverage, and indeed, I was struck by the lack of what I will call a ‘sugar punch’. In many of  ‘cooler style’ drinks a big hit of sweetness hides the alcohol content giving the consumer a false sense of sobriety especially with young consumers who often lack the experience to know when enough is enough. These sweet coolers often taste more like soda pop than a premixed alcohol cocktail which, if you have followed the news lately, has lead to some terrible consequences.

I am not saying that this problem is fully alleviated with these Black Fly Soda Fizz Beverages, but the problem is at least addressed to some extent.

As for the overall flavour of each soda beverage, I was impressed. The use of real fruit juice instead of artificial flavours (artificial colour is used) gives the beverage a more natural taste than I have encountered with other cooler style beverages. The flavour of the grapefruit within the Gin Soda Fizz in particular was quite nice. I found the beverage tasty especially when chilled or served over ice. I also noticed that the dampened sweetness seemed to give the beverage a better balance and finish. Coolers can become cloyingly sweet after a very short time, however the Black Fly beverages remained refreshing and enjoyable without that cloying aftertaste.

I don’t have a scoring system worked out for the Premixed and Cooler Style Beverages. Instead I sort of gravitate to an overall number which I believe reflects my overall enjoyment of my sampling sessions. In the case of the Black Fly Soda Fizz Cocktail Premixes I settled on a score of 85 out of 100.

The beverages live up to the marketing as they are indeed “Highly Refreshing” and “Not Too Sweet”. I found the flavours were well balanced and the reflected a more natural flavour than other pre-mixes and coolers I have tasted in the past.




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