Solo Original Lemon

Solo Original Lemon

Australia is a strangely biased place. Everywhere I go cans of coke are $3.50 or more. While Pepsi products range from the $1.50 to $3 range. I mean I'm not going to argue with them Coke products are generally better, but it still seems crazy that there is such a price difference. I kept seeing this along with the Pepsi products in gas stations and meant to pick it up since we don't have it back home. I'm not a huge fan of 7Up so I continuously skipped it (mostly for water in an attempt to pretend-consume healthy foods).

Suddenly I have found myself with one being placed in my hands at a show. It is much better than I anticipated. It's straight up carbonated lemonade, including 5% lemon juice. Sure it's overly sweet and sodalike but it's better than any lemon lime I've ever had.

To be fair if this was in the US it would be garbage because instead of bring sweetened by real sugar there would be high fructose corn syrup in it and it would be a thick, syrupy mess.

Website
http://www.solobev.com/
Country
Australia
Sweetener
Sugar
Categories
Lemonade, Soda Pop
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on June 25th, 2017
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Cawston Press Pressed and Blended Brilliant Beetroot

Cawston Press Pressed and Blended Brilliant Beetroot

PSA: Do not be concerned when you drink an entire carton of this some evening, and then wake up groggy in the middle of the night to have to go to the bathroom. The discoloration that you see in the toilet is not blood, just beet juice. There is no need to be thrown into a panic for two seconds before you remember that you consumed an unnatural amount of this juice and that it's a perfectly normal response from your body.

This is nothing but apple juice and beet juice and it's wonderful. I know beets aren't for everyone, but I love their earthiness in juice form. The apple juice cuts that a bit, but it's still there enough to remind you that what you're consuming most certainly must be extremely healthy. You also probably shouldn't consume as much as I did, but you know what? Live your life. Make your own choices.

Website
http://www.cawstonpress.com/
Country
United Kingdom
Sweetener
No Sugar Added
Categories
Juice
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on June 25th, 2017
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Bunderim Ginger Beer & Guarana

Bunderim Ginger Beer & Guarana

I've been in Australia for about two weeks now. Let me tell you, eating vegetarian and avoiding eggs and cheese is not an easy task here. As a result I've spent my fair share of time at grocery stores cobbling together meals that I don't need to cook. I kept seeing 4-packs of this ginger beer, but I've been trying to limit my soda intake so I was hoping I would come across single cans in a gas station. It didn't happen, but I did find a 4-packs today on sale for less than a single bottle of Bundaberg is, so I grabbed it to share.

This is fantastic. I wasn't quite sure how the guarana would mingle with the ginger, but they got "right chatty" as I'm sure someone around here would say. As it turns out they combine into something great. The result really reminds me of Skeleteens sodas from the 90s (Brain Wash/Love Potion 69).
The ginger doesn't have a typical burn. It's transformed into something new. It tastes intense and almost hurts your throat to drink it. I mean that in a very positive way. So much for limiting my soda and sharing. My mom is going to be so disappointed in me.

Website
http://www.buderimginger.com/
Country
Australia
Sweetener
Cane Sugar
Categories
Ginger, Soda Pop
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on June 25th, 2017
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Kirks Olde Stoney Ginger Beer

Kirks Olde Stoney Ginger Beer

I'm in Australia. I really have no idea what I did right in my life to get here. I've spent more than 20 years playing in bands and making friends through music. Now people who live 7 hours away from me have dragged me halfway across the globe to the place that is the furthest away from home I could possibly be and still be on Earth. Sometimes life is pretty great.

My main objectives for this trip were to hang out with koalas/ kangaroos and drink a buttload of ginger beer. The second half of my plans started earlier than I expected when my 30+ hours of travel was filled with flight attendants serving me as much Bundaberg as I could fit into my digestive system. Now I'm at a house show in Perth (because where else would I be?) And a new friend handed me this unfamiliar can of ginger beer. My friends know what I like.

This is made by the Coca-Cola company and it tastes like it. It's quite good, but it feels like a safe version of ginger beer. The kind an older relative would keep in the fridge and serve to the kids. It's ginger beer with training wheels. It's a bit lighter tasting than what I'm used to, with a more subdued burn. It's a bit smooth and tastes like a strong ginger beer was mixed with plain soda water. I would say it lives in the gaps between ginger ale and beer. It's also pretty sweet, coming in at 47g of sugar pee serving.

Like I said it is enjoyable, but in a country where Bundaberg is king and can be found all over the place, I doubt I will pick up another can.

Website
http://www.coca-colajourney.com.au/brands/kirks
Country
Australia
Sweetener
Sugar
Categories
Soda Pop
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on June 25th, 2017
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Pure Leaf Black Tea Pomegranate

Pure Leaf Black Tea Pomegranate

I'm not going to push any product on this review but this isn't good. It's not bad but it does not taste good. I drank a third of the bottle and am not going to waste my time drinking the rest. Don't get me wrong, I have a long track record of liking Pure Leaf. Their unsweetened is great as is their "Just a Tad Sweet." Their more boutique flavors are great also. This...there is a reason this was at Big Lots. When you buy drinks from Big Lots, you buy them with a little asterisk attached. Sometimes they're diamonds in the rough like the Unsweetened Peace Tea and sometimes they're not. You can't be mad about it.

