Review: Palm Bay Spritz vodka coolers

The complete line of Palm Bay Spritz vodka coolers.

Maybe I’m just too much of an Albertan for my own good, but when I want a refreshing adult beverage, I usually reach for a beer.

I’ve tried the occasional cider or cooler here or there, but my overall knowledge of coolers is woefully lacking. How lacking? My cooler knowledge, on a scale of 1 to 10, is maybe a 2. I’ve wanted to change this for some time.

Well, blessed be the internets — a friendly marketing rep from Palm Bay sent a very large box of goodies by FedEx to NEAROF! HQ. Inside said box? A large metal tub filled with four different kinds of Palm Bay Spritz vodka coolers (see photo below) and a pair of hipster-approved Palm Bay drugstore sunglasses. Nice.

The large Palm Bay tub that arrived at NEAROF! HQ, including some spiffy sunglasses.

After snapping a few pix of the cans, off they went to the fridge for chilling. Here are some of my tasting notes for each of the flavours, in order of least awesome to most:

4. Strawberry Pineapple: Sweet with strawberry like the gum flavouring, not actual strawberry. Combines nicely with the pineapple, but it’s a bit cloying for my liking. The tartness helps even things, but it’s still quite sweet. The taste of the alcohol isn’t invisible. Overall? Meh.

3. Ruby Grapefruit Sunrise: It’s the one flavour that lists no artificial flavour on the label. It tastes like grapefruit pop/juice with a bit of vodka added. It’s got the sweet-sour bitterness of a grapefruit, so I worry about overnight heartburn. The colour is cloudy light pink, so self-conscious manly men will probably want to drink it straight from the can. If you’re a grapefruit fan, it’s not bad.

2. Key Lime Cherry: I won’t lie — of the two flavours, it’s the lime that I wanted to stand out, not the cherry. The combination is OK, but the cherry flavour – a pinch more cough drop than Cherry Coke, partially due to the slight alcohol taste – is a bit too forward, sharing the spotlight with the lime instead of merely supporting it. It’s still pretty good, with a tasty sweet/tart mix that’s refreshing. Not my first choice, but if I dug one out of a friend’s ice-filled cooler, I wouldn’t put it back in.

1. Pineapple Mandarin Orange: Sort of like one of those cans of Dole pineapple-orange juice. A bit sweet, balanced by some crisp tartness. Nice and fruity, with the pineapple standing out as the main flavour. It reminds me of a (non-alcoholic) drink called Fanta Cocktail that I used to be able to get in Burkina Faso. Of all the flavours, this is the one I could see myself drinking again.

The Key Lime Cherry flavour of Palm Bay Spritz, served in a glass.

RATINGS AND DETAILS

Cost: $12.99 per six-pack of 355 mL cans at Liquor Depot. Mine were a free sample. (Yay!)

Value for cash money: Good. Comparable to mid-range beer.

Availability: Across Canada. The product literature says you can find them at SAQ stores in Quebec, LCBO shops in Ontario, and various liquor stores in B.C. and Alberta.

Nutrition?: It’s a vodka cooler. Moderation, baby.

Coolerish power: 5% a.b.v.

Lesson learned: These things are stronger than you think they are when you’re drinking them. The experience is not unlike cooling down with a few cans of pop, then wondering why you’re having trouble standing up.

The verdict: Decent. Not my normal choice of beverage, but the pineapple mandarin flavour was good enough that I’d consider buying a pack to pair with a tropical meal. The acidity does build up after multiple cans of the stuff, which leads to a rumbling tummy midway through the night. I probably couldn’t drink more than two in an evening, as the sweetness and acidity would be a bit much.

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16 Responses to “Review: Palm Bay Spritz vodka coolers”

  1. I have been buying the Ruby Grapefruit since it was first introduced. On average I buy about 24-36 cans per week. They are my absolute favourite vodka beverage. However the last 2 cases (48 cans) I bought have a horrible smell on the top of the can.

  2. I live in the United States, in Indiana. Had the pleasure of trying Palm Bay spritz vodka coolers and fell in love them. Cant find them anywhere in the U.S. Can u order this, or does anywhere else sell this product?

  3. want to know if this product is gluten free?

  4. I second that Paty. I would love to get some product information, even where the heck to contact the makers of Palm Bay to find out if it’s gluten free. It’s driving me bananas, the site has no contact information, and the only information I can find is that it’s Canadian made.

    http://www.palmbayspritz.ca/Main

    I am presuming that it is not Celiac-friendly, but it sure would be nice to be able to confirm that.

  5. Never mind… according to Palm Bay’s Facebook page, in which Stacey Saucier asks on September 10, 2011 about gluten content, it is gluten-free. Not certain of the specifics, but the moderators declare that it is free of gluten.

    http://www.facebook.com/PalmBaySpritz?sk=wall

  6. fucking rights all the good liquor is canadian.

  7. the mango one is the best one that i like out of all of them.

  8. I love the Palm Bay Lime with Diet Coke. 3/4 Palm Bay Lime and 1/4 Coke. To me this end up tasting just like a Long Island Iced Tea. Very Good!

    • New twist that I was just served on an incredibly hot day at the golf course – the Dirty Palmy. The traveling bartender filled two plastic beer cups with ice then poured equal parts Molson Canadian beer and Ruby Grapefruit Palm Bay cooler into the cups. Maybe it was the heat talking, but the combination was fantastic (and I usually HATE beer!!!). I haven’t tried it at home yet, but it seems like a reasonable experiment on another hot day. Cheers!

  9. Love these!! Awhile back there was a tangerine mist one that was “seasonal”. They were amazing!! Anyone know if they will be coming back???

  10. I enjoy the ruby grapefruit cooler. How many grams of sugar are in a can?

  11. I love the palm bay tangerin mits and we can get them why??? Just love them

  12. Oh my goodness, I tried to drink one of the peach flavoured spritz’s but had to pour out most of it as it tasted like shit. I see all of these positive comments and think it is simply not possible that any of them are that good if the peach one tastes like shit.

  13. Been drinkin palmers for the past 2 yrs , love em, recently found out a gluten allergy just a great substiute to beers, I cant live with out em, love the ruby grapefruit, find it hard to venture from my favs….. cheers!

  14. My favorite is the key lime. Its is really good especially mixed with a bit of coke
    #albertalogic