Fentimans Wild English Elderflower

Fentimans Wild English Elderflower

This here was the pinnacle of the beverage experience in Iceland, and it is made by a company from the UK, whose other flavors are readily available back home. Not only was it the best thing I drank on this trip (well actually the tap water might have been, it was the cleanest and crispest I have ever tasted), it is definitely now my favorite flavor in the Fentiman’s line. It is light, floral, and wonderful. It is closer to a seltzer than a soda, and that will get no complaints from me. Actually my only complaints are that it wasn’t served to me in a bathtub sized container that I could sip on for hours and since that didn’t happen, that I can’t find it back home. This is a flavor that Americans are not used to, and that I do not know if many would enjoy. It’s not loaded with garbage sweeteners and as I said it does have a slightly floral taste. I could see a stereotypical version of my countryman saying that they “don’t want to drink a garden.” Well, they would be wrong, because this is one of the best things I have drunk in a long time.

Website
http://www.drinkfentimans.com
Country
United Kingdom
Sweetener
Sugar
Categories
Soda Pop, Sparkling
Rating
5/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on September 24th, 2017
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Hi Ball Organic Energy Drink Blood Orange

Hi Ball Organic Energy Drink Blood Orange

What do you think the world would have been like if at the height of the Chicago Gangsters energy drinks were available? Do you think they would have been included in prohibition? Would barrels of Red Bull and the like have been smuggled across the Great Lakes from Canada? If not would everyone just have overdone it with them because they didn’t have access to alcohol and wanted to get “messed up” in some way, even if that way was just a little jittery? Perhaps some business minded person would have bottled it and given it the name Hi-Ball in order to have people pretend that they were still drinking alcohol. One thing that is for certain is that the amount of sleep had in the 1920s would have severely decreased. Perhaps it would have caused them to become sloppier in their organized crime and things would have fallen apart sooner. Who knows? Let’s time machine this thing and give a bunch of companies the recipes and see how it plays out?

If it did happen, I’m pretty sure it’s safe to say that no one would be drinking a blood orange energy drink. I doubt more than .5% of the population of Chicago at the time had ever even heard of such a fruit. I wonder if “normal” oranges were even around the city in abundance at that point. They certainly would be /were missing out. This is delicious, but isn’t anything blood orange flavored? It tastes like a light soda and nothing like an energy drink, because it is all organic and doesn’t rely on the chemicals that produce that classic flavor. This is all caffeine (from guarana and ginseng), niacin and B vitamins. You know, ingredients that won’t affect the flavor all that much. It’s just wonderful sparkling blood orange juice. I could ask for nothing more and gangsters could only dream of such a gem.

Website
http://www.hiballer.com
Country
United States
Sweetener
Fair Trade Certified Cane Sugar
Categories
Energy Drink
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on September 22nd, 2017
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Brooklyn Organics Craft Ginger Ale Guava

Brooklyn Organics Craft Ginger Ale Guava

I was really excited about this. Guava flavored ginger ale sounds like a dream come true. I also knew going into it that it was sweetened with stevia, but I was hoping/expecting the guava to overpower it. My hoping was in vain.

For a split second, when it first hits your tongue this is absolutely incredible. It's everything that I wanted it to be unfortunately that only lasts a fraction of a moment before the stevia hits you. At that point it tastes like neither guava nor ginger. It just becomes a diet fruity flavor.

It's obvious that a lot of care goes into making this, and I understand the health conscious aspect of the zero calorie sweetener, but as soon as that stevia hits me it could be bottom of the barrel soda and I wouldn't be able to tell the difference. If I were someone who couldn't drink real sugar and had to rely on zero calorie alternatives, I'm sure this would be absolutely wonderful. As a consumer of actual sugar it doesn't do anything for me. If only a sugared version of this existed I would be in heaven.

Website
http://www.drinkbrooklynorganics.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Organic Stevia
Categories
Diet, Ginger, Soda Pop
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on September 21st, 2017
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Emerge Energy Drink Original

Emerge Energy Drink Original

Iceland: Day four. Four days of pretty much nonstop hiking, climbing, exploring and eating very little. Being veg here is not ideal. I've found my workarounds, but I have mainly existed on avocados and protein bars. Today was going to be a hike heavy day and I could feel that I was going to fade at some point. I grabbed this at the grocery store this morning for back up and sure enough come 3 I'm starting to nod out on our way to the next destination. A destination where I had to travel through a cave to get to a river, which I needed to cross via downed logs, which took me to a mountain I had to climb to get to a hidden waterfall. You know, every day stuff. Before we embarked I drank this down and it's pretty much another Red Bull facsimile. I'm sure if I drank them back to back I would notice a difference, but out here all I can taste is the chemically wonderful taste that I associate with the world’s most famous energy drink. It should be something I hate, but I have a soft spot for it. I also haven't had caffeine in weeks, so I kind of lost my mind for a bit. Pray for Mojo. Oh and I totally didn’t fall into a river or down a mountain, so it kept me as alert as it needed to.

Website
http://www.emergestimulation.com/#!/home
Country
United Kingdom
Sweetener
Sugar
Categories
Energy Drink
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on September 19th, 2017
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Oatly Natural Energy Orange Mango

Oatly Natural Energy Orange Mango

I love everything about this packaging; the size, the totally recyclable material used (it feels great in your hands) and especially the design. It's simple, clean, and interesting. On top of the packaging being great, the contents are even better. In a blind taste test I would have bet all my monies on the fact that there was dairy in here. Goodbye duckets, because this is totally vegan and it made with oat milk. I've never had that before, nor did I know it existed, but it seems like a great alternative to dairy milk. Adding fruit to it makes it taste like a melted orange mango creamsicle. It's magical tasting and can easily fill in a gap for those who have dairy free diets.

