Jason Draper (2745 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.

Tran Quini Positively Relaxing Drink Sparkling Hibiscus

Tran Quini Positively Relaxing Drink Sparkling Hibiscus

Well this is delicious. Hibiscus is the new pomegranate and I could not have been happier. The first time I came across this wonderful flavor was in 2009 when I was in Europe and we stopped by our driver’s mother’s house. She made us lunch and made us lemonade with hibiscus from her garden. It blew my mind and I drank far more than my fair share. When I returned home I searched for more beverages of this flavor and slowly but surely they started to pop up as the years went by.

While I prefer hibiscus mixed with cinnamon and other spices, I have no qualms with it plain either. In here it’s fairly standard plain hibiscus, but it is still more than tasty. It’s sweetened but not overly sweet with 17g of sugar. That does not detract from the main flavor at all. In addition there is chamomile, lemon balm, and theanine from green tea in the mix. Even with these ingredients, it is not a sleepy relaxation drink, but more of a de-stresser. That is something I needed as I stayed in an apartment right next to the BQE in Brooklyn. The constant stream of cars filled with people traveling to and from work is rather unnerving and prone to give me anxiety. So thanks Tran Quini for getting me through that ordeal.

Country
United States
Sweetener
Cane Sugar
Categories
Relaxation, Sparkling
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on October 19th, 2018
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Limitless Lightly Caffeinated Sparkling Water Blood Orange

Limitless Lightly Caffeinated Sparkling Water Blood Orange

This seemed interesting. At first glance I thought, “This would be something good to get me through a long work day. No sugar. No calories. It’s simply seltzer water with some caffeine added to it.” This had the potential to be a “healthy” morning beverage for those of us who do not drink coffee. Yes, the caffeine is derived from green coffee beans, but there is no coffee flavoring in here at all. In fact the downfall of this product is that there isn’t much flavoring at all. Before you start to argue that seltzer isn’t a very flavorful beverage by design, I very much know that, and I embrace the sparkling beverage for it. This can had minimal blood orange flavoring to it. It tasted more like a seltzer that had been left open for a long time and the flavor dissipated with the bubbles (this was still carbonated though). The natural caffeine also added a little bit of flavor around the edges, which I could have done without. Overall this was fairly bland and that is from someone who drinks seltzer, water, and unsweetened tea all day.

Website
http://limitlesscoffee.com
Country
United States
Sweetener
No Sugar Added
Categories
Energy Drink, Sparkling, Water
Rating
2/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on October 18th, 2018
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Red Bull Sugar Free The Lime Edition

Red Bull Sugar Free The Lime Edition

So picture this, I’m at the gym, attempting to improve my mental health and lost some of the vanilla pudding that has formed on my human frame as I have aged nearly into my fourth decade on this planet. I had just finished running a few miles on the treadmill and then began to use the weight lifting machines, when I notice that there are a pair of women walking around the gym with cooler backpacks handing out cans of Red Bull to people as they work out. First off, that is jut weird and kind of not acceptable. To me the gym is a place that you do not interact with people unless you are asking them if they are finished with a machine, or you are calling them out for being a creep and checking out other human people in their sweaty state. Secondly, you can bet your ass that as soon as I was done with a set of reps I approached them before they could approach me and I got a can from them. The interaction was inevitable, so I was proactive about it to get it over and of course I was going to take a free sample.

We have really slacked on Red Bull reviews because I had heard some unsavory things about the people who run the company, which ended up being not accurate upon doing some research. I was glad to give the newer flavors a try, especially when it was free. This though, was not what I wanted. I actually prefer the sugar free Red Bull to the original variety, and I was hoping this would go the same route. Unfortunately that was not the case. This is supposed to be limeade, but it was not like they added lime to a normal diet Red Bull. Instead it’s a new beast that just tastes like a tiny bit of lime mixed in with a whole lot of sucralose grossness. Here are my parting words for the company; Just add flavoring to your original base products for these “new” flavors, and teach your representatives what appropriate venues to hand out samples are. The way things are going I can only assume after the gym they were heading to a funeral to pass out samples.

