Sugar (815 reviews)

Franklin & Sons Ltd Wild Strawberry & Scottish Raspberry

Franklin & Sons Ltd Wild Strawberry & Scottish Raspberry

Sometimes you randomly stumble upon fancy drinks in stores not known for carrying beverages. I found this at Home Goods, you know where normal people go to buy fancy cinnamon for their pancakes, and I feel that single bottle that was on the shelf will probably be the only one I will ever see in the US. It’s a treat, but also a taunt, when it ends up being so delicious and you know you’ll have to fly to another continent to try it again.

Berry sodas are known for their ridiculous sweetness and the joy of this is that there is nowhere near the amount of sugar in here that you would anticipate (9.3g). the result is that it actually tastes like fruit juice and not some sludgy syrup. I’m not exactly sure what the difference between Scottish raspberries and the ones you’d find around NY are, but every drink I have had with them in it is extremely delicious. While this is 32% apple juice and 1% or less strawberry and raspberry, both of those flavors really shine through. I would never expect their percentages to be so low. It is really the lime in here that brings it all together though. I feel it is equally present as the two flavors in the products namesake. You might find it odd that there is black pepper in here, but it is extremely faint, and I believe it’s inclusion is only there to maximize the fanciness of the drink.

I just looked at the company’s website and it bummed me out even more that I will probably never run across it again. Each of the seven different flavors looks incredible in its own way. Can I justify a transcontinental trip, just to try some new sodas? Can I work expense that?

Website
http://franklinandsons.co.uk/
Country
United Kingdom
Sweetener
Sugar
Categories
Soda Pop
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper 3 weeks, 2 days ago
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Elmhurst Naturals Horchata Traditional

Elmhurst Naturals Horchata Traditional

There is nothing quite like consuming more tacos than anyone on Earth should in one sitting and then washing it all down with some Horchata aka the perfect dessert beverage. In case you are unfamiliar with this liquid wonder it is basically cinnamon rice milk. Sometimes, if you are lucky, there is a little vanilla in there as well. It sounds so very simple, but it taste so very good. It’s the kind of drink that even if it were regularly available to me, I would save it for special occasions because I would not want it to become commonplace. It is a treat I like to give myself when I think I’ve earned it.

I’ve had premade horchata before and they have always left something to be desired. While on the better side of things, this bottle is no exception. It’s almost there, but at the same time it also tastes a bit on the watery side. I just don’t know if perfect horchata could have any sort of shelf life. The dairy would spoil too quickly. I did enjoy this, but it was taunting me, knowing how great it could be. It is a good substitute if you were to live in a town that didn’t have a proper Mexican restaurant that served the real stuff. It’s got that cinnamon rice flavor, and even a touch of vanilla, but it’s all just a little too weak. Drinking this makes me want to jump in my car and drive the 20 minutes to get a glass at my favorite Taqueria. I really shouldn’t, but I want to. Let’s say this is starter Horchata. A Mexican treat with training wheels if you will.

Website
http://www.steubenfoods.com/elmhurst-naturals
Country
United States
Sweetener
Sugar
Categories
Milk
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper 4 weeks ago
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Monster Juice Mango Loco

Monster Juice Mango Loco

Summer is upon us and along with disgustingly hot sticky days it also means that companies are rolling out their new summer lines. To celebrate the season Monster has released this new flavor in their “Juice” line.

From the smell of this I expected it to be a similar super syrupy mess as the Arizona mango beverage. Luckily it was not. In fact, it is decidedly not syrupy and also not super mango flavored. It has more of a general tropical taste, which makes sense seeing as it has guava, grape, apple, pineapple, lemon, apricot, orange, peach, and passionfruit along with mango juice in it. In fact it is 16% juice, and I’m guessing that might be the highest concentration of juice any non-natural energy drink has to offer. This hodgepodge of purees, juices, and syrups is quite a delight on hot summer days when you need a little kick in the pants in order to not take an afternoon nap in the shade. I don’t really get what the Day of the Dead motif has to do with the drink or the time of year, but maybe I’m missing something. I do really like the blue of the can though. It’s as bright as the flavor.

