I have fond memories of collecting and playing with pogs in the nineties. For a little while, those little cardboard circles seemed to rule the world. From stores to television, you couldn’t escape from pogs. At the time, I acquired as many pogs as I could find, regardless of brand or style (though I was partial to the ones featuring the X-Men). However, my older brother was much more selective with his pog collection–he only wanted the official pogs from the World POG Federation. Though some may be unfamiliar with the World POG Federation name, seeing their logo will immediately jog your memories.
Fast forward to 2016, and as I scrolled through Twitter one day, I saw those three iconic stylized letters –POG–on a drink. I was immediately flabbergasted. I’d heard that the game of pogs was invented by kids playing with milkcaps, but I had no idea there was an actual drink with the namesake and logo of pogs themselves. Needless to say, I had to track this mythical drink down and try it for myself.
For anyone who grew up during the nineties, the packaging on this can will likely generate feelings of nostalgia, thirst, and confusion. The classic POG logo draws you in, and the bright colors heighten the intrigue. Once you read the text, things begin to make sense: the drink is Made In Hawaii, where the game of pogs originated, and POG stands for Passion Orange Guava, an acronym for the three main ingredients of the drink. And, of course, there’s the drink’s mascot…WAIT, IS THAT POGMAN???
This is where the confusion officially set in for me. Was this happy little mascot on my can of POG the same Pogman who had been the mascot for the World POG Federation? If so, he has certainly cleaned up his appearance in the years since the POG craze faded. Maybe it’s Pogman’s more responsible cousin?
I’ll admit to not having high expectations for this drink. Though the ingredients made it sound promising, I was skeptical. It seemed like the drink should have been widely available during the POG craze, but I had never tried (or even heard of it) until this year. POG is made by Meadow Gold, a Hawaiian dairy, and is apparently easy to find in Hawaii. Although I’m sure there are a few stores who import it to the continental U.S., it can’t be many. I ordered a six pack of cans on eBay in order to try POG, and the cans arrived pretty quickly.
Once I was finally able to taste POG, my skepticism faded away. This drink isn’t just good, it’s REALLY good. All of the promised flavors are there, and in a near-perfect balance. The simplest way I can describe POG is that it tastes tropical in the best way possible. It’s refreshing, sweet, and makes me wish I was relaxing on a nice Hawaiian beach.
POG may be tough to track down, but it is absolutely worth it. The drink tastes delicious, and the amount of fun you can have just by seeing the confused reaction from your friends is worth the price of admission alone. If you’re a fan of tropical drinks, I’d highly recommend giving POG a try.