5 Random Juices/Sodas: A Tasting Session | Hello Pretty Bird! - A beauty and not-so-glamorous lifestyle blog

08 February, 2014

5 Random Juices/Sodas: A Tasting Session

Bought It

Hey, do you remember that 30 Before 30 list I made a couple of months ago? Well if you forgot I don't blame you, because I've been really negligent in blogging about it. I have done a bunch of things on the list, though my birthday is less than three weeks away so some of the tasks may end up being added to a "31 Before 31 list"... shh, don't tell. Anyway, last week I completed #21 on the list ("Get 5 juices/sodas I've never tried before from the supermarket and conduct a tasting session") so I thought I'd share my results with you! Behold the beverages:


A little bit of background:

I wanted to do the juice/soda-tasting experiment to kind of force me to expand my horizons. Not that I necessarily *need* to expand much horizons when it comes to sugar consumption, but trying new stuff now and then isn't a bad thing. Finding five beverages that neither my boyfriend or I had tried before actually turned out to be more of a challenge than I thought it would be - originally I was going to walk to Brooklyn Chinatown and look for something interesting there, but then there was a snowstorm and blah blah blah I'm lazy. My local supermarket is relatively small, so they had very few things I hadn't tried before. It should be noted that two of these drinks came from the rack in the back of the store with all the imperfect vegetables on it, AKA the "this shit is so old, please take it away" section of the store. Mmm, vintage. Anyway, here's what we got and what we thought about it!


Beverage #1: Good-O Rojita Raspberry Red-Pop

Question for the non-New Yorkers: Have you ever seen drinks by this company in your local store? Because I hadn't, at least not until my voyage through the dented/discontinued foods rack. I looked up their website and it says they're based in the Bronx but distribute all over the country. Hmm, OK!

Stan's thoughts: Has a nice smell - like chewing gum, tutti-fruity. Tastes like carbonated sugar syrup with undertones of cough syrup. About as good as expected. Overall rating: 6.

Rebecca's thoughts: Smells sweet, reminds me of a less flavorful version of Irn-Bru with a hit of cough medicine. Slightly worse than expected. Overall rating: 5

Carbonation level (out of 10): 4


Beverage #2: Arizona Beverage Company Lemon Lime Rickey

I'm sure most folks in North America are familiar with the Arizona brand, but I'll explain in case you aren't or live somewhere where this stuff isn't sold: Arizona makes sweetened ice tea and other tooth-rotting drinks, some of which are sold in giant 23oz cans which are sold dirt-cheap (typically for 99¢). You can find this stuff in pretty much every grocery store, gas station, corner store etc. in America. Just to confuse things, this brand started in Brooklyn, which is why the can says "A Brooklyn Original" despite the brand name being Arizona. Anyway, they make a bunch of different flavors and neither of us had tried this one before.

Stan's thoughts: Smells like lemon-lime cleaning fluid. Tastes like Fresca but lemon-lime instead of grapefruit. Less sweet than I expected from Arizona, but maybe it just tastes less sweet in general. Better than expected: Overall rating: 9

Rebecca's thoughts: Tastes like a shittier version of San Pelligrino Limonata. But is surprisingly good, considering that it's basically cheaper than water. Much better than expected. Overall rating: 8

Carbonation level (out of 10): 8


Beverage #3: Vitarroz Malta

If you live in the Northeastern United States, chances are you've seen Vitarroz products on the supermarket shelves. They claim to be the "second-largest supplier and distributor of Hispanic food products" in the region on their website, after all. And Malta seems to be the most popular soft drink in my local supermarket aside from the typical selection of Coca Cola products. There are multiple brands, sizes, etc. You can find it on end caps all over the store. Malta, Malta, Malta. What is Malta, you might wonder? It's a carbonated soft drink made from hops and water. So basically, it's like unfermented beer that's sweet. Despite it's popularity and ubiquitousness, I had never tried Malta prior to this taste-testing experiment, so in my basket it went.

Stan's thoughts: Smells like a hamster cage pellets. Tastes like a light soda-y kind of thing, vaguely like sweet beer. Better than expected, thought it would taste more sweet or be too tangy. Overall rating: 5

Rebecca's thoughts: Smells sort of like beer. Tastes sort of like this fermented soda I used to have to peddle at my old job (which nobody likes). Sort of thick and sludgy. Do not like. Overall rating: 3

Carbonation level (out of 10): 4

Footnote: I discovered after we drank this that some people consume it mixed with milk, and I think it would have been better that way.


Beverage #4: Canfield's Diet Chocolate Fudge Soda

Another find from the "please get this shit out of our store" rack. Just to reiterate, this isn't just chocolate fudge soda, but DIET chocolate fudge soda. I looked up Canfield and apparently they bottle most of their drinks in the Chicago area, yet somehow I don't remember ever seeing this brand despite having lived in Chicago for several years. Maybe I don't drink enough soda.

Stan's thoughts: Smells like chocolate caramel or a Tootsie Pop. Tastes like diet chocolate... like Yoohoo without milk, but carbonated. I like the way the bubbles form a ring around the edge, kind of reminds me of a dark beer. A little better than expected - I expected it to taste like the can but it doesn't. Overall rating: 7

Rebecca's thoughts: Reminds me a bit of that waxy chocolate you see around Easter, except in liquid form. Not sure where the "fudge" comes into play. It's not terrible, but I wouldn't seek it out. About as expected. Overall rating: 5

Carbonation level (out of 10): 8


Beverage #5: Goya Coconut Juice with Lychee

This one might be a bit of a cheat because we get plain Goya coconut juice all the time. But like I said before, it was difficult to find five things that neither of us had tried, and I hadn't purchased this particular flavor before. I'm sure Goya is very well-known as a company, but in case you're unaware they are "a family-run food company offering beans, rice, nectars, seasonings and authentic Spanish, Mexican and Hispanic specialties" (from the official website).

