When selecting products to taste test, several factors play into our decision: Is it new and/or notable? Did a reader send it to us/dare us to try it? (We like it when you do that.) Can we somehow make it more disgusting and force-feed it to Chang? But today’s selection process basically boiled down to “Ooooh, pretty.”
Yes, sometimes all it takes to sway your discriminating taste testers is nifty packaging and convenience. (In this case, our taste-test item of the week was conveniently sitting next to the cash register at our local lunchtime grocery.) The four-packs of Twin Shots beckoning to us from the counter offered nothing more than a neat alcohol-delivery method and an excuse to drink at work. We were sold.
Twin Shots are bifurcated shot glasses filled with fairly standard liquor-liqueur pairings, combining into the types of shots that are destined to wind up splattered on the ladies’ room floor by the end of the night: “Raspberry Dream,” (raspberry liqueur and velvet cream vodka), “B52” (orange liqueur and caramel-cream-vodka), and “Rattlesnake” (tequila and lime liqueur). The shot combinations and the bottom-shelf-quality booze isn’t the appeal, but who can resist a four-pack of bad-decision bombs that look like Christmas ornaments for a mere $5.99?
The low price point is probably attributable to the dubious quality and origin of the alcohol inside the shot glasses, though one could easily argue that quality isn’t really discernable (or required) through all the fruity-liqueured goodness. The Twin Shot website drives this home; it seems more concerned with discussing the product’s packaging than what’s inside. After a perfunctory “Made from the finest ingredients and fresh natural cream,” Twin Shot’s mission statement rambles off into head-scratching PR-speak like “Exciting graphics create a perfect stage. Clear, precise, and with a tasteful zing that demands attention without detracting from the product,” and, “The confusing days of features for feature sake are diminishing and making way for the new generation of value-added sales.” Um, yay?
Oddly, the “Rattlesnake” concoction we picked up isn’t mentioned anywhere on the Twin Shot website, nor does the packaging bear the Twin Shot logo. It’s also the only variation that doesn’t include “vodka cream,” which seems to be a big selling point of the Twin Shot brand. In fact, it doesn’t seem to have a brand name at all, though a tiny URL on the side points imbibers to twisteeshots.com, a corporate-looking site that offers few answers about, well, anything. But the double-shot-glass and four-pack packaging are otherwise identical to Twin Shots’, and they were all part of the same display. Perhaps we stumbled upon a stealth competing product; or, more likely, this is a Stateside permutation of the Australia-based Twin Shot.
Taste: There weren’t enough shots for everyone to taste every flavor—never mind the fact that taking three shots in the middle of the workday might be more than some tasters could handle—but everyone seemed to enjoy theirs regardless of flavor. They’re all pretty standard “girly” shots, the type you’d expect to find ordered at a college bar with a strawberry daiquiri chaser. They therefore seem to give the highest priority to numminess, with “Whoooooo!” coming in a close second. You won’t impress anyone with your drinking prowess while downing these, but you could very easily wind up accidentally drunk. (The 20 to 22 percent alcohol by volume might sneak up on drinkers, considering how easily these go down.)
Unsurprisingly, given the product’s gimmick, the most notable thing about Twin Shots is the design of the shot glass itself, which was cool enough that several testers rinsed theirs out to take home for future use. It’s actually a little intimidating staring down these shots before taking them, not because of what’s in them, but because the split-down-the-middle plastic glasses seem specially designed to slop half the liquid right into your face, resulting in the twin horrors of humiliation and less booze in your bloodstream. Yet no such mortification came; the divided glasses did their job as well as a unified shot glass, even though the displacement caused by the separating wall results in a pretty tiny serving size (25 milliliters, compared to the standard 1-ounce single shot). “Clear precise and with a tasteful zing,” indeed.
• “It smells like a dry-erase marker.”
• “Tastes a little like fancy candy with liquor in it, and a little like a shoe.”
• “Oh, that’s delicious.”
• “It’s almost like a White Russian; it just needs a little more milk.”
• “The non-name-brand Kahlua was delicious.”
• “I don’t know how I feel about it being needlessly orange.”
• “The design of these is very elegant.”
• “The raspberry has a little medicine-y taste.”
• “It was girly and delicious.”
• “It reminds me of those raspberry Hershey’s kisses.”
• “The raspberry is powerful enough to overwhelm the alcohol, so this could be quite dangerous in terms of getting blitzed.”
• “I don’t really like that it’s already sticky.”
• “I think my grandma would probably love this.”
• “I would have preferred if both sides were tequila.”
• “It almost tastes like a legitimate shot.”
• “It tastes more like SoCo and lime than tequila.”
• “I would happily puke these up later.”
Not-so-bonus round: Chang lovers, this might be hard to watch. For some reason, our resident daredevil’s iron will balked at the thought of imbibing a “suicide” of the backwash-y dregs of his coworkers’ shots. Hey, every man has to have some standards.
Where to get them: The Twin Shot website doesn’t say anything about U.S. distribution or offer online ordering, though they obviously exist over here. Specialty liquor and grocery stores might be a good place to look. A friend of The A.V. Club claims to have seen this product at several pubs in England, so you Brits and Aussies might have better luck.