Fentimans Sparkling Lime and Jasmine

Fentimans Sparkling Lime and Jasmine

The British have a very different take on sodas and I love it. Growing up in the US you are fed your cola, root beers, lemon limes, orange sodas and the like. In England it’s all ginger beer, dandelion and burdock, elderflower and other deliciousness that is strange to my American tongue. Okay, maybe they aren’t all strange, but they are way different than what I grew up with and it’s a difference that I can appreciate. I’m not sure if all Fentimans sodas are classic British flavors, but if they are myself, as a young boy would think they were from another world.

If you think about it, a straight lime soda isn’t very common in the US. Sure we are up to the gills in lemon lime (and it can all be flushed away with the mass quantity of pet fish that have died), but just lime are hard to come by. Now take that and then throw some jasmine in it and you have stepped aboard Mr Toad’s Wild Soda Ride. It’s floral, it’s very much lime and it’s fairly bitter. It has a tonic water sort of taste to it, which leads me to believe that this would make a great mixer for liquor. When I mentioned that I bet this would go great with gin (which I have never tasted) I was told that both of them are made with juniper berries. Look at me being smart for once in my life.

While I do love this, I can only drink it in small amounts, which when you think about it is how you should probably always enjoy soda pop. This 16.9oz bottle with probably also last me five or six sittings, so I win again and again. I’m pretty sure 99 out of 100 children would hate this, but what do they know. This is a soda for adults, whether they want to mix it with alcohol or not.

Website
http://www.drinkfentimans.com
Country
United Kingdom
Sweetener
Beet Sugar
Categories
Soda Pop, Sparkling
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on February 24th, 2018
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Bolthouse Farms Raspberry Blood Orange

Bolthouse Farms Raspberry Blood Orange

So either there was a mishap with the labeling of this product, the people at Bolthouse have learned some crazy science that would make them masters at mixing fountain beverages, or the company employs warlocks. The reason for this is that the flavor listed on the bottle is Raspberry Blood Orange, yet the fruit it lists as making up the juice are blood oranges, apples, strawberries, cherries, and pomegranate. As you can see raspberries are not included in this bottle, yet without knowing the name of this juice I would have bet money that it included raspberries just from the taste. Okay at the very bottom in tiny writing it does say raspberry puree is used, but it’s in the fine print, so I’m guessing like .05% of this is actual raspberry. That being said, this may taste more like raspberries than any other drink I have ever tried. Perhaps mixing strawberries and cherries tricks one mind into thinking it’s a raspberry. I don’t know, but I wish I did, because I would like to recreate it on my own. This juice is fantastic and it is exactly what I needed to drink while I’m dealing with this cold. Can someone come over and just squeeze blood oranges and raspberries directly in my mouth, because I seem to have drunk this entire bottle. I would also accept it if you brought several more bottles with you instead.

Website
http://bolthouse.com
Country
United States
Sweetener
No Sugar Added
Categories
Juice
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on February 21st, 2018
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Stok Cold Brew Vanilla

Stok Cold Brew Vanilla

I drink one cup of coffee per day. I do not need it. I don't know why I do it. I might think I'm an adult but I could throw a baseball in any direction and have five people say that I am a fraud of a man.

This drink. I didn't know that it was vanilla as I graciously pulled it off the shelf. I did when I unwrapped it and then again as I drank it. The vanilla doesn't kill the drink and, if anything it smooths it out like any good, self-respecting vanilla would do. I don't know if there was milk in it but it could have been the vanilla that made it have that smoothness. They were spot on with their "Not Too Sweet" title, too because it's not tooth gratingly sweet. All of this while still retaining a good coffee flavor. All wrapped up in a nice little package.

One thing to note is that they must be making a hell of a concentrate to start off with. They tout a ten hour brew which is fourteen hours shorter than the cold brew I make and arguably as strong. They might be up to something in that facility. Take note. Sorcery perhaps?

Website
http://stokcoffee.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Sugar
Categories
Coffee
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Mike Literman on February 20th, 2018
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Nestea Real Brewed Black Tea & Rooibos

Nestea Real Brewed Black Tea & Rooibos

Surprisingly after all this time we have only reviewed two Nestea drinks on this site. While not terribly surprising, they have put out decent things in the past and this should be added to the list assuming that you like rooibos. More about that in a second.

As I've said before, if I had it my way, I would just drink unsweetened tea for the rest of my life. Sugar is great but since I've been winding down in my reviews, I find it harder and harder to drink full sugar drinks like tea and pop. This was a nice treat at "slightly sweet." That I can deal with.