Stan's thoughts:
Smells more like lychee than coconut, but tastes more like coconut than lychee. Much earthier than other coconut waters I've had recently. Has a pleasing appearance - I know that what I'm drinking is coconut water with something added to it. It's not too sweet. Would get it again on sale. About as good as expected. Overall rating: 8

Rebecca's thoughts: Smells very fruity in the carton. Tastes much more like lychee than coconut to me. It's sweet and tangy. I like it well enough, but not as much as regular coconut juice. About as good as expected. Overall rating: 7


Carbonation level (out of 10): 0

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So there you have it. To summarize, the Arizona Lemon Lime Rickey was much better than expected, the Goya Coconut Juice with Lychee was OK, and everything else was... meh. Those are just our opinions, of course - if you have a strong love for one of these beverages feel free to defend it in the comments. And now that the taste test is over, I'm going to brush my teeth 400 times.


Have you tried any of the beverages listed above? Do you ever try new drinks on a whim?

23 comments:

  1. I love this post, its so fun! I can't lie, most of these sound disgusting to me. :P The chocolate cola especially. Apparently when my dad was a teenager some company tried to make chocolate pop and it was so unpopular that he got a summer job that year dumping it all out because no one ever bought it!


    http://mattekat.blogspot.ca/

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  2. My freshman year in college, my roommate brought a ton of those chocolate sodas. She used them to break the ice with our floormates. We would open one for them and say "ohh this is the best soda ever I can't believe you've never tried it" and then laughed our heads off when they started gagging

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  3. Chocolate cola actually sounds good to me, but I don't know about the diet version. Haha... now I want to be adventurous at the grocery store and try out some new drinks, too. The last new soda I tried was tamarind pop from Mexico.

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  4. I so enjoy your blog post!! I can always count on you getting a smile out of me.....sometimes even an actual LOL!!!!

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  5. I've never tried any of these before, or heard of them. lol The only brand I knew there was Arizona, but even then I've never seen that flavor. Maybe it's because I live in CA? Either way, all 5 sound pretty disgusting to me, you're very brave to try them. I've tried a chocolate soda before and it tasted terrible ;_;

    I really liked this post, you always have a way of making me smile or laugh :)

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  6. I love doing this type of thing, especially in China Town. Not sure I'd have much luck finding anything too intriguing in my local supermarket either. The Diet Chocolate Fudge is definitely intriguing. :P

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  7. We always randomly try to pick up a random new drink when we visit our local Japanese store when we're picking up Sushi - that and I have a love for Mexican cola.

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  8. I love this! I've somehow never heard of malta before, but with a ringing endorsement like "smells like a hamster cage pellets." I probably won't try it anytime soon, haha. I do enjoy Goya coconut soda very much and would recommend it if you ever see some!

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  9. San Pellegrino makes other flavors besides Limonata if you're a fan of it- there's also grapefruit, orange and fancypants blood orange. I'm in Bay Ridge and they're pretty easy to find here.

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  10. Hahaha, that's hilarious. Hopefully it smelled good... better than dumping out waste or something.

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  11. I think I've tried all of those flavors. Blood Orange is awesome. But yeah, they're really easy to find... pretty much every deli and bodega has them. The jumbo corn syrup-laden Arizona cans are like half the price though. :P

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  12. Hahaha. I LOVE Goya coconut soda. And pretty much all coconut-flavored things. There's also a drink called Coco Rico (I forget which company makes it) that's worth trying if you haven't already.

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  13. Yes, I love doing that! Random colors/flavors of Ramune or whatever are so much fun to try.

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  14. You never know... look in the "international" section (if your store has one) and there might be something interesting there. Maybe you'll even see some delicious Malta. :P

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  15. Could be regional, or maybe it's really new? But yeah, most of them were bad, haha. Chocolate is delicious so you would think a chocolate soda would be OK, but somehow it doesn't work...

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  16. Haha, glad to make you laugh Beth! :)

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  17. Just to clarify it's not chocolate cola, just chocolate soda. So like chocolate flavored fizzy water with aspartame. I bet you want some now, huh?

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  18. Hahaha that's amazing! Glad to know it has a use somewhere...

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  19. This was so much fun reading!! I like how you had another opinion as well, even though that didn't seem to take away from the possibility that most of these drinks were pretty much going down the sink after the taste testing haha. I really like taste-testing new beer and "unique" beer that's on sale. Or wine that's localized to my region. Maybe that would make for a good post!

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  20. Yep, we drank it cold! I think it's just not appealing to my tastebuds. Clearly there are a lot of people who like it though, since there's so much of it on the shelves...

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  21. Oooohhh, that does make a difference. The only chocolate pop I ever had before WAS chocolate cola, so I think I just made an assumption based on a personal experience. Hahaha...I totally want some now. How did you know? ;)

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  22. I love this challenge! My boyfriende saw the screen and said he wanted to try doing this too hehehe. I can't imagine a beer-ish flavored soda >..> that sounds nasty. Do you ever get weird Asian drinks? So far I've liked nearly everything except mangosteen juice and sugar cane.

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  23. You guys should totally do it! I do get Asian drinks sometimes. Not a beverage, but one time I went to the market with my boyfriend and he picked up one of those cans of grain porridge (looks like a soft drink can) and he was like "Ooh, I'm going to try this drink!" I warned him repeatedly that it was not a drink, and he bought it anyway. Guess who took one sip (more like a bite) and spit it out? :P

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