Honest Ginger Lemonade

Honest Ginger Lemonade

This is going to be a long winter. We’re maybe 2-3 weeks into there actually being snow and I’m already done with it. I want it gone and I want everything to be green again. I don’t even care if it’s all that warm. If 50 degrees is what I was given, I wouldn’t complain, as long as plants were green around me. Instead I get white, grey and brown. No one wants that. If they think they do, they are delusional.

Honest knows what I’m going through and they are trying to help me through it. I didn’t even know I was looking for anything like this drink until I was nose to nose with it in the store. It’s no secret that lemonade is the official drink of summertime. As a result I like to trick myself into thinking it’s summer by cranking the heat and drinking it mid-winter. It only helps slightly, but I’ll take what I can get to help me cope.

This is water, lemon juice, cane sugar and the secret ingredient; ginger juice. As far as the lemon goes it’s a tad bit on the watery side, but I kind of like that about it. It fits my mood and I didn’t really want something that was overly sour. Any issue I had with that is more than made up for by the ginger though. It’s present in flavor, with a bit of a burn in the aftertaste. Best of all it’s only lightly sweetened.

It’s an understatement to say that I’m into it. It’s really great and if I close my eyes and sit in front of the heating vents while I sip on this I can pretend it’s a nice (constant) warm breeze blowing over me. Why do I have to love the city I live in so much, even though I hate winter? Buffalo has a hold of me and it's not letting go.

Website
http://www.honesttea.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Fair Trade Organic Cane Sugar
Categories
Ginger, Lemonade
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on December 22nd, 2016
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Private Selection Bourbon Barrel Cola

Private Selection Bourbon Barrel Cola

Private Selection is Kroger Grocery Stores line of craft sodas. I personally am fine with them keeping this particular flavor private. It has all the makings for a great olde timey soda that doesn’t taste like a Coke or Pepsi, but then there is that bourbon flavor in there. I assume that’s what the flavor is, since I’ve never tasted bourbon before. It’s the thing in there that makes this taste quasi alcoholic. I don’t think it’s psychosomatic because I was not expecting that at all. I was expecting a dark bold cola that is made with kola nut. Sure, that is there, but there’s also the extra flavor that just turns me off from it. Without it I would have savored this soda and enjoyed the hell out of it. As it stands I can’t get past half of it. I’m sure for someone who enjoys alcohol they wouldn’t notice it as much as I do (the same way they say kombucha doesn’t taste like all of the left over half drunk beers at a party mixed together a week later). This is for someone. Someone is going to love this. I am not that someone.

Website
http://www.privateselection.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Cane Sugar
Categories
Soda Pop
Rating
2/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on December 22nd, 2016
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Pearl Soda Company Soda Syrup Blue Mountain Sunshine (Black Tea + Lemon)

Pearl Soda Company Soda Syrup Blue Mountain Sunshine (Black Tea + Lemon)

Is this the long lost Arnold Palmer pop? Kind of. In its most core sense it is until you realize that some time and love went into crafting this syrup. Taken directly from their website:

Bold, black tea from India the Nilgiri Blue Mountains of India blended with lemongrass and lemon myrtle

That's not messing around, man. That's not some garbage, every day black tea and some lemon squeezed over a cinder block into a cup. This is real. You can taste that it's different, too. This is not me being a snob, you actually can taste that it's different. It's not "just" anything.

You want to impress someone who likes to drink Half and Half, you buy them a bottle of this. Sure, they've got to have seltzer on hand but it's a small price to pay for such a quality drink.

Website
http://www.pearlsodaco.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Cane Sugar
Categories
Mix/Concentrate, Soda Pop
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Mike Literman on December 22nd, 2016
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Gatorade Frost Arctic Blitz

Gatorade Frost Arctic Blitz

I seemingly only drink Gatorade when I'm sick. Everyone except me is getting over a gnarly case of the 2016 GI bug. If it hasn't gotten you, it's gotten someone you know and it's a real sonofabitch. I'm just suffering from massive fatigue which is miles better than what everyone else has dealt with.

What does this taste like, though? I don't know. Mystery fruit? Does any Gatorade taste like anything? There might be some arbitrary melon in there but as far as anything I can pinpoint? Nope. "Fruit flavored" and that's as far and as much as I can do. Is it bad? Nope. It's not the best Gatorade I've ever had but it's far from the worst. This went down smooth and I'd like to think it gave me what plants crave, electrolytes. My body is fighting whatever atrocious virus the Western New York region is currently plagued with and I need whatever help I can get. Soup and Gatorade. Help!

Website
http://www.gatorade.com
Country
United States
Sweetener
Sugar
Categories
Sports/Dietary Supplement
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Mike Literman on December 21st, 2016
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https://www.amazon.com/Gatorade-Frost-Arctic-Blitz-Bottle/dp/B01F6FCDPS/ref=sr_1_1_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1482357480&sr=8-1&keywords=gatorade+arctic+blitz

Chasing Rabbits Natural Energy Beverage Tropical Citrus

Chasing Rabbits Natural Energy Beverage Tropical Citrus

It was a nonstop week for me doing band stuff. There was a lot of driving, late nights and early mornings. I drank more energy style drinks in the past 5 days than I have in the past 2 months. The thing is that most of them weren’t very good, and unfortunately this falls into that category. As with a lot of bad energy drinks the problem stems from the sweetener. In here they use Isomaltulose (beet sugar), stevia, and monk fruit. It so happens that the only one of those sweeteners that most people would be familiar with is the one that did the most damage. I understand wanting less sugar (aka less calories) in your beverage. There is so much sugar in things now a days that it’s no surprise the obesity levels are so high in this country. To fight that companies are compromising the taste of their beverages and using zero calorie sweeteners. At least it’s stevia instead of sucralose or one of its garbage counterparts.

