Natalie's Orange Beet

Natalie's Orange Beet

I spend far too much time reflecting back on my trip to Mexico last winter. I didn’t go to any resorts, or the coast. I toured with friends’ band and we hit the major cities and were in the real deal heart of the country. I even had an interaction with a member of a cartel, who happened to be at a show and really liked the band. I only knew because he was bragging to me about his custom made suit that was bullet and stab proof. What a life. I actually never think much about those things, but I always find my mind wandering to the food and drinks I consumed there. My outlook on tacos has forever been changed. I’m glad to have experienced them in their true form, but now the ones back home are lacking and leave me wanting. Another thing I had a lot of was juice, which was obscenely cheap for fresh squeezed varieties. My favorites were the orange/carrot juice that I had with my morning tacos every day and what I believe was hibiscus beet juice that I would buy in the markets. They were both incredible in their own ways, and this juice is like a combination of them both (minus a few ingredients). It’s simply oranges and beets juiced with nothing else added and it is completely fantastic, to an extent that it is kind of dangerous. I feel like I could consume mass amounts of this if I wasn’t paying attention. Would that really be such a bad thing though? It’s just juice and it tastes so fresh and healthy. I already want another bottle. So long savings account.

Website
http://www.orchidislandjuice.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
No Sugar Added
Categories
Juice
Rating
5/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on August 31st, 2017
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The Maple Guild Enhanced Maple Water Cranberry Pomegranate

The Maple Guild Enhanced Maple Water Cranberry Pomegranate

Does water not have to be put on ingredients lists anymore? The reason I ask is that it is nowhere to be found on this bottle and the first two things listed are organic maple sap concentrate and organic maple syrup. I know that when maple is tapped from a tree it is very liquidy and only acquires its sticky, syrupy state when cooked, but I didn’t realize you could use it as the base for a beverage on its own. I would have assumed you needed to mix it with water. If you were to ask me I would say that I would think this would be a very viscous beverage but it really has the consistency of water.

What we have here is essentially Vitamin Water made with maple. It doesn’t taste like maple syrup at all, it’s just there as that watery base. It really tastes like a cranberry pomegranate Vitamin Water. It’s full of antioxidants, electrolytes, and vitamins. Not what I expected, but enjoyable enough.

Website
http://https://www.mapleguild.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Organic Maple Syrup
Categories
Other/Weird, Water
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on August 29th, 2017
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Natalie's Honey Tangerine

Natalie's Honey Tangerine

When I first saw this I thought it was going to be tangerine juice with honey in it. I salivated at the thought. When I looked at it I realized that it’s just a type of tangerine. I was a little disappointed until I took as sip and I realized that it didn’t need the honey, not at all. This is nothing but juice of the previously mentioned fruit, and it needs nothing else. Sure it’s a little acidic, but what do you expect? I think I might get a stomach ache if I drank too much, but this bottle is the perfect size for such a wonderful juice.

Website
http://www.orchidislandjuice.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
No Sugar Added
Categories
Juice
Rating
5/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on August 29th, 2017
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X2 Performance All Natural Energy Strawberry Kiwi

X2 Performance All Natural Energy Strawberry Kiwi

Yes, I know that caffeine is a source of energy, but when it’s the only source of energy in a beverage I don’t really think of it as an energy drink. X2 has, as the name suggests, two sources of caffeine; black and green tea. Even with that combo the 106mg of caffeine isn’t much more than the 95mg that one would find in a cup of coffee. It still does give you a little boost though, especially if you are like me and are sensitive to caffeine.

Not only are their two types of tea in here, but there are also two different sweeteners; cane sugar and clover honey. The result is 33g of sugar per can. So with a ton of tea and sugar you would expect ot know what you are getting yourself into, but the truth is it doesn’t taste much like tea. In fact, it tastes more like a kiwi strawberry tea Gatorade type drink. It’s like a flavored water and not tea. I actually like the taste, but at first I expected it to be carbonated, because I expect all energy drink to be so, until proven wrong. Then I expected it to be tea heavy, and it was not. This is nothing what I thought at all. It still is a little bit of okay though.

Website
http://www.x2performance.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Cane Sugar
Categories
Energy Drink, Iced Tea
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on August 28th, 2017
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Polar Seltzer Jr. Dragon Whispers

Polar Seltzer Jr. Dragon Whispers

Last year, for an extremely limited time, Polar released the flavor Unicorn Kisses. We weren’t as vigilant as we should have been and it passed right by us. Even our clot (which, you know…we have very little) could get us some from Polar direct; they were plum out. This year Unicorn Kisses is back and it brought three other friends with it. This year we were also more on top of things and Polar sent us some samples. Not only do they make wonderful product, but they are also great humans, who understand my needs for weird seltzer and are kind enough to accommodate me (minus the fact that vanilla is still not available in cans).

