Sugar (850 reviews)

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.republicoftea.com
Country
United States
Sweetener
Sugar
Categories
Iced Tea
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Mike Literman on May 30th, 2017
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Batch Craft Soda Shirley Temple

Batch Craft Soda Shirley Temple

Back in the 30’s bartenders on the movie lot would mix up some ginger ale (or lemon lime if it was all they had) with some grenadine and throw in a cherry to make it seem special. These drinks had a singular use; they were used to bride a child actress into giving some good takes for the “talkies.” They would pretend they were grown up drinks and only girls who performed well earned their grown up drink. Mix up one of these cocktails and those little feet would be dancing up a storm, never missing a step. If she messed up though, she was given straight sour mix.

Is any of this true? I have no idea. As far as I know this beverage was created by a bartender at bowling alley who was trying to appease the kids on a Saturday afternoon. That, at least, is my history with it. Whatever its origin story it’s a great little drink. This Batch version of the classic drink doesn’t quite capture the essence of the bowling alley version that I love from my youth, but it is a cleaner, more distinguished version. I mean it’s not coming out of a soda gun, so chances are it’s going to be of better quality. Whether you’re trying to get kids to dance, or to bowl there really isn’t a better beverage for the job.

Website
http://www.batchsoda.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Sugar
Categories
Soda Pop
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on May 28th, 2017
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Izze Fusions Orange Mango

Izze Fusions Orange Mango

Orange and mango are good buds. They're arguably both orange. That lumps them into that category. Really, that's it. They're also just a good pair. This tastes more like orange juice than a 50/50 split. I'd happily give it 75/25 if we're going to put numbers on it.

This was given to my mammy as a way to promote the product. Well, they didn't know who her son was. Most people don't. I am but a man. A sexy, attractive, talented, man of a man. A man who decided to spend the last seven years writing crud about drinks. This being one of them. What do I have to say about it? It's good. Simple as that. Personally I like the other Izze drinks because they're lighter and simpler. This is...not thicker...but denser. It's a sparkling juice. They call it like a sparkling soda, water and juice simultaneously and it is all of them and it is one of them. Is it confusing? No. You know why? Who is going to fight over what this is. Whatever it is, it's sparkling and fruity and drinkable. Don't put baby in the corner. Just drink it.

Website
http://www.izze.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Sugar
Categories
Juice, Soda Pop, Sparkling
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Mike Literman on May 15th, 2017
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Starbucks Frappuccino Dark Chocolate Mocha

Starbucks Frappuccino Dark Chocolate Mocha

Ahhh Big Lots, where seasonal drinks go to die. Well at least until a year passes and they rise from the ashes of discount stores to achieve premium prices once again. Look, the chances of me spending $3+ for a 9.5oz bottle of iced coffee are very slim, even if it is delicious. The chances of me paying $.80 for them a few months after the holiday season that is depicted on the label? Let me grab a case or two and finish them within a week.

This is something else. I hesitate to even call it a coffee drink because it is so far buried under a delicious mountain of peppermint and chocolate that I wonder if it’s there at all. Do you know what the best decision they made about this drink was? To use dark chocolate. Do you know who prefers milk chocolate? Kids and those with weak taste buds. The same people who would put ketchup on eggs or mac and cheese. Those are the same people who probably shouldn’t be drinking coffee, no matter how much it’s hidden in a beverage. People with developed palates appreciate dark chocolate. These people also want to throw all of their fancy tastes out the window and enjoy a sugary nonsense treat and pretend they are kids again. That’s it, this drink is for adult children and I am proud to be part of those ranks.

For a second I wondered why they didn’t just change the label of this and make it available year round. Then I closed my eyes as I took a sip and all I could think about was Christmas and the winter. Like nog it is tied to the season. You can certainly enjoy it other times of year, but I challenge you to drink a bottle and not think of the holidays. It’s like someone made hot chocolate out of a nice dark chocolate(with a bit of coffee in it I suppose) and then melted candy canes in it before chilling it and somehow making it a bit frothy.

ps. This was my last bottle. I should have bought another case and a diabetes testing kit that I would have certainly needed. 33g of sugar in 9.5oz is a lot.

Website
http://www.starbucks.com
Country
United States
Sweetener
Sugar
Categories
Coffee
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on April 30th, 2017
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Pepsi 1893 Black Currant Cola

Pepsi 1893 Black Currant Cola

They cannot fail. The Pepsi-Cola company simply cannot fail with their 1893 line. The other flavors had me very excited, but I was skeptical about the black currant. We had a currant bush in my backyard growing up, and I enjoyed eating them, but I generally find their tartness rarely takes me where I want it to in beverage form. It is really great in this cola though. More than any other flavor in this line this reminds me of a cherry cola with a twist. I always think of currants as a form of grape, even though I know they are berries. I don’t know if it’s that thought process or an actuality, but this kind of tastes like a mixture of cherry/grape cola. I really enjoy it so much more than I ever would have anticipated. I wondered if they were going to release a cherry version of this, and now I think it’s unnecessary. This fills that void and does it in a unique and enjoyable way.

Website
http://www.pepsi.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Sugar
Categories
Soda Pop
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on April 3rd, 2017
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Pepsi 1893 Citrus Cola

Pepsi 1893 Citrus Cola

For how little I care about the Pepsi-Cola company, I really love their 1893 line. I’m talking probably 8 out of the last 10 sodas I have bought for pleasure have been them. That’s probably spaced out over the past six months, but those are some pretty good numbers. While I find their regular, every day cola pretty boring and uninspiring this stuff is just great. It is dark. It is bold. If I had reviewed the original instead of Mike it would have gotten top marks. It is everything I could have ever wanted out of a cola.

Now they have gone and twisted things up a bit with this citrus flavor. When I heard this was going be released I thought it was going to be lemon or lime (perhaps a combo of the two), or possibly orange, which would have been fantastic. I never would have anticipated that the citrus fruit they used was going to be grapefruit. It was a bold move and I think it really pays off. While I do prefer the original, this is something unlike anything I have ever had before and it is really great. The thing is that it is like two sodas mixed into one. I don’t know how they have kept the flavors separate, but that’s how it goes down. When it’s in your mouth and initially after you swallow it tastes like a fantastic grapefruit soda. Very quickly that fades and the 1893 cola taste replaces it.

At first I was unsure what to think about this. It most definitely was unusual. It took about half the can before I realized that I really loved it. I’ve generally moves away from sugary beverages in my older age. They tend to make me feel a little bit like garbage and they always seem to have too much sugar. This tastes incredibly sugary sweet, but it works in here. I find myself savoring the sweetness like I normally wouldn’t in other sodas. When this line first came out I was sure that it would disappear from shelves within a few months. With the release of two new flavors it seems that it is here to stay and I’m excited to see where else they take it.

Website
http://www.pepsi.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Sugar
Categories
Soda Pop
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on March 23rd, 2017
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