Sparkling Ice Essence Peach

Sparkling Ice Essence Peach

Back to basics. I can't tell you how refreshing seltzer is after some of the crap we drink. Look, nothing we drink is literal crap or figurative crap. Everyone puts their hearts into the products they put out but come one, after 4600 reviews, we have earned the right to start calling things "crap."

This is great. It's pure simplicity. Water, bubbles and peach. I assume they have some sort of vat of peaches just stewing all their Georgia essence into some tube mechanism that sucks up the scent, injects it into water by way of science/witchcraft and then stores the vapors for someone lucky enough to drink it.

If you like seltzer, this is just seltzer. They can call it whatever fancy name they want. It's sparkling water with flavor. La Croix? Polar? The other one? Same deal, bro. Same deal. It's all great seltzer.

Website
http://www.sparklingice.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
No Sugar Added
Categories
Sparkling, Water
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Mike Literman on February 2nd, 2017
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New York Seltzer Cola & Berry Soda

New York Seltzer Cola & Berry Soda


Companies have been flavoring their colas with various things for decades and we no longer bat an eye at cherry, vanilla, or even lime cola, this may be the first berry cola I’ve come across. More than likely I have and it’s slipped my brain. I mean I do get dumber by the day and find myself forgetting normal words I use all the time. I will choose to believe that my brain is not malfunctioning this time and say that it is my first cola of this variety. I have to say, I’m into it. I do wish it had a stronger cola flavor, but what is there pairs great with the berry. It’s similar to a cherry cola, but with a little twist. Is it better? I can’t say. It is different though and that makes it stand out to me, and that is a hard thing to do these days.

While this isn’t what I think of when I think of seltzer (They are right. I am wrong.), this still has possibly the smallest ingredients list I have come across for a soda. It’s simply carbonated water, cane sugar, citrus acid, and natural flavors. It’s simple, it’s clean and it’s delicious.

Website
http://https://drinknewyorkseltzer.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Cane Sugar
Categories
Soda Pop
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on January 31st, 2017
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Medifast Dutch Chocolate Shake

Medifast Dutch Chocolate Shake

Just like that we have come to the last submission of the 2017 Shake it Off Challenge. So far the contestants have been decently chocolatey and mostly enjoyable. For this final installment we will visit the shake whose packaging looks the most medicinal. With a name like Medifast and the Caduceus logo how can one not think of a doctor’s office while drinking this? I understand that they are trying to show how healthy this beverage is and show that it is recommended by physicians, but the symbolism has me expecting this to taste like garbage medicine. Sometimes you hate when your expectations are met. This is clearly my least favorite of the three shakes we reviewed for the challenge. The chocolate tastes fake and chalky (yes I shook it up for as long as recommended). While the other shakes let you feel like you’re cheating and drinking some sort of desert, this never lets you forget that it has a function and that is to help you lose weight, which will not be enjoyable. With 14g of protein and 100 calories, it’s pretty close to the others in that regard. Unfortunately the taste does not match up.

Website
http://www.medifast1.com
Country
United States
Sweetener
Fructose
Categories
Diet, Mix/Concentrate
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on January 29th, 2017
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Topo Chico Flavored Sparkling Water

Topo Chico Flavored Sparkling Water

In a couple of weeks I’m going on tour in Mexico. Since we all know you are not supposed to drink the top water there if you are not a local I fully expect that I will get all of my refreshment from this company. If you’ve read Thirsty Dudes before you likely know that it took me over 30 years of my life to be able to enjoy seltzer water. It took me even longer than that to give Topo Chico a try, but once I did I kicked myself for not having it in my life already.

For those of you who are not in the know, Topo Chico is a sparkling mineral water. The minerals give the water just a hint of a flavor that makes it stand out from regular sparkling water. To add to that there is a bit of citrus in here by the way of lemon in a way that makes it interesting and not like boring restaurant water. Overall it tastes classic and classy. It’s the kind of beverage that would pair perfectly with the world’s greatest burritos. Oh Mexico, I can’t wait to visit and hopefully I will not get stabbed while I’m there like people keep telling me I’m going to.

In an added note I just heard that Aldi bought this company, so now it will be easy to find at an affordable price throughout the US.

Website
http://www.topochicousa.net/
Country
Mexico
Sweetener
No Sugar Added
Categories
Sparkling, Water
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on January 25th, 2017
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Core Organic Orange Clementine

Core Organic Orange Clementine

I’m not exactly sure what this beverage is supposed to be. It’s not really a juice, but it’s also not a sports drink. The bottle says it is an “organic fruit infused beverage,” and according to the ingredients list it’s kind of a mix of everything. It is composed of coconut water, 4% juice, white tea, and a whole mess of organic, zero calorie sweeteners. The result just tastes a bit generic, like some random “juice” box you’d get as a kid, expect now it tastes overly diet. This sort of tastes a modern version of Kool Aid. The orange/clementine flavor is there, but it tastes a bit powdery. I appreciate what they are trying to do with this, but the arrow is hitting just outside of the target. It’s almost good, but it just doesn’t mess right.

Website
http://core-hydration.com
Country
United States
Sweetener
Organic Erytritol
Categories
Coconut, Iced Tea, Juice
Rating
2/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on January 22nd, 2017
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Benner Tea Co. Chai

Benner Tea Co. Chai

Chai. I got into it too late. It's good and I love a nice spicy, hot tea. This isn't half bad, either. Should I think less of it because it is an Aldi brand? No. It's probably something else branded to look like an Aldi brand, actually.

