Polar Seltzer Watermelon Margarita

Polar Seltzer Watermelon Margarita

I do not know what a margarita is aside from a drink that my live-in-wife likes to order as a "salty marg." This did taste like watermelon, or, perhaps closer to a watermelon candy (somehow) without sugar. Could you imagine eating watermelon that wasn't sweet? That would be a strange thing. Watermelons are very sweet. This was not at all sweet and as far as I could tell, also not salty. I don't know what this is, to be quite honest. Sparkling watermelon perhaps. The margarita might just be a word they used to append to the end.

This is not bad and it's far from my least favorite but it's not bad. It's unfortunately not one of the ones I would come back to actively. There are times when I go to parties and think to myself, "Well the kids will have juice boxes and the adults will have beers so it looks like it's another Polar for me." and that's how I roll to parties. I might roll with this. It's safe but it's not exceptional.

Website
http://www.polarbev.com
Country
United States
Sweetener
No Sugar Added
Categories
Sparkling, Water
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Mike Literman on June 7th, 2017
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Vita Coco Pure Coconut Water With Lemon Tea

Vita Coco Pure Coconut Water With Lemon Tea

Since the ingredients are listed as “Tea(water, tea)” I don’t believe this is the case, but this really tastes like a kettle of coconut water was boiled and then some tea bags were steeped in it and finally a healthy squirt (or two or five) of lemon was shot into it. The flavors are so seamless that it doesn’t feel like the finished products could have just been mixed together. It’s certainly an interesting flavor that I could see myself enjoying on all of those trips I take to tropical locations, where I do nothing but lounge in the sun staring out in to the ocean, but since I don’t ever do those things, I don’t know when I would drink this. It’s really good, but it also feels like it has a very specific purpose. It’s the kind of beverage that it just feels wrong sipping it while just sitting around your house. It needs to be enjoyed in the blistering heat of a summer sun. I’m sure many people will enjoy it in such a manner, but since that ball of gas in the sky and I are sworn enemies, I’m afraid I will never truly enjoy this in its intended manner.

Website
http://www.vitacoco.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Sugar
Categories
Coconut, Iced Tea
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on May 31st, 2017
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Mati Healthy Energy Citrus

Mati Healthy Energy Citrus

I started off thinking these Mati drinks weren’t very good. I blamed it on thinking that it was going to be a yerba mate base and not guayusa. Then, knowing what I was getting into better, I thought I enjoyed them a decent amount. Now, after drinking 5 or 6 cans of various flavors with some repeating, I really don’t know what I think. I really want to like it, because it’s different and healthier, but at the same time there is something a little off with the flavor. Not like spoiled “off,” but just strange that I can’t seem to acclimate myself to. As soon as I take my first sip of any can, I’m not really a fan, but then about halfway through I start to “get it” and the enjoyment begins. The problem is that if I were to drink another can the next day it would be the same situation and not instant gratification. I know there are certain consumables that you need to grow into. They are things that you completely dislike when you first try them, but eventually they can become your favorites. People say that about beer, but I don’t think that flavor could ever be something I would intentionally want in my mouth. You get the idea though. Will that happen with Mati drinks? Is it something that no matter how many times I drink it I will always have to “work” for the pleasure with each can? I don’t know if that is something I want. Definitely not on a regular basis.

I would say this is 60% guayusa 20% orange and 20% lime. At least half of the citrus aspect of this tastes like it comes from the rind. That’s not a terrible thing, but something I feel is worth noting. The more I think about the citrus, the more it seems to come through. Maybe it’s because I’m nearing the end of the can. Maybe it’s there because I’m looking for it. These drinks will remain a mystery.

Website
http://www.matienergy.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
No Sugar Added
Categories
Energy Drink
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on May 31st, 2017
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Dunkin' Donuts Iced Coffee S'Mores

Dunkin' Donuts Iced Coffee S'Mores

Where do I start with this...? It's not great. That's where I'll start. Before the similes and before the jokes, let's get to the marshmallow'y meat of this whole ordeal. It's not great. It tastes vaguely of marshmallow if you made a marshmallow with an array of chemicals...errrr...artificial sweeteners and then covered in more sugar. This time, and I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt here, real sugar.

