'We Try It' is a regular series where we try the latest off-beat food and beverage offerings.
Rio alcopops are commonplace in South China, their bright, colorful cans as readily available in your local 7-11 or C-Store as Tsingtao and Heineken. And while most Rio coolers offer drinkers a sweet, fruity flavor, the popular boozy-pop brand recently launched an eclectic new taste: ‘Rio Light, Yogurt Drink + Vodka.’
If you think mixing ‘strong drink’ with bacterially fermented milk is a tad strange, you’re certainly not alone: we too found the idea repulsive – until we sampled a can for ourselves.
We have to tip our hats to whoever is stirring the cauldron at Rio’s headquarters, as they have somehow managed to create the ‘White Russian’ of cheap convenience store coolers.
While few can say for certain, we'd bet that Jeff Bridges’ ‘The Dude,’ among others, would approve of this beverage. Here’s why:
1. It tastes good
The way this particular drink strikes the palate is difficult to describe. It’s creamy, yes, but not too creamy. There’s sweetness, but it’s much more subtle than your standard Rio, Smirnoff Ice, or any other cooler. To sum up the flavor in one sentence: it's like the milk candies you’ll find at the reception desk of just about any seniors' home in North America.
2. You will feel cultured
Ha! Get it? Besides the microbiological culture that makes yogurt, you may also feel a tiny bit classier just holding the can: it's more aesthetically pleasing than the traditional bright pink, green and orange Rio bottles. Yo-Rio (as we’ve affectionately dubbed the bevvy) has a container that is largely white, with baby blue trim around the top and bottom. You probably won’t feel very cultured taking it to a party, but it's at least easy on the eyes, just as its boozy innards go easy on the palate.
3. It pairs well with breakfast
Hefeweizens go with goat cheese and seafood, stout goes with foie gras, smoked goose and cheddar cheese and malbecs work wonders with lamb. But which alcoholic drink is best paired with yogurt and oats, scrambled eggs and a fruit salad? The answer (unless you're Canadian, #theCaesar): Rio Light, Yogurt Drink + Vodka. Naturally, the drink goes well with yogurt. Plus, with a creamy, sweet taste and 3 percent alcohol, the drink makes for easy morning boozing.
'The Dude' (probably) approves of the Yo-Rio, do you? Let us know what you think of this bizarre new drink in the comments section below.
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