This had a good, strong anise taste to it mixed with whatever other magic was in here. I promptly drank it and, presumably ruined it, adding a packet of sugar. It was the morning and daddy needed a little pick-me-up.

To whomever I stole this from that works in my office, thanks. I'll pay you back in whatever the equivalent of one bag of tea is. Pretty sure that's a wet T-shirt car wash.

Country
United States
Sweetener
No Sugar Added
Categories
Hot Tea
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Mike Literman on January 18th, 2017
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Ikea Dryck Julmust

Ikea Dryck Julmust

This tastes better than it smells. It smells like...listen...I'll be honest with you. I haven't always been straight edge. Back in the late 90's, it was a difficult time for everyone. I snuck, a bottle of red wine out of my parent's basement over to my friend's and we hid it in the drop ceiling and took sips of it. It was disgusting then. Two, maybe three baby sips. Tops. This smelled like that but sweeter.

How did it taste? Not that much better but good enough that I drank a fair amount of this bottle. It tastes like the fruity part of wine mixed in with a can of Pepsi. It had a bit of a burn to it which was probably from "Christmas spices." It did taste like it could have been alcoholic. It wasn't but if you pulled the wool over my eyes and told me a week later, I wouldn't call you a liar. I'd call you a jerk and probably puke on your car, but I would have had my hunches the entire time.

Website
http://www.ikea.com
Country
Sweden
Sweetener
Sugar
Categories
Soda Pop
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Mike Literman on January 18th, 2017
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Runa Clean Energy

Runa Clean Energy

I can’t believe I forgot to review this. I had drunk one awhile back and I loved it. For some reason I didn’t do a write up for it. I was on tour, so it probably just slipped my mind. Cut to about two months ago and suddenly it shows up at my friendly neighborhood Big Lots, where old labels go to die, for 50 cents a bottle. I bought several cases and have been enjoying it ever since. Today I grabbed my last bottle (the store has since run out) and I couldn’t remember what kind words I had to say about this wonderful tea. When I looked it up, I realized I had yet to say anything, because I’m a big dumb-dumb head (or so children would tell you).

So far every Runa beverage that we have reviewed has gotten a 4 or 5 bottle rating. That may be the most consistently great per capita company we have dealt with. The reason for that is that they keep their beverages simple. It’s water, guayusa tea, cane sugar and whatever flavor that particular tea is meant to be. This bottle may contain 0% juice, but it tastes like actual raspberries and not some sugary garbage like most teas. One of the great things about Runa is that they have wisely chosen to have the tea be the most prominent flavor and the fruit act as the backup. It’s earthy, but a little sweet with a mild berry flavor. It also happens to be just what I want out of this drink. If it showed up at the store again I would buy every bottle they had in stock. I recommend you do the same. That is unless you live around Buffalo. In that case, I call dibs.

Website
http://www.runa.org/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Organic Cane Sugar
Categories
Iced Tea
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on January 17th, 2017
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Nutrisystem Nutricrush Chocolate Shake Mix

Nutrisystem Nutricrush Chocolate Shake Mix

Round two of the 2017 Shake It Off Challenge has begun, and I have to say I think we have a contender on our hands. Nutrisystem is a long running company and they have had that time to perfect the “diet’ shake powder. This is downright delicious. This is the kind of thing that would make dieting easy. I’m not even on a diet and I want to drink these all of the time because it tastes great and there is no guilt in consuming it. What other chocolate beverage can say that?

It is ridiculously creamy and it tastes like decent chocolate, not like garbage chocolate that you would swear is actually more plastic than food. There is some stevia and monk fruit extract in here as well as fructose to sweeten it, but none of them interfere with the chocolate taste. That is a feat onto itself. The numbers for this are less than the Wonderslim. It has 13g of sugar with 150 calories, but with this you will recognize the names of more of the ingredients, and you can’t argue with that flavor. I personally feel much better drinking this than the competitor.

We have one more contestant in this game. Will Nutrisystem remain on top, or will they be ousted? Only time will tell.

Website
http://www.nutrisystem.com
Country
United States
Sweetener
Fructose
Categories
Diet, Milkshake, Mix/Concentrate
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on January 17th, 2017
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Dry Sparkling Rainier Cherry

Dry Sparkling Rainier Cherry

I’m complained on here, a stupid amount of times, that companies should just lower the amount of sugar they use instead of using zero calorie sweeteners. Sure, they save you calories, but it’s at the cost of the taste of the beverage. Dry does exactly what I have suggested. To be fair they have been doing it since before I vocalized my thoughts. This can of soda has less than half the sugar that a “normal” soda would. For a lot of their flavors this practice really works wonderfully. Unfortunately this one just does not taste right to me. There is a natural sweetness in cherries, and it’s lost in tis translation. It’s one of the few soda flavors that I like being really sweet. Actually a middle ground would be perfect. This tastes more like actual cherries than most sodas, but I could use more of the sweetness from a typical cherry pop. Taking all of that into consideration if I had a six pack of these I’m pretty sure by the end I would become acclimated with it and would have no issues once my brain/taste buds adjusted.

Website
http://www.drysoda.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Pure Cane Sugar
Categories
Soda Pop
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on January 15th, 2017
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