Jason Draper (2751 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.

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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Belvoir Fruit Farms Cucumber & Mint Lemonade

Belvoir Fruit Farms Cucumber & Mint Lemonade

Let’s get things sorted, shall we. First off, this is a company with a French name, which means “beautiful.” Secondly, it is not a French company, and they actually reside in the United Kingdom. Finally, this is a flavor that leads my mind to not drift to neither France, nor the UK, but instead to the American South. This is something I could imagine being sipped on the porch of a fancy plantation in a time when racism ran rampant. Wait, am I talking about the 1800s, or 2018? Garbage humans aside, this is one hell of a beverage. It’s as refreshing as anything on an oppressively hot summer day.
Something about the cucumber and mint gives it an almost pickle smell, but trust me that is nowhere to be found in the taste (as pointed out by recording engineer Jay Zubricky). This is pure luxury in a sipable format. It is mostly cucumber and mint, in a good way that does not resemble chewing gum one bit. I had thought that just being at that point would be wonderful, and the added lemon seemed like overkill, but I was wrong, it adds something wonderful to the mix. It hides around the edges and gives it the little bump it needed to become an ultimate summer beverage.

Website
http://www.belvoirfruitfarms.co.uk/
Country
United Kingdom
Sweetener
Beet Sugar
Categories
Lemonade, Soda Pop, Sparkling
Rating
5/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on September 18th, 2018
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Lifeway Elixir Hibiscus

Lifeway Elixir Hibiscus

I learned today that hibiscus is often used in rituals to protect against evil, invoke divination, and clairvoyance. You would think with the amount of hibiscus I consume and the fact that several people have told me that my house looks like it should be somewhere a fortune teller runs their business, that I would be in the know of that information. Well, I suppose I am now and that makes me love it even more.

This is the most “pink” tasting beverage that I’ve ever tried. You know there are flavors that you associate with blue, orange, and purple that aren’t necessarily the flavor of the fruit they pretend to be and instead have just become the flavor of the color? Well this should be the taste associated with pink, and for an added bonus it isn’t even overly sweet. It’s sweetened, but not in a mouth rot kind of way. This is not a spiced hibiscus, so if you were hoping for that you will be disappointed, but then excited once you realize that it may not be what you had wanted, but it’s pretty great in its own way. It is simultaneously both vaguely floral and vaguely fruity.

My only complaint is that it is the lightest carbonation I have ever had in a beverage. My ladyfriend says she loves it that way because more bubbles would detract from the flavor. To me it feels like it’s about to go flat. That didn’t stop me from getting a great deal of enjoyment from it though.

Website
http://lifewaykefir.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Organic Cane Sugar
Categories
Soda Pop
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on September 4th, 2018
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Gold Thread Plant Based Tonics Hawaiian Ginger with Jasmine, Coriander + Vanilla

Gold Thread Plant Based Tonics Hawaiian Ginger with Jasmine, Coriander + Vanilla

If you looked up the opposite of a Trigger Warning, I’m pretty sure the returned result would simply be a picture of this beverage. I mean maybe it comes up with different results for different people, but the list of ingredients hear could very well be a secret code to break into my soul. Ginger is one of the greatest things that has ever graced this planet. I sure do like to go overboard with it. The other night I got a meal that was just shredded ginger and scallions with some fake chicken. You know when you get a bag of shredded carrots, well it was like someone dumped the full bag on my plate, but instead of carrots it was ginger, and a complaint didn’t even cross my mind because it was amazing. Jasmine may be my favorite type of tea and vanilla, well it’s vanilla and it’s delicious. The only red flag here is coriander, which is the same plant as cilantro, you know pure soapy garbage. Luckily there is not a trace of that dirty dishwater taste I associate with the plant in this drink.

I’m going to say something crazy here. I feel like my friends are going to be concerned and perhaps I will come home to an intervention later, but I could actually do with a little less ginger here. By no means does the ginger taste bad. The only reason I say this is that it is so strong of a flavor that it doesn’t really let the other flavors shine. Sure they are there, but I want them to have equal billing with the ginger. It’s slightly floral with hints of vanilla, but how great would this be if those flavors were stronger?

I love this, but there is room for improvement via my imagination. I want this to be to summer as chai is to winter.

Website
http://goldthreadherbs.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Lakonto Monkfruit
Categories
Ginger, Iced Tea
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on August 28th, 2018
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Amaz Amazon Plant-Based Elixir Floral Relax - Passion flower + Mulungu

Amaz Amazon Plant-Based Elixir Floral Relax - Passion flower + Mulungu

Go grab your stocking cap and your eye mask because when you drink this you are going to want to melt into whatever it is you are sitting/laying on. You might as well pop on those novelty pajamas you got for Xmas a few years back that have “Nemo” embroidered on them, because you are going to be taking a trip to Dreamland. Okay that may be a bit of an overstatement. It’s not like this drink is a magical potion that just knocks you right out, but it surely did make me feel relaxed and ay trouble I would have had falling asleep about an hour after I drank it were out the window. It wasn’t like I was counting down from 100 before some dental surgery, but it got the job done.

The main ingredients in here are passion flower and mulungu, both of which have been used for hundreds of years for their sedative properties. They are the type of ingredients that would have been considered magic in olden times but nowadays are just herbs. Man, the world was, and continues to be a crazy place. People were possibly murdered for witchcraft, just for knowing that these plants could be used to help someone get to sleep. Magic is science and I embrace it all. Oh yeah, and on top of this being a bottled magic that works it also tastes delicious. It’s perfectly sweet and floral tasting without any added sugar. It tastes like a more floral passionfruit mixed with apple juice, but not nearly as sweet. I could drink a gallon of this without batting an eye, but then I would probably fall into a wonderful, dream filled coma for an extended period of time. Actually, that doesn’t sound like a bad way to spend next winter.

Website
http://https://liveamaz.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
No Sugar Added
Categories
Relaxation
Rating
5/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on August 22nd, 2018
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