Jason Draper (2515 reviews)

Jason plays bass in Failures' Union and owns/operates a screen printing shoppe called Wooden T-Shirts. He also eats veggie dogs by the gallon.

Apple & Eve Organics Tropical Mango

Apple & Eve Organics Tropical Mango

I wish I lived in a perfect world. A world where everything wasn’t such a mess. A world where everything wasn’t falling apart before my eyes. A world where juice was nothing but the fruit it was named after, especially when it’s 100% juice. I want mangos, nothing but mangos. I want it to be thick and syrupy, so I can pretend that I am taking a nice big bite of the most perfectly ripe mango. Since this carton cost me a little over a dollar, I should have known that wasn’t going to be the case. How could the company afford it? They would be operating at a loss. Instead they have to mix in some other, cheaper fruits to keep the price point down, but retain the 100% juice certification. I’m sure they proudly display their certificate in their offices. I certainly would, right next to my framed dollar bill.

The other juices in here besides the coveted mango are apple, banana, carrot and orange. That is a lot of juice. The apple takes up the bulk of it. There is even more apple than mango, lucky for us mango is a stronger flavor and overpowers it. You can taste the apple, but it still tastes stronger of mango. The banana is oh so faint, but I still kind of hate knowing that it’s there, contaminating this juice even if it’s only slightly. The carrots and the orange just kind of blend it and are hardly noticeable. I would definitely call this a mango-apple juice. I think I might enjoy it more if they just were honest with the name. It tastes great, but my taste buds were expecting something a bit different. Now sit back and watch the rest of the horror in this world unfold before your eyes.

Website
http://www.appleandeve.com/
Country
Canada
Sweetener
No Sugar Added
Categories
Juice
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper 2 weeks ago
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Sparkling Ice Essence Lemon Lime

Sparkling Ice Essence Lemon Lime

I love that Sparkling Ice is taking a step back from sucralose, well at least with their Essence line. I just could not get into the dietness of it all. These new ones though have been mostly pretty great. It’s just flavored seltzer water, but the flavors have been good, up until now. This isn’t bad per say, but it really teeters on the “tastes like a cleaner” line of things. I feel like everyone involved in the lemon industry should file a class action lawsuit against household cleaners because they have ruined a once great fruit. I feel like the world used to embrace lemon in all its forms, but now folks are reminded of cleaning chemicals and it’s a turn off. Big money could be made. Big, big money.

Once you get past the association, this isn’t bad. I could do with a tad bit more lime, but I’m always going to want more of that. It’s not really a flavor for me, but I wouldn’t dump it down the drain.

Website
http://www.sparklingice.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
No Sugar Added
Categories
Sparkling, Water
Rating
2/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper 2 weeks, 1 day ago
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Rockstar Revolt Killer Citrus

Rockstar Revolt Killer Citrus

As you may know from reading thirsty Dudes (You don’t, because you don’t. I mean, why would you?) I have a sensitivity to caffeine and energy drinks can really screw with me. I don’t drink them very often because of this. The thing is that I actually kind of like the weird energy drink taste that exists nowhere else in the beverage world. On top of that there are situations where I have to be up until nearly dawn and the chances of me staying awake that late on my own are slim. Friday was one of those nights. I knew I needed some help and figured I might as well cross another drink off the Thirsty Dudes list, so I stood way longer than any human should in front of the beverage cooler checking each of the energy drinks to our master list to see what we hadn’t reviewed yet. Shockingly there were very few that we hadn’t written about. I’m a fan of citrus, and the green of the can made me think it would be heavier on the lime side of things, so I chose this can of Rockstar Revolt.

This most definitely did not taste like I had anticipated. I had expected a lime version of a classic energy drink. That weird part bubblegum part citrus taste mixed with a whole lot of lime. Instead, this tastes like 7 Up or Sprite with a little something extra in it. That something is kind of like this was made from a powder and it wasn’t missed up enough. There isn’t an actual gritty texture to this, but it tastes like there should be. I don’t understand where that is coming from. There is no trace of the “energy drink taste” that I mentioned earlier, this is its one thing. There is also no real taste of the orange juice that is listed in the ingredietns.