Website
http://www.monsterenergy.com
Country
United States
Sweetener
Sugar
Categories
Energy Drink
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on July 7th, 2017
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Starbucks Cold Brew Cocoa & Honey

Starbucks Cold Brew Cocoa & Honey

This is what all coffee should taste like for me. The quest is over. I go to local (Buffalo) places and try iced mocha coffee from all of them and they're missing something or there's too much of something else. This, though, this is fantastic. It's lightly sweetened and relies on the honey to earn some of its keep. It's got a great chocolate taste but isn't too strong. I read that it has cream in it but it's not thick like it could be. It might be there just to smooth some of the taste out. It's really good. It's not terribly cheap at $3 per bottle and I actually don't know where I can get it in Buffalo, which is a good thing. I was in Erie, PA when I got this guy but I feel like it won't be long before I see them here. It's kind of impossible that this won't be successful in the "test market" that is Erie that it won't trickle out to the rest of the country. For all I know, the takeover could be happening right beneath my nose and I could walk outside and see everyone drinking it like some sponsored episode of the Twilight Zone. Eh, could be worse.

Website
http://www.starbucks.com
Country
United States
Sweetener
Sugar
Categories
Coffee
Rating
5/5
Reviewed By
Mike Literman on July 2nd, 2017
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Kirks Creaming Soda

Kirks Creaming Soda

Sometimes you find yourself in Australia and you don't want to sit around the house you're staying at, so you go for a walk. After a bit you look at a map on your phone and discover you're near the beach, so you decide to walk there. After awhile you realize it's a lot further than you thought, but you've already gone so far that you simply can't turn back. Man are you thirsty though, so you stop at the only open gas station that you pass and all drinks are like $4 each. You curse Australia for being great, but so expensive (except cake for some reason). You end up with a hole in your wallet and a can of creaming soda in your hand.

This is something different than red cream soda or soda mouse as it is known in Canada. It's fruitier with a little something extra. In fact creaming soda doesn't taste like cream soda much at all. It's still good, but it's a different beast. It also gives you the boost you need to make it to the beach and back, completing your 20km+ walk like the dummy you are.

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 26th, 2017
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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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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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Vita Coco Pure Coconut Water With Lemon Tea

Vita Coco Pure Coconut Water With Lemon Tea

Since the ingredients are listed as “Tea(water, tea)” I don’t believe this is the case, but this really tastes like a kettle of coconut water was boiled and then some tea bags were steeped in it and finally a healthy squirt (or two or five) of lemon was shot into it. The flavors are so seamless that it doesn’t feel like the finished products could have just been mixed together. It’s certainly an interesting flavor that I could see myself enjoying on all of those trips I take to tropical locations, where I do nothing but lounge in the sun staring out in to the ocean, but since I don’t ever do those things, I don’t know when I would drink this. It’s really good, but it also feels like it has a very specific purpose. It’s the kind of beverage that it just feels wrong sipping it while just sitting around your house. It needs to be enjoyed in the blistering heat of a summer sun. I’m sure many people will enjoy it in such a manner, but since that ball of gas in the sky and I are sworn enemies, I’m afraid I will never truly enjoy this in its intended manner.

Website
http://www.vitacoco.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Sugar
Categories
Coconut, Iced Tea
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on May 31st, 2017
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Teavana Craft Iced Tea Pineapple Berry Blue

Teavana Craft Iced Tea Pineapple Berry Blue

I went in to 7-11 looking for one thing and left for something probably way better. I have not had a true Pepsi Fire myself. I say "true" because I got a Slurpee and, in true fashion, I mixed it up. I thought that I would get one for myself tonight but I got sidetracked by this little beauty and what a little beauty it was.

This is lightly sweetened and very strongly flavored. Nice hibiscus flavor. There are "other berries" in there, sure but it's a wonderful evening treat. The rooibos, which I am unfortunately 50/50 on, won me over in this particular drink. Sometimes I feel it can be strong for my taste but everything was done very well here. Very well indeed. There are other flavors out there. Something to think about. Something to dream about.

Website
http://www.teavana.com
Country
United States
Sweetener
Sugar
Categories
Iced Tea
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Mike Literman on May 30th, 2017
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