Website
http://www.redbull.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Sucralose
Categories
Diet, Energy Drink
Rating
2/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on October 10th, 2018
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Coca-Cola California Raspberry

Coca-Cola California Raspberry

Look what finally showed up in Western New York. I know these have been out for a while now, and I have been keeping my eyes open, but it took months to make it to my market. Was it worth the wait? Hmmmm…I guess so. It’s pretty damn tasty. If you know me and my beverage drinking habits, then you probably know that I have a real soft spot for Cherry Coke. When I’m completely exhausted and thirsty as all hell, there is just something about an ice cold can of Cherry Coke that satisfies me like no other beverage can. Welp, that sound mega ultra creepy. I assure you all of the pleasure culminates in my taste buds. This is very similar to that, with just a little more in the flavor. I’m not sure if it’s better or worse. I think I may prefer the old standby because I associate so many life events with it. This is new and it’s going to take some building. It certainly has a raspberry flavor to it, but it is a bit syrupy. A few friends said it tasted like cough syrup. I don’t agree with them at all. This is coke with raspberry in it. It’s exactly what you would expect and that is nothing to slouch at.

Website
http://www.coca-cola.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Cane Sugar
Categories
Soda Pop
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on October 4th, 2018
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Blume Honey Water Ginger Zest

Blume Honey Water Ginger Zest

I’m sure this is not something that a beverage company would ideally want to be associated with, but this would be perfect if you were feeling under the weather. It doesn’t really make me think of cough drops or anything like that, it just seems like it would be a nice relief if you had a sore throat or a cold. It’s honey, ginger, and lemon; that just screams soothing to me. If you drank this hot I feel like it could cure anything, well you know any sort of minor ailment, not a life threatening disease. It’s not magic.

The honey is very strong in this and the ginger has just the slightest burn to it. It’s certainly not a gulping beverage, but I cold sip on this all day long. Whether I am sick, or just looking for something that tastes delicious, this drink is there for me.

Website
http://https://www.blumehoneywater.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Honey
Categories
Ginger, Other/Weird, Water
Rating
5/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on October 3rd, 2018
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Hydro One REVd Blueberry & Pomegranate

Hydro One REVd Blueberry & Pomegranate

When things clearly say “Sugar Free” on them it makes me nervous. Artificial sweeteners should be filed directly in the filth bin and natural zero calorie sweeteners, while slightly more palatable, are really no prize. Typically I would prefer zero added sweeteners to something with zero calories. Hydro One has things worked out that make their products exceptions though. The beverages are sweetened with a mixture of Xylitol and Stevia, but for some reason they don’t cut through the flavor of the drink like nearly every other “diet” beverage out there. I believe that reason is the addition of cinnamon. I don’t know if it just happens to fall in the same taste spectrum, but where I would normally taste any variety of diet flavors, all I really get is a faint cinnamon taste. I am really on board with that.

As with the other flavors, to me this is a better version of a diet Vitamin Water. There is definitely a water base, as it is not thick like juice. The blueberry and pomegranate are not super strong, but are there more than enough to give it a proper flavoring. Of course there is that cinnamon riding through it all as well. This is a good option for those watching their sugar or calorie intake.

Website
http://https://hydroonebeverages.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Xylitol
Categories
Diet, Sports/Dietary Supplement
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on October 1st, 2018
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Polar Seltzer Jr. Pixie Lights

Polar Seltzer Jr. Pixie Lights

Polar’s Seltzer Jr line is back (from what I hear, to stay) and this time they brought two new friends with them. One of them is this little fella that goes by the name Pixie Lights. From the picture on the tiny can one would assume that the New England based company is insinuating that fireflies are really just little pixies, riding around on tiny lightbulbs. Don’t worry though, they wear itsy bitsy crash helmets so it’s all done safely.