I personally think that lemon lime is the most boring of soda flavors, but I know there are people out there who love it, or it wouldn’t be such a staple. This is going to make some people very happy.

Website
http://www.rockstar69.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Sugar
Categories
Energy Drink
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper 2 weeks, 2 days ago
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New York Seltzer Cola & Berry Soda

New York Seltzer Cola & Berry Soda


Companies have been flavoring their colas with various things for decades and we no longer bat an eye at cherry, vanilla, or even lime cola, this may be the first berry cola I’ve come across. More than likely I have and it’s slipped my brain. I mean I do get dumber by the day and find myself forgetting normal words I use all the time. I will choose to believe that my brain is not malfunctioning this time and say that it is my first cola of this variety. I have to say, I’m into it. I do wish it had a stronger cola flavor, but what is there pairs great with the berry. It’s similar to a cherry cola, but with a little twist. Is it better? I can’t say. It is different though and that makes it stand out to me, and that is a hard thing to do these days.

While this isn’t what I think of when I think of seltzer (They are right. I am wrong.), this still has possibly the smallest ingredients list I have come across for a soda. It’s simply carbonated water, cane sugar, citrus acid, and natural flavors. It’s simple, it’s clean and it’s delicious.

Website
http://https://drinknewyorkseltzer.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Cane Sugar
Categories
Soda Pop
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper 3 weeks ago
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Medifast Dutch Chocolate Shake

Medifast Dutch Chocolate Shake

Just like that we have come to the last submission of the 2017 Shake it Off Challenge. So far the contestants have been decently chocolatey and mostly enjoyable. For this final installment we will visit the shake whose packaging looks the most medicinal. With a name like Medifast and the Caduceus logo how can one not think of a doctor’s office while drinking this? I understand that they are trying to show how healthy this beverage is and show that it is recommended by physicians, but the symbolism has me expecting this to taste like garbage medicine. Sometimes you hate when your expectations are met. This is clearly my least favorite of the three shakes we reviewed for the challenge. The chocolate tastes fake and chalky (yes I shook it up for as long as recommended). While the other shakes let you feel like you’re cheating and drinking some sort of desert, this never lets you forget that it has a function and that is to help you lose weight, which will not be enjoyable. With 14g of protein and 100 calories, it’s pretty close to the others in that regard. Unfortunately the taste does not match up.

Website
http://www.medifast1.com
Country
United States
Sweetener
Fructose
Categories
Diet, Mix/Concentrate
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper 3 weeks, 2 days ago
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Topo Chico Flavored Sparkling Water

Topo Chico Flavored Sparkling Water

In a couple of weeks I’m going on tour in Mexico. Since we all know you are not supposed to drink the top water there if you are not a local I fully expect that I will get all of my refreshment from this company. If you’ve read Thirsty Dudes before you likely know that it took me over 30 years of my life to be able to enjoy seltzer water. It took me even longer than that to give Topo Chico a try, but once I did I kicked myself for not having it in my life already.

For those of you who are not in the know, Topo Chico is a sparkling mineral water. The minerals give the water just a hint of a flavor that makes it stand out from regular sparkling water. To add to that there is a bit of citrus in here by the way of lemon in a way that makes it interesting and not like boring restaurant water. Overall it tastes classic and classy. It’s the kind of beverage that would pair perfectly with the world’s greatest burritos. Oh Mexico, I can’t wait to visit and hopefully I will not get stabbed while I’m there like people keep telling me I’m going to.

In an added note I just heard that Aldi bought this company, so now it will be easy to find at an affordable price throughout the US.

Website
http://www.topochicousa.net/
Country
Mexico
Sweetener
No Sugar Added
Categories
Sparkling, Water
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper 3 weeks, 6 days ago
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Core Organic Orange Clementine

Core Organic Orange Clementine

I’m not exactly sure what this beverage is supposed to be. It’s not really a juice, but it’s also not a sports drink. The bottle says it is an “organic fruit infused beverage,” and according to the ingredients list it’s kind of a mix of everything. It is composed of coconut water, 4% juice, white tea, and a whole mess of organic, zero calorie sweeteners. The result just tastes a bit generic, like some random “juice” box you’d get as a kid, expect now it tastes overly diet. This sort of tastes a modern version of Kool Aid. The orange/clementine flavor is there, but it tastes a bit powdery. I appreciate what they are trying to do with this, but the arrow is hitting just outside of the target. It’s almost good, but it just doesn’t mess right.

