Jason Draper (2529 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.

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 3 days, 20 hours ago
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Wicked Lekker Rooibox Tea Black Currant

Wicked Lekker Rooibox Tea Black Currant

When I first saw this I made a joke about it being from Massachusetts, specifically Boston. Anything with the word “wicked” in the title has to be from there, right? Guess what? IT IS! I didn’t really think was going to be. I mean people joke about people from that region saying everything is wicked this or wicked that, but I had no idea that the denizens of MA actually embraced the stereotype. That is better than my joke could ever be. I also just discovered from the company’s website that lekker is the Afrikaans word for awesome. That’s right, this companies name translates to “Wicked Awesome.” Somewhere Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are very proud.

As much as I would like to, and will, laugh about this company’s name, they are right. This tea is pretty great. Due to it being a rooibos tea it is a different beast than the iced teas you are used to. It’s slightly nutty and a little fruity. It’s definitely a nice path to take from time to time as a respite from your normal iced teas. You can really taste the honey in here as well. Most importantly, at least to me, is that the black currant isn’t overpowering. You can taste it, but it adds to the flavor rather than taking over the whole show.

Wicked Lekker, your name is ridiculous and I love it. I also love your teas. I hope the fact that I found it at a discount store means that you are just redoing your labels and not that your company is in trouble. I want to see more of you.

Website
http://wickedlekker.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Organic Cane Sugar
Categories
Iced Tea
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper 5 days, 7 hours ago
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Waiakea Hawaiian volcanic Water

Waiakea Hawaiian volcanic Water

Water is water, right? I mean sure, some companies water might taste a little different because of the bottles they use or the inclusion of trace amounts of sodium for some reason, but other than that it’s all just water. WRONG! I used to be as misguided as you, but then I had special waters. The kind of waters that you would imagine only rich people could afford. Waters with a higher pH. These waters ARE different and they are deliciously smooth. This just happens to be one of those magical waters and it doesn’t cost you a week’s worth of pay like you might expect from something so extravagant.

Waiakea water is naturally filtered through volcanic rock and as a result it gets enriched with minerals (without tasting like mineral water) and it also makes it naturally alkaline. If you’re a dummy like me, you have no idea what that means, so let me lay it out for you; It helps to remove toxins form the body and regulates the body’s natural pH. It also does not decrease in pH over time and stays at 8.8. Does all of that really matter though? When you’re drinking it all most people care about is the taste and it is good. It’s water, but it tastes better than water. It’s as if it is what all water hopes to become. It’s crisp and clear, while being strangely smooth.

On top of all of that the company also donates 650 liters of clean water to Africa for every liter sold. Well played.

Website
http://waiakeasprings.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
No Sugar Added
Categories
Water
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper 1 week, 4 days ago
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Batch Craft Soda Snozzberry

Batch Craft Soda Snozzberry

I know what you’re thinking. Do you think I didn’t think it? I’m going to guess that the majority of people whose eyes scan this bottle are thinking the same thing, “Do the snozzberries taste like snozzberries?” I’m going to go out on a limb and say yes. I have no idea what a snozzberry actually is, but after tasting this soda I will say that yes this should be the definitive definition for the fictional fruit. Unless you are talking about the crude joke that Roald Dahl actually meant by the word, then I will say no, this probably does not taste like that.

The is a little known fact that I hum/sing two bars of the Wonka song all the damn time, but no one ever realizes it. I normally don’t even know I’m doing it until I reach the end of the second bar. It’s a good melody, and this is an exceptional soda. I’m not exactly sure what berries they have combined to make this new variety, but gun to head I would say boysenberry and raspberry. It’s extremely good, and that is hard for a fruit flavored soda to achieve. I bet if they opened up a Wonka amusement park (far from timely) this would be a huge seller at the gift shop and they would never get a single complaint about it. Even bitter folks, who are dead inside would love it. I mean I did.

Website
http://www.batchsoda.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Pure Cane Sugar
Categories
Soda Pop
Rating
5/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper 2 weeks ago
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Bolthouse Farms 1915 Apple Romaine Cucumber Spinach Kale Lemon

Bolthouse Farms 1915 Apple Romaine Cucumber Spinach Kale Lemon

Do you see all of those flavors listed in the title of this drink? Well that is all that is in this bottle. There is absolutely nothing else, not even added water. It’s juice plain and simple. I am a huge fan of the current juice craze. Sure it can be ridiculously expensive, so I don’t indulge all of the time, but it is nice to know that people care about something healthy and simple and it’s out there for the taking.

Remember when I mentioned the cost of juice? If not you should probably see a doctor because it was two sentences ago and you have a real problem with short term memory. Well, Bolthouse cold-presses their 1915 juices, just like those expensive companies do, except they charge about half the price. These are normally around $4 and they seem to be on sale a decent amount for $3, which is not bad at all.

This version of the juice is their “greens” output. Sure, when you think about it this contains the ingredients to a salad, and drinking a salad doesn’t sound very appetizing, but I assure you that is not what this is like. Maybe if it had dressing included it would be. If that were the case I’m guessing a lot of people would vomit upon drinking it though. The lemon and apple in here give it enough of a fruity edge to balance out greens. You can still taste them, but in a good way. Not like you ordered a house salad with a blender at an Applebees. Is that on the menu still? This is a beverage you can feel good about drinking with no guilt and you don’t feel like you’re forcing it down for the sake of health. It’s enjoyable all around.

