Cane Sugar (605 reviews)

Frisa Sparkling Botanical Beverage Black Current Rosehip

Frisa Sparkling Botanical Beverage Black Current Rosehip

Do you have anything to celebrate? Honestly, who cares? Celebrate this drink by drinking this drink because it's great. Open it up, blow some noisemakers, throw some confetti around, pull one of those things that pop and fill the air with strands of colorful paper and the smell of farts. It's time to celebrate this drink.

It doesn't taste like armpits or feet which, often, to me, black current tastes like. Rosehip I've had before but couldn't pick it out in a lineup. Basically, this tastes like a good, almost grape sparkling, non-alcoholic champagne. It's really good. I shared it with a handful of people and the only complaint is that it was really sweet and they couldn't do more than one glass of it. That's fine.

Website
http://www.frisabeverages.com/
Country
Spain
Sweetener
Cane Sugar
Categories
Juice, Sparkling
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Mike Literman on February 9th, 2016
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Steaz Iced Green Tea Jasmine Hibiscus

Steaz Iced Green Tea Jasmine Hibiscus

Steaz pumps out more flavors that almost any beverage company that I can think of. I feel like we get packages from them more than anyone else, and I am certainly not complaining. They manage to work out new teas, but they also keep their quality high. My only complaints seem to come from their zero calorie sweetener lines, and that’s not on them. There is only so much a company can do when they want to sweeten a beverage, but keep it zero calories. Also, I’ve had issues with their carbonated teas, but I’m simply not a fan of carbonated tea for the most part.

This is one of that flavors that stands out in a sea of greatness though. I love jasmine tea and I love all things hibiscus. I once drank multiple pots of jasmine green tea at an Asian restaurant because they kept bringing it. It was so good that I couldn’t help myself, but of course I haven’t slept since due to my caffeine intake. Mike and I have also been known to purchase obscene amounts of hibiscus tea for our pleasure drinking, which we don’t get to do much of.

Steaz has combined both nicely. One might think that combining the two would make everything too floral, but that is not the case at all. Sure, you can taste florals, but it’s not like you got into a fight at a funeral and someone shoved an arrangement down your throat. It’s nice and subtle. The hibiscus is just that, hibiscus. There is no trace of the spices that sometimes accompany this flower, but even though I love them, I don’t think they would have a place in this beverage. So it is classic hibiscus mixed with classic jasmine all of which is lightly sweetened cane sugar and just a drop of lemon juice. It’s wonderful and if someone kept pouring it into my glass I could see myself drinking a case of it before I even knew what happened.

Website
http://www.steaz.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Cane Sugar
Categories
Iced Tea
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on February 7th, 2016
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Steaz Iced Green Tea Lemon Ginger

Steaz Iced Green Tea Lemon Ginger

"Where da ginger at!" I exclaim as I drink sip after sip. "Where da ginger at!" I yell when I can't find my live-in girlfriend. More importantly, though, this drink didn't have ginger in it as far as I know. You can tell me up and down that it did but taste it, bro. Ginger it does not. There isn't that earthy flavor that ginger brings and there isn't that sweet heat that ginger so generously gives.

Gingerless aside it was good. Like a lightly sweetened half and half. Oh a half and half cut into thirds called a "third and third and third" with lemonade, tea and ginger? Now we're talking. You hear me, Steaz, if that is your real name. Now we're talking.

Website
http://www.steaz.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Cane Sugar
Categories
Iced Tea
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Mike Literman on January 29th, 2016
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Frisa Sparkling Botanical Beverage Elderflower

Frisa Sparkling Botanical Beverage Elderflower

Okay, let’s see…Shoes? Check. Bowtie? Check. Spats? Check. Cumberbund? Check. Coat w/ tails? Check. Oh and I almost forgot the top hat to round it out. There, now that I am dressed in the fanciest clothes I could possibly wear I am prepared to drink this bottle of Frisa. Since I won’t ever be drinking champagne in my lifetime I think it is safe to say that this is the fanciest beverage I will ever consume, and I might as well dress accordingly. It’s imported, it’s simple and it’s wonderful.

I was surprised when I unwrapped the bottle that there was a twist off cap and not a cork. I mean there really was no need for a cork, but for the way I’m dressed it would have been nice. I can’t really hold that against the company. They have everything else perfect, and I’m sure that would just be a hassle and ruin the drink somehow anyway. I want nothing to ruin this drink. I want a lifetime supply of it. If I could make the taps in my home flow with sparkling elderflower beverage I would die a happy man, and probably sooner than I would otherwise.