Website
http://core-hydration.com
Country
United States
Sweetener
Organic Erytritol
Categories
Coconut, Iced Tea, Juice
Rating
2/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on January 22nd, 2017
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Runa Clean Energy

Runa Clean Energy

I can’t believe I forgot to review this. I had drunk one awhile back and I loved it. For some reason I didn’t do a write up for it. I was on tour, so it probably just slipped my mind. Cut to about two months ago and suddenly it shows up at my friendly neighborhood Big Lots, where old labels go to die, for 50 cents a bottle. I bought several cases and have been enjoying it ever since. Today I grabbed my last bottle (the store has since run out) and I couldn’t remember what kind words I had to say about this wonderful tea. When I looked it up, I realized I had yet to say anything, because I’m a big dumb-dumb head (or so children would tell you).

So far every Runa beverage that we have reviewed has gotten a 4 or 5 bottle rating. That may be the most consistently great per capita company we have dealt with. The reason for that is that they keep their beverages simple. It’s water, guayusa tea, cane sugar and whatever flavor that particular tea is meant to be. This bottle may contain 0% juice, but it tastes like actual raspberries and not some sugary garbage like most teas. One of the great things about Runa is that they have wisely chosen to have the tea be the most prominent flavor and the fruit act as the backup. It’s earthy, but a little sweet with a mild berry flavor. It also happens to be just what I want out of this drink. If it showed up at the store again I would buy every bottle they had in stock. I recommend you do the same. That is unless you live around Buffalo. In that case, I call dibs.

Website
http://www.runa.org/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Organic Cane Sugar
Categories
Iced Tea
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on January 17th, 2017
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Nutrisystem Nutricrush Chocolate Shake Mix

Nutrisystem Nutricrush Chocolate Shake Mix

Round two of the 2017 Shake It Off Challenge has begun, and I have to say I think we have a contender on our hands. Nutrisystem is a long running company and they have had that time to perfect the “diet’ shake powder. This is downright delicious. This is the kind of thing that would make dieting easy. I’m not even on a diet and I want to drink these all of the time because it tastes great and there is no guilt in consuming it. What other chocolate beverage can say that?

It is ridiculously creamy and it tastes like decent chocolate, not like garbage chocolate that you would swear is actually more plastic than food. There is some stevia and monk fruit extract in here as well as fructose to sweeten it, but none of them interfere with the chocolate taste. That is a feat onto itself. The numbers for this are less than the Wonderslim. It has 13g of sugar with 150 calories, but with this you will recognize the names of more of the ingredients, and you can’t argue with that flavor. I personally feel much better drinking this than the competitor.

We have one more contestant in this game. Will Nutrisystem remain on top, or will they be ousted? Only time will tell.

Website
http://www.nutrisystem.com
Country
United States
Sweetener
Fructose
Categories
Diet, Milkshake, Mix/Concentrate
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on January 17th, 2017
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Dry Sparkling Rainier Cherry

Dry Sparkling Rainier Cherry

I’m complained on here, a stupid amount of times, that companies should just lower the amount of sugar they use instead of using zero calorie sweeteners. Sure, they save you calories, but it’s at the cost of the taste of the beverage. Dry does exactly what I have suggested. To be fair they have been doing it since before I vocalized my thoughts. This can of soda has less than half the sugar that a “normal” soda would. For a lot of their flavors this practice really works wonderfully. Unfortunately this one just does not taste right to me. There is a natural sweetness in cherries, and it’s lost in tis translation. It’s one of the few soda flavors that I like being really sweet. Actually a middle ground would be perfect. This tastes more like actual cherries than most sodas, but I could use more of the sweetness from a typical cherry pop. Taking all of that into consideration if I had a six pack of these I’m pretty sure by the end I would become acclimated with it and would have no issues once my brain/taste buds adjusted.

Website
http://www.drysoda.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Pure Cane Sugar
Categories
Soda Pop
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on January 15th, 2017
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