This has more of a coffee taste than many of the other iced coffee's I've have, which is a welcome change but the rest of it...I feel like I might need a tongue scraper. It's a very prominent, strong taste that I wish I couldn't taste anymore. I'm not saying it's terrible and I'm going to barf, but after sharing half of this and finishing a half of what I had left, I don't know how much s'more endurance I have left in me. That's not a pun. I don't do puns. I'm better than that.

If you're wondering, I can't taste any chocolate or graham cracker. Marshmallow and coffee and endless questionable sweeteners. This will surly bring a plague of unknown disease upon my poor, meat-filled body. I just won't know about it for another twenty years when the test results come back. Prognosis...negative.

Website
http://www.dunkindonuts.com
Country
United States
Sweetener
Not Listed
Categories
Coffee
Rating
2/5
Reviewed By
Mike Literman on May 31st, 2017
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Spindrift Sparkling Water Grapefruit

Spindrift Sparkling Water Grapefruit

You know in the Declaration of Independence where it says “We hold these truths to be self-evident?” Well, all seltzers being created equal was most definitely not one of those truths that our Founding Fathers were referring to. It’s probably because it’s not a truth at all. It’s a flat out lie. Sure 90% of the seltzer waters out there are created equally, but then there is the other 10% who rise above and boy do they shine. I’ve drunk a lot of grapefruit seltzer over the past few years and I have to tell you, this is #1 with a bullet. The secret to its success is really no secret at all; there is 8% juice in this can, which equates to 3g of sugar. I’ll take that tradeoff for a far superior beverage. It’s like your dear grandmamma squeezed her morning grapefruit into a glass of sparkling water. Juice is the key to a lot of things in this life. I’ve never been in a situation where real juice has made anything taste worse. Take note….well…everyone.

Website
http://www.spindriftsoda.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
No Sugar Added
Categories
Sparkling, Water
Rating
5/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on May 30th, 2017
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Teavana Craft Iced Tea Pineapple Berry Blue

Teavana Craft Iced Tea Pineapple Berry Blue

I went in to 7-11 looking for one thing and left for something probably way better. I have not had a true Pepsi Fire myself. I say "true" because I got a Slurpee and, in true fashion, I mixed it up. I thought that I would get one for myself tonight but I got sidetracked by this little beauty and what a little beauty it was.

This is lightly sweetened and very strongly flavored. Nice hibiscus flavor. There are "other berries" in there, sure but it's a wonderful evening treat. The rooibos, which I am unfortunately 50/50 on, won me over in this particular drink. Sometimes I feel it can be strong for my taste but everything was done very well here. Very well indeed. There are other flavors out there. Something to think about. Something to dream about.

Website
http://www.teavana.com
Country
United States
Sweetener
Sugar
Categories
Iced Tea
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Mike Literman on May 30th, 2017
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Busy Bee Yerba Mate Ginger Limeade

Busy Bee Yerba Mate Ginger Limeade

Busy Bee is batting 1,000. That’s sports talk for rating perfectly, correct? If not, then whatever the analogy would be to say that they have achieved perfect marks is the one we will go with. I mean I guess it was no shock that if you mix yerba mate, ginger and lime you’re going to have a winner on your hands. Actually for most people that might be something new and unheard of. To me it’s a delicious dream.

Like all of their beverages the yerba mate is the driving force. The other flavors are just an added bonus. You can taste the ginger a decent amount, but it does not give you any burn. Normally that would equate to a complaint from me, but this drink doesn’t need the burn to carry it. It is perfect just the way it is. The lime is there in a limeade fashion, as the label suggests. This is almost like the mate/limeade version of an Arnold Palmer, but with the mix 75/25 in favor of the tea.
I really can’t get enough of these drinks. They are my favorite beverage that I have come across in quite some time.