I really can’t get over how much I enjoy this. It may be the best beverage we have ever reviewed. If not, it is certainly in the top 3. It’s sweet and floral in all the right ways. Nothing about this is like sucking on a perfume bottle. It’s a totally different beast in the best possible way. I really don’t know when the last time was that my taste buds were this happy. This is simply perfect. I expected the price tag to be much higher than it is as well. $10/bottle is not bad at all, especially for the magic you are receiving. I am going to insist that any fancy event I attend from here on out serves me this. If they turn me down I will just refuse to go. That is how much this means to me.

Now my bottle is empty. I feel like a glutton for consuming so much, and I feel ridiculous sitting at my computer in full formal wear, but yes, it was worth it.

Website
http://www.frisabeverages.com/
Country
Spain
Sweetener
Cane Sugar
Categories
Sparkling
Rating
5/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on January 24th, 2016
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Diabolo French Soda Tangerine Pomegranate

Diabolo French Soda Tangerine Pomegranate

Well, la-di-da, Mr. Frenchman. French soda. What a great name for something that just pop as far as I'm concerned. Added to the fact that erythritol is in it which makes it totally more American, don't expect something exotic. This is not escargot. This is pop and I will review it as such.

Tangerine pomegranate. It's a nice, lighter flavor. Maybe that's what makes it "French" is that it's not a million grams of sugar and syrup. I'm not giving it to them. I'm not holding an embargo on France, but I'm not accepting that this is anything different that a lightly flavored pop. It's good. Ol' fashioned American pop can come across as heavy and too sweet. This is absolutely not that and I don't miss the "extra" or "bonus" flavor at all. This would be a nice transition between, say "American pop" and something like a seltzer or even a Dry pop as that is basically "almost soda."

A car hole.

Website
http://www.drinkdiabolo.com
Country
United States
Sweetener
Cane Sugar
Categories
Soda Pop, Sparkling
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Mike Literman on January 7th, 2016
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Jones Stripped Orange Mango Soda

Jones Stripped Orange Mango Soda

It seems to be a trend these days to be healthier. It may just be the best trend of all time. Everywhere I look healthier food options are popping up, including many drink companies making lower calorie beverages and presenting them in a “cool” way and not labeling them as diet. In the past diet drinks were pretty much marketed towards housewives. Now they are attempting to make them more attractive to the general population. Jones is doing so with their “Stripped “ line. The typeface they use looks as though it should say something along the lines of “extreme.” That’s what the kids want I guess.

Another change these days is that in the past a single sweetener, such as sucralose or aspartame, would be used and I’m fairly certain we are all familiar with that diet death taste they would leave behind. A few years ago stevia started to get popular. It was more palatable, but still had a very distinct taste that it added to whatever it sweetened. At some point in the recent history of the world someone realized that no matter how diet drinks were marketed if they tasted more like the sweetener than the flavor of the drink, they weren’t going to change many minds. This genius decided that while most people wouldn’t drink zero calorie beverages, lower calorie was better than nothing, so they proposed using stevia as well as lower quantities of cane sugar. The result was beverages that I can drink without feeling like I need to run a mile to work off the calories.

The orange and mango flavor in this soda may be on the lighter side of the spectrum, but they are still stronger than whatever diet taste that is barely noticeable. It’s not perfect, but it’s a step in the right direction. As a nation we embrace sugar far too much. I know I just crave it sometimes, but this is helping move us to a place where we don’t need as much of a fix. It’s to soda what methadone is to heroin. Junkies, all of us.

Website
http://www.jonessoda.com
Country
United States
Sweetener
Cane Sugar
Categories
Diet, Soda Pop
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on December 22nd, 2015
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Diabolo French Soda Dragon Fruit Plum

Diabolo French Soda Dragon Fruit Plum

I can just imagine Christian groups being up in arms over this beverage. I envision picket lines and protestors screaming about how this beverage is luring the youth of America on a dark path; that they will become possessed by the devil if they drink it. Then someone will calmly explain to them that “diablo” is devil and “diabolo” is actually a prop for juggling and has nothing to do with the dark lord. As I’ve said in the past one letter can make a huge difference. For some reason the protestors will think that they already took things too far and won’t believe the facts presented to them. It would be nice publicity for the company, so maybe that will actually happen and it will help them out.

In other worlds Diabolo is apparently a beverage that you can get in French cafes. They are fruity sparkling sodas and that is exactly what we have here. The twist with this company is that their products are low in calories and blend cane sugar, erythritol and stevia to sweeten their beverages. I’m not sure if it is this flavor in particular, but as soon as I took one sip my mind began to compare it to Clearly Canadian. It’s very light and fruity. Unfortunately the diet taste can be a bit strong, but the dragon fruit and plum are flavors that it blends with nicely.