This could have been a great drink. At its core it is a carbonated citrus flavored green tea. I can make it out in there and I think it would be wonderful. The sweeteners make that flavor take a back seat. When will companies realize that it’s probably not a good idea when the taste of the sweetener is stronger than the actual intended flavor? This just tastes wrong. I feel like I’m a little kid who figured out the child proof lock on the cabinet under the sink and I’m just chugging away on whatever liquid I find down there.

Website
http://www.chasingrabbits.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Isomaltulose
Rating
2/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on December 18th, 2016
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Amp Energy Zero Blueberry White Grape

Amp Energy Zero Blueberry White Grape

Do you ever find yourself wondering why cleaners always seem to be lemon scented? Do you find yourself wishing that you lived in a world where you could clean your counters, floors and woodwork with something that smelled like blueberries? Does your mind then drift and you find yourself contemplating what that delicious smelling cleaning product would taste like? Well lucky for you Amp has the answer for you and it’s fairly gross.

First off, blueberries are great. Who hasn’t sat down and accidently ate an entire basket in one sitting? Secondly, I also love grapes, especially white grapes. When they are nice and plump at a perfectly ripe phase they are fantastic. This beverage somehow messed up mixing two wonderful tastes together and I blame the sweetener. This doesn’t have the typical sucralose flavor to it, but it does something to the other flavors that just ruins them. It starts off with a decent blueberry taste but then it turn to the white grape. The two don’t mingle. They simply do no mix together. The thing is at the exact moment of the switch the sucralose does something and it tastes like a cleaner and everything is ruined. This is so close to being good. It makes the jump from roof top to roof top, but just misses and plummets to its death.

Website
http://www.ampenergy.com
Country
United States
Sweetener
Sucralose
Categories
Diet, Energy Drink
Rating
2/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on December 18th, 2016
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In The Raw Cola

In The Raw Cola

As soon as I looked at the ingredient list I instantly had questions about this product. I’m familiar with Sugar in the Raw, and it is raw Turbinado sugar. I was excited to try a cola made with it, but a quick look also told me that stevia leaf was also used as a sweetener in this bottle. You may find yourself asking the same question as I was, Why in the world is a company whose only product is raw sugar using an additional sweetener in their soda? The answer is actually simple, they have expanded their company and the name is now just In the Raw. They now sell a whole line of alternative sweeteners that are also all “raw.”

I appreciate that they have extended their line and are trying to keep people healthier by using a combination of the two sweeteners to keep the calories down, but I really, really wanted this to just be sweetened with their flagship product. This would be great in a pure form, but stevia does what stevia wants to do and this has that specific taste to it. It’s not horrible, but it’s just not what I want in a cola. I’m not a fan of diet and I would always prefer less real sugar to anything artificial or stevia based. The cola taste in here is great. It’s dark and slightly earthy, just the way I like it. Unfortunately it gets lost a bit in the stevia. The high cost of diet.

Website
http://www.intheraw.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Sugar in the Raw
Categories
Diet, Soda Pop
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on December 11th, 2016
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Sparkling Ice Essence Of Water

Sparkling Ice Essence Of Water

Do you like water? Do you like having your throat itched by tiny bubbles? Are you sick of sugar? Then here you go. This is simply carbonated water and there's not much to it, because there is not supposed to be. Enjoy.

Website
http://www.sparklingice.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
No Sugar Added
Categories
Sparkling, Water
Rating
5/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on December 11th, 2016
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Soylent Coffiest

Soylent Coffiest

Here I am sitting in my pod waiting for my morning rations to be distributed. Oh, here it is now. If you’re reading this, then you’re probably in the past. Sometime in the early 21st century I presume. You know how there’s a bunch of horrible things going on in the world, but there is also a bunch of really rad stuff as well? Well the rad things just aren’t enough and everything falls apart. There are wars, natural disasters and eventually civilization collapses. Small groups survive and meet up to form a new society. Since most of the food sources have been wiped out the scientists among us create these beverages to fill our dietary needs. It’s important to keep a sense of humor in these dire times, so they named the drinks Soylent, after the old Charlton Heston movie, you know before he went all gun crazy.

The normal rations taste like soy milk, which is to be expected, but in the mornings we get a bit of a treat and get the Coffiest version of them. It’s pretty much the same thing as the original, but with coffee added. It tastes like a nice soy latte. It’s hard to argue with it when it’s basically the only flavor we get these days. Along with that we get our nutrients as well as the same amount of caffeine that used to be found in a cup of coffee. Well, when you used to be able to find such a thing. At least it doesn’t taste like diet poison with the sucralose they use.

The future is a horrible place. Enjoy the world while you still have it. Eat all the fruits and vegetables you can find, because in the not too distant future all you’re going to taste is soy and coffee. Honestly it’s not that bad and it could easily be much worse.

Website
http://https://www.soylent.com
Country
United States
Sweetener
Sucralose
Categories
Coffee, Sports/Dietary Supplement
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on December 9th, 2016
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La Croix Passion Fruit

La Croix Passion Fruit

I just got married a month ago (pause for applause) and ate passion fruit for the first time. What a magical experience. What a strange, goopy fruit. It's so weird. I mean, I ate a ton of it but I don't think in a million years I could get my son to eat it. So slimy. It's like all slime and seeds. Strange that anyone would eat it to begin with but they do and it's wonderful.

This drink, sans goop, tastes just like it. I was surprised. La Croix does the flavor justice. I feel like that one is hard to nail. They might use real fruit juice or whatever "essence" is but whatever science they're doing in there, they've pulled in the right people.

Website
http://www.lacroixwater.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
No Sugar Added
Categories
Sparkling, Water
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Mike Literman on December 8th, 2016
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