Website
http://busybeemate.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Pure Cane Sugar
Categories
Ginger, Iced Tea
Rating
5/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on May 30th, 2017
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Batch Craft Soda Shirley Temple

Batch Craft Soda Shirley Temple

Back in the 30’s bartenders on the movie lot would mix up some ginger ale (or lemon lime if it was all they had) with some grenadine and throw in a cherry to make it seem special. These drinks had a singular use; they were used to bride a child actress into giving some good takes for the “talkies.” They would pretend they were grown up drinks and only girls who performed well earned their grown up drink. Mix up one of these cocktails and those little feet would be dancing up a storm, never missing a step. If she messed up though, she was given straight sour mix.

Is any of this true? I have no idea. As far as I know this beverage was created by a bartender at bowling alley who was trying to appease the kids on a Saturday afternoon. That, at least, is my history with it. Whatever its origin story it’s a great little drink. This Batch version of the classic drink doesn’t quite capture the essence of the bowling alley version that I love from my youth, but it is a cleaner, more distinguished version. I mean it’s not coming out of a soda gun, so chances are it’s going to be of better quality. Whether you’re trying to get kids to dance, or to bowl there really isn’t a better beverage for the job.

Website
http://www.batchsoda.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Sugar
Categories
Soda Pop
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on May 28th, 2017
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Hydrive Energy Energy Water Triple Berry

Hydrive Energy Energy Water Triple Berry

Hydrive has updated their formulas as well as their look and both are for the better. The bottles now look less street corner bodega and more co-op market. I’m not talking trash on the bodegas of the world. I spend way too much time in them and love them. Their coolers just always look like a hodgepodge mess of bottles who themselves have a hodgepodge mess of design work. The new Hydrive designs are very clean looking and I find them more visually appealing. A twelve year old may not.

As for the new reformulation of the flavor it no longer tastes like melted down sugar free candy. In fact, even though it is sweetened with sucralose it doesn’t taste overly diet at all. Like the new design work the new taste is also very crisp and clean. It kind of just tastes like flavored water with a hint of sweetness. Well that might be an exaggeration, but you get the idea. It doesn’t taste like a diet mess. It’s not something I would normally drink, but I enjoyed it enough for what it is; a non-carbonated energy drink that doesn’t taste like chemicals, or like an energy drink at all.


Website
http://www.hydriveenergy.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Sucralose
Categories
Diet, Energy Drink
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on May 27th, 2017
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Pepsi Fire

Pepsi Fire

When you see a beverage that is called Fire, you expect some heat behind it. The first thought in my head was that this was going to be Pepsi with capsaicin (aka what makes peppers burn your guts). Half of a second of reading told me that it was really just Pepsi with cinnamon in it. Why the masochist in me was hoping for a drink that would cause me to sweat and leak tears everywhere, I was actually intrigued by the idea of cinnamon cola. I mean sure, I’d rather have the option to have a drink on hand that I could use to play pranks on friends and watch their mouths burn off, but I mean I guess I’ll take this.

To be honest, as I took my first sip, I thought that it really didn’t taste all that different from regular Pepsi and I thought I had bought myself a one way ticket to bummer city. Then the after taste kicked in. Oh what a wonderful aftertaste it is. It’s all cinnamon and spice and even a little heat. I can thankfully say that the soda lived up to its name.
With subsequent sips I learned that if you swished it around your mouth a bit, it opened up the flavor of the cinnamon. It makes you feel like a wine aficionado, except without all of the…you know….taste of rot and decay.
I surprisingly really enjoyed this. I do have to mention that after drinking an entire bottle over about a half hour I did get quite the stomach ache and by ache I mean burn. I guess it really does meet its nomenclature. I would also like to point out that if this would have been part of the 1893 line and made with that base, it would have been through the roof fantastic. I’m talking like life changing good.

Website
http://www.pepsi.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
High Fructose Corn Syrup
Categories
Soda Pop
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on May 26th, 2017
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