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5 Flavor Additions That Are Trying Too Hard for Novelty

What would you like for brunch? A mimosa, a Bloody Mary or Donut Vodka?
What would you like for brunch? A mimosa, a Bloody Mary or Donut Vodka?
Photos by John Kiely

There's nothing wrong with adding flavors to coffee, liquor or food to make them more interesting, or just palatable. Pumpkin spice lattes are doing good business, infused vodka or tequila can make great cocktails, and adding bacon to anything is never going to get old.

However, the trend is getting out of hand, as a rainbow of colored vodka spreads across liquor stores and good coffees and foods are getting squeezed off shelves in grocery stores. Here are five recent flavor combinations that are simply trying too hard for novelty.

These are not margaritas. They are pink, flavored beers.
These are not margaritas. They are pink, flavored beers.

5. Bud Light Cran-brrr-rita

What? This is not a "rita" anything, because it's made with beer, not tequila. This drink has cranberry and lime, so if it's like any cocktail, it's a Cosmopolitan. I saw a smiling guy on a TV commercial wielding this pink concoction, oblivious to the fact he was drinking a Beer Cosmo.

A blueberry muffin is great with coffee, but in the same cup?
A blueberry muffin is great with coffee, but in the same cup?

4.. Blueberry Muffin Coffee

I loathed coffee flavor as a child, and had to mix it with hot chocolate to get used to it as an adult. I gradually lowered the amount of chocolate until I came to realize coffee is one of the best tastes in the world. French vanilla, hazelnut or pumpkin spice are other good ways to get there, but berry flavors are a stretch. Blueberry muffins aren't that hard to find in Houston.

Dunkin' Donuts also trots out Strawberry Shortcake Coffee occasionally. It can often be found on the discontinued shelf at Target, yet it shows up again months later.

I believe the granola goes in the yogurt.
I believe the granola goes in the yogurt.

3. Greek Yogurt Honey Crunch

Greek yogurt has only been around since, I don't know, 800 B.C., so why is it now a marketing tool? I can't be fooled -- the American-made Greek yogurts I've tasted are just thicker versions of regular yogurt, and at any rate, it would taste much better to put Honey Bunches of Oats into a container of Fage, not the other way around.

 

Chips are what you eat while waiting for your fajitas to arrive.
Chips are what you eat while waiting for your fajitas to arrive.

2. Tostito's Fajita Scoops

Okay, maybe these meat-flavored tortilla chips taste okay, but if I were sitting on a couch munching them, the only thought that would fill my head would be, "Why am I not in a Tex-Mex joint, with fresh chips, salsa and a margarita, eating real fajitas?"

1. Pinnacle Pecan Pie Vodka

France is now the second-biggest market for McDonald's fast food. Since this American import flies in the face of France's Michelin-guided cuisine, it's only fair that a French vodka maker is helping to return the favor for one of America's most important culinary contributions -- the cocktail. At a time when American bartenders are crafting fascinating and complex new drinks, more liquor-store customers are trying to avoid mixing a cocktail at all.


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