The black tea doesn't really shine and that strange/foreign rooibos takes its place. While I don't hate rooibos, its taste takes some getting used to. It seems fruitier and strangely darker than a black tea. Having drunk black tea pretty exclusively, it's a new flavor I'm just not accustomed to. It's absolutely not bad and I would actually put it in the "good" category. It was truly "slightly sweet" which I appreciated them sticking to their guns on.

I would like to try the black slightly sweet tea that they make. That might be a nice little number. Until I find it, though, I will try its older, more sophisticated, curmudgeonly unsweetened brethren.

Website
http://www.nestea.com
Country
United States
Sweetener
Sugar
Categories
Iced Tea
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Mike Literman on February 20th, 2018
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Bai Lambari Watermelon Lime

Bai Lambari Watermelon Lime

I think if Thirsty Dudes could have one sponsor it would be Big Lots. I believe that I speak for both Jay and myself when I say that for drinks, it's a great place. They never have the same thing and you could go once a month and find new stuff. It's not the best stuff, sure. It's not the most high end stuff, sure. Sometimes you find a lot of the same stuff but anything that's there a lot is truly and undeniably garbage at best. Recently they've been getting some nicer stuff though like Bruce Cost, Illy and Belvoir. Maybe they know we're going there.

This last time I went with my brother who has never "Thirsty Dude'd" with me and he just watched as I nonchalantly knocked drink after drink into my handcart. This being one of them and I'm glad I did because it's pretty darn good. Somehow the lime does cut through and ruin everything. The watermelon flavor was light and first followed by the lime. They're also doing a good job at taming their array of sweeteners because it no longer tastes like Stevia threw up in your mouth. It's also in a nice, small can so you don't get overwhelmed by the flavor. It's sweet. Not too sweet but I think anything larger than this there would be remainders.

Big Lots, if you're listening, we're accepting offers.

Website
http://www.drinkbai.com
Country
United States
Sweetener
Bai Natural Sweetener Blend (Erythritol and Organi
Categories
Diet, Juice, Sparkling
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Mike Literman on February 19th, 2018
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Rockstar Energy + Electrolytes Jamaica Cooler

Rockstar Energy + Electrolytes Jamaica Cooler

Jamaica? Jamaica? Are we talking the island country or are we talking about the Spanish word for hibiscus(sounds like hamica)? This just makes me think of Mr Burns in the grocery store saying ketchup and catsup over and over…Jamaica…hamica…Jamaica…hamica…

I’m pretty sure it’s supposed to be hibiscus via aqua fresca, but for some reason it tastes like 50% of it is an apple energy drink, which is oddly not bad. It borders on that gross fake green apple taste, but it stays on the good tasting side of that divide. It also has a bit of a Jolly Rancher strawberry taste to it. So yeah, it has a fake strawberry apple flavor with perhaps some hints of hibiscus around the edges. That sounds like it should be disgusting, but luckily it doesn’t taste overly sweet, so that saves it. I get that they were going for an aqua fresca style beverage and it’s kind of there. I just wish it tasted more like the style of hibiscus I love aka it mixed with cinnamon and other spices. If that was how this turned out it could have been problematic for me as I would want it all the time.

Website
http://www.rockstar69.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Sugar
Categories
Energy Drink
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on February 17th, 2018
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Star Wars Sparkling Vitamin Drink Space Punch

Star Wars Sparkling Vitamin Drink Space Punch

A long time ago in a galaxy far far away..and by that I mean a few months ago in Delaware this beverage was “bottled.” Star Wars has always been known for its merchandising, but this one seems a bit ridiculous. Space Punch? Are they serious? This seems like it should be some sort of knock off product, you know like something that would be featured on a Star Wars version of bootlegbart.com. The slit on Kylo Ren’s mask would go vertically and his light sabre would be bright green or something like that. We live in a strange world though in which Disney owns Star Wars and has licensed it out for this product.

At first I thought the price point on this was a bit high for a kid’s drink. Then I noticed that the vitamin content of this was mostly B vitamins and Niacin aka vitamins used in energy drinks. It was then that it hit me that when I was a kid everything Star Wars related was directed towards children, but nowadays a bunch of it must be marketed towards adults because those kids that were fanatics about it in the 80’s are now all grown up. If this were made for kids it would taste like Flintstone’s chewable vitamins dissolved into fruit punch. Instead it tastes like Centrum multivitamins were ground up and put in the juice. It has a very non-candy like vitamin taste to it. At least the fruit punch aspect of it tastes great.it is composed of grapefruit, pear, orange, blueberry, blackberry and raspberry juice mixed together. If you took out the vitamins and most definitely left out the completely unnecessary erythritol this would be a punch that would truly be out of this world. Instead it just tastes a bit earthy and a bit diet. The force was not with A Drink Department One when they dreamt this up.

