According to White Mule Farms, the company behind the oddball Spodee, this, er, drinkable was a Depression-era concoction of wine mixed with herbs, spices, and moonshine. Sort of a ghetto version of Port, perhaps, from the sound of it.
Spodee today seems to be perhaps a simpler product: Wine fortified with white whiskey, with chocolate flavoring in lieu of the herbs and spices. Don’t worry about getting too trashed on Spodee. At 18% alcohol — barely 1 or 2% more boozy than most Zinfandels these days — it can’t have much moonshine in it. The bottle itself says the liquid inside is “Grape wine with natural chocolate flavor,” no mention of a moonshine kicker. The packaging is indeed an old-fashioned milk bottle.
How’s it taste? Straight up, exactly like you’d expect: Strong (cheap) wine, significantly sweetened with chocolate syrup. You can probably recreate this at home without too much trouble with some plonk and a bottle of Hershey’s. Any nuance in the wine is lost in the candy character, and the resulting concoction isn’t drinkable for much more than novelty’s sake.
Spodee’s signature cocktail is “Spodee & Sody” — Spodee and Coke, half and half — which is a bit like drinking a Chocolate Coke. Here, though, the wine component gets in the way of the fun, putting a raisiny character into the drink and leaving it equally tough to get down. As my brother put it when served a glass, “Nope, that just doesn’t get any better.”
D / $9 per 500ml bottle / spodeewine.com