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The Red Chord’s Mike McKenzie Talks Food and Beverages

The Red Chord is currently on tour with Decapitated as part of Summer Slaughter 2010 Tour. Here’s the first installment of the Red Chord guitarist Mike “Gunface” McKenzie’s (left, second from right) tour blog, exclusive for, about the things that really matter.


"I Brought My Own Fork"

I love food. Recently, I was looking through my phone to show someone a picture and I realized that every picture I took was one of three things: dogs, gear, and food. Well I won’t be bringing a fork to the dog blog, so it should be clear which subject this is about. Let’s get to my first discovery of the tour. Maybe it’s a little strange to discuss beverages in my first installment of the blog, but I want to do this chronologically.

Right next to Conservatory in Oklahoma City is Size Records. They started as a pretty awesome record store with some comics. But as most of you downloaders know, record sales are plummeting. So Size Records decided to supplement their income with a plethora of exotic sodas. Normally I try to stay away from the stuff, but this place was overflowing with so many interesting and delicious sodas that I had no choice but to go bananas. Between our merch guy/tour manager Justin, Greg and myself, we bought ten drinks. Not all sodas, but all very anticipated by us.

Virgil’s Root Beer, Special Edition Bavarian Nutmeg
We had all tried Virgil’s before. The nice people at the brewing company even offer this root beer in a keg. I’ve never been too impressed with their beverage though. We were told this special edition was imported and a bottle that may have been around 24 oz was $6.50. A pretty steep price for good old RB. The end result was that it tasted about the same as its American counterpart.

Jeff’s Orange Dream Soda
This is an orange cream based on an egg cream. I’ve been told this idea originated at Jewish delis in New York. This might be the most satisfying and delicious soda I have ever had. It’s like a dessert. Maybe second only to...

Jeff’s Vanilla Soda
This doesn’t even taste like a soda. Drinking Jeff’s Vanilla Soda is almost like a milkshake. It’s creamy and sweet, but not too rich. Quite possibly my favorite soda of all time. If you find this somewhere, you owe it to yourself to try it.

Kickapoo Joy Juice
I bought this mainly for the name. Kickapoo Joy Juice? Sounds ridiculous. Taste lies somewhere in between Mello Yello and Mountain Dew. With a bit more citrus.

Manhattan Special Espresso Coffee Soda
Justin bought this because he loves coffee and anything coffee-flavored. I love coffee as well, but this drink is a perversion of its flavor. These people apparently love coffee and soda. Well I love tiramisu and pulled pork, but you know.

Ed & Pete’s Old Fashioned Lemonade
This is quite possibly the best lemonade I’ve ever had. I’ve never really been a big lemonade drinker, but since having this, I keep ordering lemonade at restaurants and buying it at stores, though none of them compare. Ed & Pete’s Old Fashioned Lemonade is the perfect mix of sweet and tart flavors. So good I wanted to punch my own face.

Almduder 50 Jahre Ginger Ale
I’m told this is the “official drink of Austria.” I’m not sure how true that is, but this isn’t bad. The ginger flavor is a bit subtle and it’s not that sweet. Most ginger ales are either on the ginger-heavy end of the spectrum or the sweet end. This one is outside of that spectrum. A light drink that would probably compliment a meal dominated by bold tastes.

Empire Iced Tea
This iced tea is bottled by the same company as Ed & Pete’s lemonade. Like the lemonade, the quality is high. It’s a pretty refreshing iced tea. We made our own Arnold Palmer out of these two and needless to say, it was delicious.

Grown Up Soda Dry Cola
Here we have some cola without a whole lot of sugar. The taste of the cola nut is strong. I actually love this. If this was more accessible, I would drink it often.

Alfresco is, without a doubt, the most interesting soda of the lot. Mainly because one of the ingredients is elderflowers. Their slogan is “taste the summer!” which is quite literal. Elderflower extract, limeflower extract, carbonated water and apple juice make up the majority of Alfresco’s taste. I first opened the rusty can (most likely due to being ignored by shop patrons for a long time) and noticed the intense and unusual aroma. I’d be lying if I didn’t say it was a little sickening. The initial taste was subtly fruity and the aftertaste had a bit more flower presence. The drink is actually somewhat refreshing if you’re willing to try something new.

Photos by Justin Hiltz

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