Website
http://bolthouse.com
Country
United States
Sweetener
No Sugar Added
Categories
Juice
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper 2 weeks ago
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Alta Palla Sparkling Grapefruit

Alta Palla Sparkling Grapefruit

Hey, sir! I see you over there drinking your can of Squirt! You listen to me mister! You throw that can right in the trash. It no longer deserves your time. I’m sorry if I came across angry, but I guess it does anger me to watch people drink inferior soda when the quality stuff is available. Here, have a can of this Alta Palla. Now tell me person who I just met, who I will now call friend, is that or is it not the best can of grapefruit soda that has ever passed your lips? It’s sweet, but still has the appropriate amount of bitterness. It tastes like dumping spoonfuls of sugar directly onto a grapefruit that has been cut in two. Part of me wishes there was a little less sugar in here, but then I think about how good as it tastes as it, and I’ll deal with the extra calories. Now, get back to work! You don’t get paid to talk to obviously crazy strangers on the sidewalk!

Website
http://www.altapalla.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Organic Fair Trade Certified Cane Sugar
Categories
Soda Pop, Sparkling
Rating
5/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper 2 weeks, 3 days ago
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Califia Farms Matcha Almond Milk

Califia Farms Matcha Almond Milk

This very obviously has an almond milk base. In fact it appears to be more than just a base; it makes up the bulk of the taste. Got a matcha this has a very minimal green tea flavor. It really needs to be much, much stronger. It tastes like they took half a shot glass of green tea, poured it into a gallon jug and filled the rest with almond milk. Well, maybe it’s not that extreme, but it’s not anywhere near where I want it to be. It’s nice and creamy, but without the proper green tea taste, what’s the point?

Website
http://www.califiafarms.com
Country
United States
Sweetener
Maple Sugar
Categories
Iced Tea
Rating
2/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper 2 weeks, 6 days ago
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Guayaki Yerba Mate Unsweetened Hibiscus Lime

Guayaki Yerba Mate Unsweetened Hibiscus Lime

I believe the Eurythmics wrote a song about this tea, or was it Heart? Billy Ocean? Taylor Swift? There are a lot of songs out there that deal with things being great in dreams and I can tell you if nothing else, this beverage is absolutely dreamy. Like most Guayaki teas the yerba mate is the main thing you taste, but this has a very faint floral, hibiscus taste to it with hints of lime. There is nothing in here that is overpowering. You know what though, dreams are never perfect though. There is always an aspect r two that seem out of place. In here I could do with a tad bit more flavoring, and just the smallest amount of sugar. When it comes to tea I almost always prefer them to be unsweetened, but mate benefits from the smallest touch of sweetener. Even in its imperfect state I could drink this forever though.

Website
http://www.guayaki.com
Country
United States
Sweetener
No Sugar Added
Categories
Iced Tea
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper 2 weeks, 6 days ago
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Alta Palla Sparkling Blood Orange

Alta Palla Sparkling Blood Orange

Can we take a moment out of our regularly scheduled beverage nonsense to discuss how Whole Foods has gone completely downhill? We don’t have them here in Buffalo, but I’ve visited their stores a decent amount while I’m traveling. While I was never completely onboard with it, mostly due to the price, they were always a mecca of vegetarian prepared foods. I could walk up to the hot bar and have a selection of various delicious meals. While out on the west coast last month I stopped by two separate stores and it was dismal. The prepared foods sections were scaled back a lot more than I remember and other than salad stuff, there really weren’t any veggie options other than lasagna. Both times I ended up getting soft pretzels and calling it a day. Of course they are finally opening one in my hometown and it will be essentially useless to me. Without the options what reason do I have to go there over the superior Wegmans, which is way cheaper? Oh yes, it is because of the beverage selection. There is always something new to me in the drink cooler at Whole Foods. This time around it was Alta Palla.

I grabbed this thinking it was a blood orange seltzer water (because it said sparkling). I cracked it open while I ate my pretzel and was nicely surprised to discover it was actually sweetened, but not ridiculously so. During my trip I was doing a lot of hiking, which led to me drinking a lot of water, and eating a whole lot of protein bars and eating trail mix a whole bunch. I didn’t realize how much my body wanted this sugar until I drank this. It has an incredible blood orange flavor and it is in the same realm as San Pellegrino, only better. All I can say is that when that Whole Foods opens its doors in Buffalo they better have this in stock, because I want it and I want a lot of it.

Website
http://www.altapalla.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Organic Fair Trade Certified Cane Sugar
Categories
Soda Pop, Sparkling
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper 3 weeks, 1 day ago
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Teaonic I Love My Gut

Teaonic I Love My Gut

This little guy tasted pretty much as I expected it to. It tastes like it serves a more medicinal purpose than a pleasurable one. I’m not saying that it didn’t have pleasant taste, but the rest of the ingredients play more of a role in the flavor than the tea does. In fact the tea aspect of it taste more like tea water than the nice strong brew that one expects from a bottled iced tea. The ingredients that make up the chia spice blend are the ones who are running this show. It’s almost all cinnamon, ginger, and licorice.

This was made to help with stomach issues and digestion, but if the tea had been stronger I could see this being an instant favorite. Even without the strong tea taste it still left a delicious residue on my lips.

Website
http://teaonic.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
No Sugar Added
Categories
Iced Tea, Sports/Dietary Supplement
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper 3 weeks, 1 day ago
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