Website
http://www.oatly.com/
Country
Sweden
Sweetener
No Sugar Added
Categories
Milk
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on September 19th, 2017
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Egils Limonadi

Egils Limonadi

After my debacle with one of the worst energy drinks I've ever tasted I needed something to redeem the lime flavor while in Iceland. At Bonus, the grocery store with the greatest logo ever (a pig with a black eye?) I found this can of sparkling limeade. It delivered exactly as promised. It was carbonated limeade, shocking I know. The odd thing is that if it were lemonade it would have tasted vaguely cheap, but using limes instead of lemons makes all the difference. It was pretty sweet, but still tart. Willy Wonka strives for flavors like this.

Website
http://www.olgerdin.is/
Country
Iceland
Sweetener
Sugar
Categories
Soda Pop
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on September 18th, 2017
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NOCCO BCAA Sitronu/Lime

NOCCO BCAA Sitronu/Lime

I flew to Iceland out of Toronto at 7 pm landed at around 5am. I have a problem where I just can’t sleep on planes, but I pushed through the day because we had a lot planned. Once grocery stores opened up we went to grab some food. I knew there was no way I was going to make it until nighttime without help, so I grabbed this local energy drink. I mean I had a full day of hot springs, waterfalls and offroading ahead of me and I didn't want to miss a moment of it.
Man o man did I choose poorly. The idea of a lime energy drink was enticing, but this ended up tasting like carbonated diet Gatorade. I don't think any human would find that thought appealing. It took me about an hour and a half to power through it, but I did it, and I made it though and probably crammed more into one day of my trip than most people do in three. Yes, I later learned that it wasn’t strictly an energy drink and was more of a sports drink, but that didn’t help the flavor. Such is my weird dumb life.

Website
http://https://nocco.com/
Country
Iceland
Sweetener
Saetuedni
Categories
Energy Drink, Sports/Dietary Supplement
Rating
2/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on September 18th, 2017
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Joe Tea Energy

Joe Tea Energy

I am a big fan of Joe Tea, but unfortunately it’s not available around Buffalo, or at least so I thought. Out of all of the places I would find this product at an antique mall was pretty low on my list. Yet, there it was amongst the overpriced porcelain and the furniture I generally like, but can’t justify paying so much for. Why was I at said antique mall you might ask? Well, let me tell you I was there to look for a cabinet to put the taxidermy coyote I recently bought on. Yes, I am a 20+ year vegetarian and yes I have a bunch of taxidermy. It’s all older than I am and I really want my house to look like the grandfather’s from Lost Boys. Either that or a museum.

So there I am, wondering why a toy from a cereal box is marked $60 that I had about a dozen of when I was a kid when I glance up and see the cooler filled with Joe Tea. It was a glorious site, especially when I noticed this new flavor.

This is basically their great half and half with more caffeine added. It’s the Jolt of iced tea. I can’t complain. I haven’t tasted them back to back, but in my memory it tastes the same as the regular version, which I love. It tastes like tea. It tastes like lemonade. It tastes like playing golf. Wait, no. That’s just a name. It’s just delicious and it’s sweet without being overwhelming. It’s what I want and it’s what I got and I’m a happy shopper besides going home empty handed otherwise.

Website
http://www.joetea.com
Country
United States
Sweetener
Cane Sugar
Categories
Energy Drink, Iced Tea, Lemonade
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on September 7th, 2017
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Telula Blackberry + Chia

Telula Blackberry + Chia

I’m pretty sure that as I was going to take my first sip of this I fell asleep, because surely this must be a dream. This is absolutely wonderful. The only ingredients are blackberry puree and chia seeds. I couldn’t ask for anything more. Blackberries are one of, if not my favorite fruit and chia seeds just make drinks fun. This is 95% juice. That means that blackberries make up 95% of what is contained in this bottle. I wish I could have this flow out of my sink as water currently does. I want a never ending stream of it at the ready. I could drink an Olympic size swimming pool full of this and it still wouldn’t be enough. Are you getting the picture yet? This is perfection.

Website
http://www.drinktelula.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
No Sugar Added
Categories
Juice
Rating
5/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on September 6th, 2017
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Moonshine Sweet Tea Mango

Moonshine Sweet Tea Mango

So, I just did some research I should have done years ago. I always kind of assumed sweet tea was just iced tea with a lot of sugar in it, so to make it overly sweet. When I was looking at this bottle I was a bit shocked that it has significantly less sugar than a bottle of Brisk. Sure, Brisk is super sweet, but it’s in a different way. A quick trip to the internet told me that sweet tea is actually made by adding the sugar to it while the water is still hot and the tea bags are brewing. Huh, I guess that makes total sense. So I guess it is that process that gives sweet tea is very specific sweetness that makes you think you can actually taste the individual granules of sugar, and not just a general sweetness.

30g of sugar in a bottle is a decent amount, but it’s still a lot lower than a lot of beverages out there these days (a 16oz coke would have 52g). the thing is this tastes like there is so much more actual sugar in it that has not been fully dissolved. In fact this tastes more like sugar than tea. The mango flavor kind of sits on top, and it is definitely more of a flavoring than actual mango juice. Overall this could be quite enjoyable on a blazing hot summer day, but I couldn’t see myself drinking it on the regular. Of course, I don’t drink many sweetened drinks on the regular anymore.

Website
http://https://moonshinesweettea.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Pure Cane Sugar
Categories
Iced Tea
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on September 5th, 2017
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