The first of these four magical flavors, which I believe are aimed towards kids because of their names and the line being called “Seltzer Jr,” is Dragon Whispers. I would expect such a thing to taste of smoke and cinders, but I don’t think children, nor would anyone enjoy a liquid smoke seltzer. I suppose it’s lucky for us all that Polar decided to go in a different direction.
Smell wise this reminds me of something like Pixie Stix or Sweetarts. That is very strange because a sweetener-less beverage smells like products that are mostly sugar. It’s also odd because that is what Red Bull style energy drinks smell like to me. SO yeah, it smells like them, minus the chemical undertones. From the smell I really didn’t know what to expect. My taste buds were awaiting an overload of sweetness, but my mind knew that wouldn’t be the case. The reality is that it tastes like an unsweetened tropical fruit punch. I was hoping for something a little stranger, but it was quite pleasant and I could see myself drinking a bunch of this

I feel like there are going to be a lot of people who taste different things in this beverage. It’s a social experiment that I enjoy.

Website
http://www.polarbev.com
Country
United States
Sweetener
No Sugar Added
Categories
Sparkling
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on August 27th, 2017
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Telula Green Fusion

Telula Green Fusion

I’ve spied this little fella right here for quite a while at my local Target when scoping out other drinks. I will admit that I am cheap and the $5-6 price tag on it always left me picking it up, looking at it for far longer than I needed to, realizing that I look like an idiot, and then putting it back on the shelf after a quick glance left and right. Sure it looked great, but I couldn’t bring myself to pay that much for a juice that wasn’t perishable. Is there a difference? Probably, but it’s also just a mental thing for me. When something needs to be refrigerated I just assume that it is fresher than something that sits on the shelf. Well cut to a few days ago when I’m at Aldi to pick up some carrots to feed the ponies. Yeah I hang out with ponies on a somewhat regular basis. What can I say I live a charmed life. Anyway, at Aldi I see a bunch of these and they are two for $5. Now that is a price I can accept, so I picked this and a bottle of the blackberry chia up.

So now that my penny pinching has been explained away, let’s actually talk about this beverage. It is a cold pressed juice that is composed of spinach, apples, kale, lettuce, cucumber, celery, green tea leaves, and a bunch of mint thrown in to make the whole thing weird, but also wonderful. There is both spearmint and peppermint in here and they make up at least half of the flavor. It truly is strange. I’ve never had minty vegetables before, and you know what? I don’t hate it.

Once you make your way past the tidal wave of mint you get to a juice that tastes very much like the vegetables that make it up. It definitely tastes like I’m drinking a minty salad, but somehow I mean that in a good way. I wish they would have held off on the celery, because it’s one of those foods that always taste far too strong for me. I love celery on its own, but mixed in with other vegetables it’s so overpowering.

This is way different from what I anticipated it to be, but I will definitely be purchasing some more of it if I can continue purchasing it at this price.

Website
http://www.drinktelula.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
No Sugar Added
Categories
Juice
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on August 22nd, 2017
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Polar Seltzer'ade Blueberry Lemonade

Polar Seltzer'ade Blueberry Lemonade

My life runs on Polar. I’m pretty sure that by my life running on it, it by default means that the (assumingly) homeless women, who I leave my cans and bottles for, also has her life run by it. Okay, not run, but she probably makes enough from me in a week to get a sandwich or two. I drink far too much of the stuff, well if that were possible. I went from cans, to liters, and have graduated to two liters, because there just that much more for me to consume.

When I saw this in the store, I really thought it was a repackaging of their bottles blueberry lemonade. I bought a box anyway, because I like to have some cans for when I’m out and about. People look at you weird when you’re in public drinking directly from a big bottle, yet they walk around with gigantic fountain sodas and think nothing off it. Whatever. So I bought it, cooled them down and then drank one on my way to band practice. Now I love Polar, but they are not the most flavorful seltzer out there. Either La Croix or Spindrift probably has that honor. They all have their place; sometimes you want more, sometimes less. This though, this has a punch to it. The flavor in here is probably the strongest out of the Polar flavors I have tried, which is all of them, minus some seasonal ones I missed. It’s wonderful and bold. It’s to an extent that you forget that there is no sweetener involved. I need to back and try the bottled version again. I’m pretty sure this is reformulated, but I hope I’m wrong and it’s as glorious in a bottle as it is in these cans.

