I had the pleasure of reviewing some of Lollipop Labs unusual lollipops this weekend. Given that they have flavors like “Dirty Martini” and “Earl Grey,” I would recommend these lollies more for the discerning Candy Addict than for, say, your five year old.
A couple of general notes: these lollipops don’t have a lot of scent when you open them, but don’t let that fool you. As soon as you lick them you get plenty of flavor. I thought one of the coolest things about them was the way the flavor nuances change as you eat them. Sometimes you’ll get more of one herb than another as you go, while still enjoying the overall main flavor of the lollipop. Neat! Plus, I love that I recognize and can pronounce every ingredient on the labels.
One more thing: if you don’t see a flavor below that appeals to you, Lollipop Labs will custom design the flavor and shape of their lollipops to your specifications. How cool is that?
Dirty Martini (aka: Dude There’s an Olive in My Lollipop!): Might as well start with the aforementioned Dirty Martini. I gotta tell you I was excited by the idea of this lollipop. In case you haven’t had one, a dirty martini is like a regular martini, but they add in a bunch of olive juice. So, I was envisioning something sweet and salty – a combo I really enjoy. This baby starts off with a sweet flavor that reminded me of the old-fashioned barley sugar lollies. Then, as I nibbled, I did get a little bit of salty, though not as much as I’d hoped. I could also taste the olive, but again it wasn’t the whomping olive flavor I associate with dirty martinis. However, when I got to the middle, I had a ring of olive to eat, just like the olives in the martini glass. This olive was quite chewy and a bit disconcerting. Overall, although this lollipop was ok, I found I liked the idea better than the actual pop. Still, I recommend trying it because it’s such an unusual experience.
Peppermint Tea Toddy: In contrast to the Dirty Martini flavor, I was not excited about the Peppermint. I figured, you’ve tasted one peppermint, you pretty much know what you’ll be getting with the rest. I mean, I enjoy a nice candy cane every now and then, but they can be kind of “ho hum.” Oh boy was I wrong! This wound up being one of my two favorite flavors! The Lollipop Lab geniuses decided to throw in some rum here and wow! The rum is subtle, but it does this little dance with the peppermint and boy is it good. There’s also just a hint of lime that plays in the background. Overall, a truly yummy pop that should make candy canes embarrassed!
Kaffir Lime Lemongrass: Unlike all the other lollipops I tried, the first taste you get with this pop is NOT sweet. It’s a bit startling. Have you ever bitten into the rind of a lime – or orange, or lemon? Well, that’s kind of how this lollipop tasted to me: like the zest from the rind of a lime. So instead of the tangy tartness I expected, the taste was a bit bitter, with a strong lime zest flavor, and only a touch of sourness. I like sour things so I wished this was more tart, more like the meat of the lime and less like the zest. I also didn’t get a lot of lemongrass in the flavor, which would have helped add some tanginess – the lime seemed particularly dominant. So, if you like a strong lime flavor, you should check this out.
Lavender Rose: I thought this was by far the prettiest of the lollipops, and I can see it making a really good gift (the photo doesn’t do the colors justice). You’ve got the heart shape, the purple color, and the pretty flecks of herbs – they all make for a nice package for some really good flavor. Out of all the lollipops I tasted, I found this pop to have the gentlest flavors. It started out with that sweet, barley sugar taste but then the rose flavor kicked in, with just a hint of lavender. Some licks had more lavender to them, some less, which just made the experience all the more interesting and enjoyable. If you want to go mellow and pretty with your pop, try this flavor.
Swine Flue Prevention: The pig shape certainly gives this lollipop a fun factor! I gotta tell you that this lollipop tasted medicinal to me. Given that it’s got ingredients that include echinacea, eucalyptus, and ginger, I can see why. But I have to say, sucking on this lollipop is way more fun than I usually have taking my vitamins. I can’t vouch for the efficacy of its prevention abilities, but in terms of boosting my immune system by boosting my mood, this sure works. See, the lollipop is too big to fit in my mouth. So that meant I had to spend time nibbling on the pig’s ears. Definitely good for the giggles.
Earl Grey: This was my other favorite flavor. If you like Earl Grey tea, this lollipop is for you! I don’t know how they managed it, but they got the perfect Earl Grey flavor with this pop. It’s like having a nice, sweet cup of tea without all the fuss. I got the sometimes sweet, sometimes peppery, sometimes spicy flavors I associate with excellent Earl Grey. This lollipop has a really bumpy texture but I have to say I didn’t mind it – it just added to the experience.
Overall, none of these flavors turned out to be what I expected, which was totally fun for me. If you like lollipops and unique flavor combos, I recommend giving these pops a whirl.
If you could design your own flavor, what would you choose?