Mike’s Harder Mango Madness Punch

Today’s Mistake: Mike’s Harder Mango Madness Punch. “The Mango Punch With The Longest Name of All-Time!”

harder mango

8% alcohol by volume

23.5 ounce can

Price: $3.99

ABQ: 47.11

I’m normally not one to disparage the achievements and hard work of others, especially since they’re likely more accomplished and more intelligent than I am, but who the hell gave this beverage the green light? I mean, they actually put a BOXING GLOVE on the can. Masters of subtlety, these Mike’s executives. Never mind the name, which takes roughly seventeen minutes to say and even longer to type. So long, in fact, that I’ve taken to simply copying and pasting Mike’s Harder Mango Madness Punch whenever I need to write Mike’s Harder Mango Madness Punch. A few summers ago, my roommate and I discovered a new variant of Mike’s at our local shitty Boston liquor store, a stronger, more radioactive version of their usual sugary stuff. Mike’s Harder, as they creatively named it, was available in flavors like Grape and Fruit Punch, and it was also not bad. I drank them often, and with gusto. I wish they’d have dropped the “harder” designation from Mike’s Harder Mango Madness Punch; not only is it unnecessary, it’s a pain in the ass. Does “madness” not hint already at a higher ABV? The people demand subtle and creative product names, and Mike’s has let us down.

Color

I came for orange, and I was not disappointed. A masterpiece of food coloring, Mike’s Harder Mango Madness Punch looks not unlike a good orange cream soda. In fact, reminds me quite a bit of a Stewart’s Orange Cream, which is both a fine soda and a well-named product (STEWART’S EXTREME HARDER ORANGE CREAM DREAM PUNCH).

Taste

Delightfully artificial and shitty in that special, mango way. Anyone familiar with artificial flavors will no doubt hold the mango high as one of the least authentic, along with banana and green apple. Mike’s Harder Mango Madness Punch is pleasant enough; strong but not overwhelming, it’s a well-balanced mango abomination. Entirely too sweet, but I expected that.

Mouthfeel

Like a soda, or a cheap beer, but it leaves behind a teeth-coating, gritty sugar film. I will need to brush my teeth hundreds of times.

Packaging

That can up there is absurd. There’s nothing I can say to do it justice, so I’ll just quote this disclaimer from the can: “Mike’s is hard. SO IS PRISON. Don’t drink before you’re 21.” Indeed!

Price

On the expensive side. Four and change after tax, Mike’s Harder Mango Madness Punch is not the budget mango alcopop this country needs, deserves, and wants, but it’s a fine option for special occasions and those sleepy Tuesday afternoons at the dog track.

Final Verdict

I wanted to love Mike’s Harder Mango Madness Punch, but as it turns out, I only “like” it. I’ll do my best to track down the other flavors, and as far as alcopop goes, you could do much worse than our friend here. 3 out of a possible 5.