Website
http://www.polarbev.com
Country
United States
Sweetener
No Sugar Added
Categories
Sparkling
Rating
5/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on August 19th, 2017
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Up Mountain Swizzle Original

Up Mountain Swizzle Original

I can't decide if I think that this drink is good for me or trying to punish me. I have drunk Ginger drinks and I have drunk vinegar drinks and this is a marriage between the two. It is not gross but I feel like you have to be an adult to understand what is going on within the confines of this glass bottle. If you take a big enough sip it is very strong, not very sweet and potentially life-saving. I say that because anytime I am drinking a vinegar drink I feel like I am trying to purge whatever disgusting nonsense is in my body. That nonsense of course being my fault to begin with and I ignorantly think that these vinegar drinks are a reset button on the mistakes that I have made in my dining past.

If I have to think of this as a health drink I might think that it is on the better side. It is a little bit sweet and is not as punishing as a straight vinegar drink. If I have to think of this as a casual Tuesday night drink then it probably isn't going to be something I am going to be seeking out. As I previously said it is only slightly punishing and if you are a fan of ginger beer you might be able to make the leap to something like a vinegar drink. It also helps that there is actual ginger root in this drink. As far as it being sparkling, it is only slightly carbonated. It is well shy of a soda pop.

I feel like on a better day I could finish the whole bottle, but on a day where I have kids screaming at me and 15 minutes to dress up for a show and load a car full of gear I don't think that I could be bothered to finish this entire bottle. I really don't want that to diminish the quality of the drink but the amount of effort I find that it is taking me to drink it is not worth it right now. If you have time to sit and sip this it would probably be very good. I am taking big gulps like an absolute idiot in hopes that I can gain as much of its healing qualities as one can when he makes as many poor decisions as I do.

Website
http://https://drinkswitchel.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Maple Syrup
Categories
Other/Weird, Sports/Dietary Supplement
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on August 19th, 2017
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Sudden Coffee Fore!

Sudden Coffee Fore!

I want to be up front with you, I'm not a coffee connoisseur. I don't drink it all that often and I don't know what makes certain coffees great. I do know a terrible coffee when I taste it and I can happily announce that this does not fall in that category. I couldn't say if an avid coffee drinker would think this is wonderful, but I can assure you it is not horrible.

For the record, I drank this cold. The instructions say you can make it with either hot or cold water, but since I’m sweating just sitting here, I went with the cold. I’m not sure how that affects the flavor, but here is my experience.

This coffee is bitter (as all black coffee is), but it is in no way harsh. It lacks an acidity I have found in other coffees and that results in a certain smoothness to it. It’s not smooth to the extent cold brew is, but I doubt that level can be achieved with an instant coffee. It also has slight fruity undertones that give it a slight sweetness. This brew is a blend of two coffees (from Colombia’s Narino region and San Jose Poaquil). That means pretty much nothing to me, but I’m sure it’s important to some people. I don’t know a thing about different beans and different blends. Why am I writing this review, I am completely unknowledgeable about coffee? The answer is that Mike may know even less than I do, and we need to review everything. We have a problem. Perhaps an outsider’s view on this will be deemed helpful.

I expected this to taste like cold trash juice. I have only had instant coffee once and it was wretched. As it turns out I enjoyed this a decent amount. If it wasn’t for the fact that caffeine drives me bonkers I might even drink it on a semi regular basis. It certainly is convenient and from my brief history with coffee it tasted better than some actual brews I’ve had. I hope I did you well Sudden.

Website
http://www.suddencoffee.com
Country
United States
Sweetener
No Sugar Added
Categories
Coffee
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on August 14th, 2017
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Arizona Green Tea Cucumber with Citrus

Arizona  Green Tea Cucumber with Citrus

Well well. Look at this little guy. Sitting here all full of cucumber. What a nice surprise to see something Arizona put out that I was unaware of. Sure, I might not have my ear as close to the ground as I used to but I was caught off guard and didn't think for a second that I wasn't going to get it.

Let's get down to brass tacks. How is she? She's a lot less sweet than Arizona tried and true green tea. That's for truth. There is a very strong scent of cucumber and an equally strong taste. I'm not going to say overpowering but if you're on the fence about cucumbers, this is not the drink for you. There is a commitment issueless amount of cucumber flavor going on within the confides of this can and I know something about commitment issues. I dated my live-in girlfriend for eight years before I ask her to marry me.

I might have drank half of this can. The whole thing is far too much for me. There isn't anything wrong with it but the whole can I feel is a bit gluttonous. You've done a fine thing here, Arizona. Don't take the half I'm going to dump into the sink as an insult. I'm a little under the weather and cannot share the remainder of this.

Website
http://drinkarizona.com
Country
United States
Sweetener
High Fructose Corn Syrup
Categories
Iced Tea
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Mike Literman on August 14th, 2017
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