This has the aftertaste of pomegranate but while you're drinking it, you get a taste of something undesirable. It's hard to pinpoint but it tastes artificial. I think it just has a strange tinge to it. Strange that it tastes better a minute after you drink it but it's when you're in the moment that counts and when you are in the think of it, it's not good. No sir. Peace out, two-thirds of this bottle.

Website
http://theloveofleaves.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Sugar
Categories
Iced Tea
Rating
2/5
Reviewed By
Mike Literman on June 23rd, 2017
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Mountain Dew Dew.S.A.

Mountain Dew Dew.S.A.

Wow. If you gave even a teaspoon of this to even the toughest eagle, it would fly into the goddamn sun and burn to a well-done representation of itself never to spread its wings again. Look. I don't hate myself. Do I get depressed and wonder about my life? Yeah, sure. We all do. Drinking this is like two rungs away from suicide. I drank half and had to choke that down. It's so sweet. So sweet. Half a can at a backyard barbecue for this website only. If this site didn't exist, my lips would have never touched the indistinguishable pop.

What does it taste like? It's hard to say. This is going to sound stupid but it's true but it tastes like if you filled up a cup half with regular, mom and pop Mountain Dew and then put all the other Mountain Dews in there to top it off. Sure, you can call it White Out, Voltage and Code Red and sure it might be, but none of these have terrible distinguishable flavors so mashing and mushing them all up together isn't going to get you any closer to success.

Look, the Fourth of July is coming up and maybe we need something like this in our lives to feel patriotic. What's more American than three Mountain Dews that are readily available dumped into one can and sold as a fourth Mountain Dew that tastes like fruity liquid sewage? Who cares, right? 'Merica. Rest in toasty pieces, eagle. You did all you could when you were with us. From that time you ate that mouse to the time you ate that other mouse. We'll never forget.

Website
http://www.mountaindew.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Sucralose
Categories
Soda Pop
Rating
2/5
Reviewed By
Mike Literman on June 20th, 2017
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Spindrift Sparkling Water Raspberry Lime

Spindrift Sparkling Water Raspberry Lime

I enjoy Spindrift's stuff. I've had a bunch of it and it's nice to see it come here (Buffalo) so that it makes it easier to get. It's like a seltzer for people who want things a little more juice and less seltzer. It's kind of a mild difference but it's there and you can tell even if you can't put your finger on exactly what it is. This has a taste you have to either just like or get used to, though. It's not like a seltzer in that it's bright and bubbly so don't go in head first and expect it. It's got something else that, like I said, I can't pinpoint exactly what it is.

As far as the taste, it's an accurate raspberry and lime flavor. Evenly flavored and not messed around with other sweeteners or ingredients. It's a nice, bare bones drink that could be a nice alternative to your seltzer habit which I can stop at any time, mom, jeez! Get off my back already.

Website
http://www.spindriftsoda.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
No Sugar Added
Categories
Sparkling, Water
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Mike Literman on June 20th, 2017
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Busy Bee Yerba Mate Honey Mint

Busy Bee Yerba Mate Honey Mint

I don't know what to say. I'm rarely in this position but I am at a loss for words. I do not know, and I've tried, if I like this. Yerba mate has never been high on my list of things that I really like but I am 95% done with this bottle and drank all of that with an open mind. Where has that gotten me? Nowhere, really. I've been sipping on it for an entire day and I don't know what to make of it.

It's bitter. Yerba mate is bitter. It's not punishing but it doesn't go down smooth, that's for truth. The honey is masked by the flavor of the tea and the mint is nearly non-existent. I'm not penalizing it for what it is and I'm not punishing it for what it could be. This is an honest yerba mate if there ever was one but it is, for me at least, a tough pill to swallow. It's lightly sweetened but it's not for kids. If a kid likes this, they have really crunchy parents and probably real all the time. Put that in your dad's medicine pipe and smoke it if you live in whatever states weed is legal in.

Website
http://busybeemate.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Wildflower Honey
Categories
Iced Tea
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Mike Literman on June 13th, 2017
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Farmer Springs Milk Tea Matcha

Farmer Springs Milk Tea Matcha

Jay loves matcha. Why did I review this then? Don't ask questions. That's why.

This was purchased as a local Asian grocery store I tend to go to. I brought my son thinking he might like some different snacks and treats. For the record I thought wrong. I bought him a mochi ball and he didn't like it. I bought him a chunky juice and he didn't like it.

This was good but even in the small bottle there is no way I could finish it. It does taste like matcha but after a while, you eventually lose the green tea taste and it starts to taste like the milk at the end of cereal. Once again, not bad, but exhausting and sweet. Not tooth rottingly sweet but too sweet for me to drink even this baby bottle.

Country
China
Sweetener
Fructose Syrup
Categories
Iced Tea
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Mike Literman on June 7th, 2017
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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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