Due to the name I really wanted this to somehow taste like Pixie Stix candy or you know like Red Bull without any sweetener added to it. I knew I wasn’t going to be getting what I hoped before I even took a sip. Could something really taste like flavored granulated sugar though that has no sugar in it? In reality what I got was a lightly floral citrus taste that I can’t really pinpoint. It’s not lemon, lime, orange or grapefruit. Maybe it’s something exotic like starfruit. Is starfruit a citrus? It could maybe be the seltzer taste/bubbles that keeps making me think of citrus. Whatever it is it’s light and refreshing , which is what I want out of seltzer.

Website
http://www.polarbev.com
Country
United States
Sweetener
No Sugar Added
Categories
Sparkling, Water
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on September 28th, 2018
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McCol Spark Up!

McCol Spark Up!

This is simply not my speed. I originally wanted to say that it is simply not good, but there has to be someone out there who likes this weirdness and he tastes are subjective. I really want to like this, it’s an odd twist on orange soda, in that it tastes malted and like someone dissolved a handful of all natural vitamins in it. It has a harshness to it that I really like and while it’s in your mouth it tastes great, but as soon as you swallow and breathe it gets a bit gross. I feel like this is what orange beer would taste like if you removed all the alcohol. I do have a feeling that if there was a case of this just sitting around, I would keep drinking it because it was there and eventually grow to truly enjoy it. All hail the learning curve.
Ps. I just looked on line, since I can’t read the can and it’s a barley soda, so that’s the flavor and not malt, apologies.

Country
Korea
Sweetener
???
Categories
Other/Weird, Soda Pop
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on September 25th, 2018
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Hydro One REVd Pineapple & Mango

Hydro One REVd Pineapple & Mango

What sits before me is a healthy sports drink that doesn’t taste like you are drinking the vat of chemicals that the Joker fell into. Sure, it has a slight diet edge to it, but it comes nowhere near the artificial taste of its contemporaries. Yes I know that their Bode line is their actual sports drink, but this is a beverage that falls under the same wheelhouse. If it makes you feel better, we can compare it to a Vitamin Water instead. Either way it has a great taste with zero sugar and zero calories. I believe their secret is that they have included a little cinnamon that really masks the stevia extract that is used to sweeten it. The cinnamon isn’t very strong, but what is there sits right where the diet flavor normally hits me.

I wanted to say that the pineapple mango aspect of it could just be listed as “tropical,” but once I separated the cinnamon I can make out both specific flavors. It was formulated to support diabetic health, but against all odds, it’s just plain tasty. I never thought I would ever find myself truly enjoying a zero calorie beverage of this sort, but here I am at 10am on Monday sipping away.

Website
http://https://hydroonebeverages.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Rebaudioside
Categories
Diet, Sports/Dietary Supplement
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on September 24th, 2018
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UCC Melon Creamy Soda

UCC Melon Creamy Soda

I came across this while looking for drinks to gift to Engineer Jay Zubricky at GCR audio while my band was working on our new record. I saw it and though, “Awesome, a green melon cream soda. Jay loves honeydew and while I’m sure it will be super sweet, it will probably also be tasty.” Little did I know at the time instead of it being a typical vanilla cream soda, it was actually a “creamy soda” meaning that it is soda with milk in it. Now that is strange. It certainly tastes like a regular, cheap, cream soda that has some melon flavoring added to it, but the milk adds another dimension to it, that I can’t 100% get behind. It leaves a weird taste in my mouth and it also changes the viscosity of the beverage and makes it a little thicker than I was expecting. I was able to drink a few sips. Jay drank more than I did and seemed to enjoy it more as well. I guess all drinks are not for everyone.

Website
http://www.ucc.co.jp/eng/
Country
Japan
Sweetener
High Fructose Corn Syrup
Categories
Milk, Soda Pop
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on September 20th, 2018
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