Country
United States
Sweetener
Erythritol
Categories
Diet, Juice, Sparkling
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on February 15th, 2018
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Coca-Cola Diet Twisted Mango

Coca-Cola Diet Twisted Mango

We live in a golden age for diabetics. Seriously if I had “Sugar,” as my grandmother called it, I wouldn’t want to live in any other era of beverages. The recent fitness boom has overflowed the market with brand after brand of beverages that use zero calorie sweeteners. I would be walking down the street, kicking my heels at all of the stevia laden drinks out there just waiting for me to pour them down my throat. Being as I do not have that particular affliction and I watch my weight in other ways, I find myself mostly avoiding those same drinks, and wishing a lot of them either were made with real sugar, or with no sweetener at all. I am not a petty man though and I am happy for my fellow humans who are in a better place because of it.

For too long the choices of the “diet drinkers” have been so limited, so I was glad to see that Coke had released a line of unusually flavored diet colas. Mike had tried the blood orange version and her thought it was fairly horrible. When you’re not acclimated to diet sweeteners they can be pretty potent and take over the flavor. We try to look past that in our reviews and try to think how people who drink this stuff all the time would view it, but sometimes that can be hard, especially when the soda is sweetened with aspartame, I mean who uses that anymore? I kind of thought it had really been completely phased out for sucralose and stevia. When I first opened this I thought it smelled vaguely like some sort of cleaner, but the taste was actually pretty pleasant. The mango is strong and it hides the diet flavor pretty well. It also masks the cola flavor, which is unfortunate. I would have wanted mostly cola with a hint of mango, but I was delivered the reverse. About halfway through the can something happened and the aspartame really started to seep through. I don’t know if it was because it had warmed up a bit, or if it had just settled to the bottom half of the can, but it got pretty bad and I didn’t finish it all. That first half was decent though, even for someone who doesn’t enjoy diet sodas. I hope for the sake of a good portion of the population that this sticks around because it’s something different for them to enjoy.

Website
http://www.coca-cola.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Aspartame
Categories
Diet, Soda Pop
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on February 14th, 2018
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Onli Natural Grapefruit (Pomelo & Peach)

Onli Natural Grapefruit (Pomelo & Peach)

There beverages were a surprise treat. When I picked them up I saw that the flavors were Grapefruit, Hibiscus and Raspberry. It wasn’t until I got home that I realized that under the big flavor, others were listed. In this one the surprise visitors were pomelo and peach. Sure pomelos are similar to grapefruit, but why not mix them together to spice things up a bit? The result is a soda that is very much citrus based. I have an aversion to peach in drinks because it almost always tastes fake and like some sort of peach chemical and not fruit juice. In here it really tastes like neither and just makes the soda taste a bit crazy, but in a good way. The initial taste that greets you is most definitely grapefruit, but then the other two kick in and it is like some mad scientist performed experiments during a lightning storm and created a new fruit (no, not the coveted guavacado that I dream of so often). This is unlike any flavor I have tasted before. It’s quite delicious, but for some reason I cannot make it through an entire bottle in one sitting. I suppose that means I just get to enjoy it again a little bit later.

Website
http://onlibeverages.com
Country
United States
Sweetener
Natural Cane Sugar
Categories
Soda Pop
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on February 13th, 2018
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Moneybag Root Beer

Moneybag Root Beer

Gene Simmons of Gene Simmons Toyota has released his own line, AKA signed the rights to his name, to a pop company. Is the pop any good? Is a Toyota Corolla purchased from Gene Simmons Toyota any good? Yeah, it's fine. It's root beer. Much like a Corolla, it's fine. It does what it's supposed to do and does it well. It isn't exceptional but it's reliable. I didn't know that the pop game was so large that just anyone could say, "Oh, I have the chance to make a million dollars so I'm going to stamp my reputable and honorable name on the line so people can drink my pop."

Would I drink this again. Yes. Was it good. Yes. Would I buy a car from him? Eh, why not. Some root beer is good and some root beer is great. This root beer was good but, like a Corolla, a good root beer is a dime a dozen.

Website
http://www.genesimmonsmoneybag.com
Country
United States
Sweetener
Cane Sugar
Categories
Root Beer, Soda Pop
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Mike Literman on February 12th, 2018
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