This is a nice alternative to the sodas that the American public is used to. It’s a different beast that is not as horrible for you. Even compared to other diet sodas this feels lighter and not as thick. It definitely makes sense that it is the type of beverage that is popular in European cafes.

Website
http://www.drinkdiabolo.com
Country
United States
Sweetener
Cane Sugar
Categories
Diet, Soda Pop
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on December 4th, 2015
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Boylan's Limited Release Sparkling Cider

Boylan's Limited Release Sparkling Cider

When I see the word “cider” I have a very specific flavor in mind. It’s a fall flavor that is created by juicing apples in a certain way, and a lot of the time it involves spices. It is not simply just any apple drink. It’s a flavor that I am particularly protective over, because there is a cider mill in my home town and to be honest, it’s one of the best beverages ever created.

This, this is not cider. It definitely tastes like apples, but nothing like apple cider. To me it tastes like all of those apple sodas that you can get in the UK. My ladyfriend tells me that it tastes like alcoholic cider, without the alcohol. It’s sweet, it’s appley, but it lacks the bold warmness that comes with real cider (even when served cold).

If this were not presented as cider, I would say that it is one of the better apple sodas, but as I said I’m a protective man, and cider this is not.

Website
http://www.boylanbottling.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Cane Sugar
Categories
Cider, Soda Pop
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on November 23rd, 2015
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Boylan's Soda Sparkling Cider 12 Oz, Glass Bottle (Pack of 12)
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Buy at SpecialtySodas.com

New York Seltzer Raspberry Soda

New York Seltzer Raspberry Soda

For those of you too young to remember this company was everywhere in the late 80’s/early 90’s. Back when corner stores and bodegas did not have a large selection of beverages this was always right alongside the Coke and Pepsi. I don’t know if this was the case all around the country, but in Western New York, we loved our New York Seltzer. Now I have to be honest with you, I don’t know if I ever actually tried one of these back in the day. By the time I was of age to be purchasing my own beverages I was far more interested in straight up soda and Mistic (they looked like wine coolers and made you feel cooler than you were, because you know wine coolers were always the thing the cool kids drank). Perhaps it’s because of similar choices made by the youth of the 80’s that caused this beverage to disappear from the shelves and production to grind to a halt. I will choose to believe that because who doesn’t want to think that they had that sort of power as a pre-teen?

Here we are over twenty years later and New York Seltzer is back in business and cranking out six of their classic flavors. We really should have gotten to this earlier, as we like to review the classic drinks when they come back, but for some reason I hadn’t been able to find it until I was in Michigan of all places. Strange times.

My first thought as I took a sip of this was, “What the hell there is sugar in here!” I had always thought that seltzer was just (possibly flavored) carbonated water with no added sweeteners. A quick look online informed me that any carbonated water beverage is considered a seltzer and even soda falls under that umbrella. In fact in my world this is just a soda. There is 31g of sugar in this 10oz bottle, and well it tastes like a raspberry soda. It’s a little on the light side, but it’s a fruity soda through and through. To be honest, I feel a bit cheated, but it’s solely because I was uninformed. It’s a decent soda and I just need to get in the headspace for that kind of beverage.

Website
http://drinknewyorkseltzer.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Cane Sugar
Categories
Soda Pop, Sparkling
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on November 16th, 2015
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Original New York Seltzer (Raspberry) 12-pack

Werewolf Howling Ginger Beer

Werewolf Howling Ginger Beer

Everyone knows that wolves howl at the moon. What we don’t know is why they do it. Sure there’s some magic with a full moon that transforms human into beast and inspires wonderful movies, such as Ginger Snaps, but what else is there. I submit is that while in the moonlight (were)wolves can get a clear view of their paws and are reminded that they simply do not have any ginger beer to drink and they howl out of frustration. I know I would do the same in that situation. The bottle also tells me of a legend that an elixir brewed with ginger and steeped for a fortnight can bring on the change from man to wolf. I don’t know if ginger has the same effect as a full moon, but it is certainly delicious. Actually I’m going to say it doesn’t work. I’ve drunk enough ginger brews in my life and have never changed form. Maybe the steeping time was off, but yeah I’m calling poppycock.

This ginger beer may not cause a change, but it does make my taste buds happy. It’s made with natural ginger flavor and hot pepper extracts so it has a nice burn to it. It’s not too out of control, but it’s more than I had expected from a beverage made by Orca. Along with that burn is also a nice sweetened ginger flavor. This is actually what I look for in a ginger beer. It walks the line between burn and taste without falling off of the tightrope. I wonder is being part wolf helped with that balance.

Website
http://www.orcabeverage.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Cane Sugar
Categories
Ginger, Soda Pop
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on November 3rd, 2015
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(Gourmet) Werewolf Howling Ginger Beer 12 Pack
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