REVIEW: Dr Pepper Strawberries & Cream

When the folks at Dr Pepper aren’t busy at the soda fountain mixing together as many random flavors as they can while still having their beverage be palatable (somehow 23 is the magic number), they apparently dabble in berry farming. In 2006 Dr Pepper released Berries & Cream and 2019 saw Dr Pepper Dark Berry. The latest trip to the patch brings us Strawberries & Cream. This variety, with its pink label and strawberry flavor, seems like it would make a good limited edition for Valentine’s Day, but it’s actually set to be a permanent addition to the lineup.

The first whiff upon opening the bottle is definitely strawberry forward. It reminds me more of strawberry candy than a real strawberry, but as someone who eats more strawberry candies than the fruit, I don’t necessarily consider that a bad thing. The semi-spicy, peppery kick that makes Dr Pepper unique isn’t totally lost to the strawberry and cream flavors, although it is more muted here. I found the flavors smooth and very drinkable, but I wish something stood out more. Despite being tasty, it was sort of underwhelming.

I think the cream could be more pronounced, and maybe also the Dr Pepper. Something about this falls flat for me, which leads me to my next issue – it’s literally a bit flat. I tried this straight out of the bottle and poured it over ice, and it seemed less carbonated than usual. There was a slight initial fizz, but it disappeared right away. I don’t know if this is something to do with the formula or if I just got an odd batch, but I missed the bubbles.

I appreciate Dr Pepper leaning into old-timey soda fountain themes and I think this new concoction would be an excellent base for an ice cream float. As a stand-alone drink, it lacks something, and I’m not sure I’d have chosen it for a full-time product. Considering there are few mainstream strawberry sodas on the market, I can see fans of that flavor really enjoying this. But it’s worth noting that the other person who tried it with me found the strawberry aspect to be medicinal tasting. I’ll look back on this as a pleasant novelty drink, but to me, it’s just not the cream of the crop.

It’s worth noting this also comes in a zero sugar version. Dr Pepper has a history of excelling with these alternatives, but unfortunately, it wasn’t available at my store yet.

Purchased Price: $2.29
Size: 20 fl oz bottle
Purchased at: Jewel-Osco
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 bottle) 250 calories, 0 grams of total fat, 95 milligrams of sodium, 66 grams of total carbs, 65 grams of total sugars (incl. 65 grams of added sugars), and 0 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Ghost Cherry Limeade Energy Drink

What is it?

As GHOST Energy continues to rise, starting to pop up in huge chains like Walmart, the brand has set its sights on making Shirley Temple smile, with a bubbly twist on Cherry Limeade — chockfull of 200 milligrams of natural caffeine and focus ingredients.

How is it?

It’s good. It’s quite good, and it’ll grow on ya! It took me multiple cans to figure out how I felt about this one (I know, I’m an addict). The flavoring here isn’t quite as strong and punchy as I’ve come to expect from GHOST Energy. I’m used to being walloped over the head with flavor, and while this is still pretty strong, it isn’t as intense, especially when compared with the WarHeads and Sour Patch Kids candy collabs.

The flavor is nearly a 50/50 split of cherry and lime, with a touch more lime than I expected. That sharp citrusy lime keeps the drink from getting too sweet, and while I wouldn’t have opposed a bolder sugary cherry flavor, the balance also helps prevent it from tasting medicinal. It’s a super smooth sip that goes down easily, thanks to some tight and not too aggressive effervescence. As a big time supporter of Shirley Temples and Cherry 7Up (and Dirty Shirleys when I’m feeling wild), this one ends up really hitting the spot.

Anything else you need to know?

The first time GHOST made a cherry limeade flavor, it was a collaboration with Sonic for its powdered Legend pre-workout line. It’s still available and co-branded with Sonic, but that endorsement doesn’t come with the Ready-To-Drink canned version for whatever reason. I’ve had the pre-workout in the past, and the flavor is denser and more intense. But carbonation typically changes the experience, and I’m not certain whether this is the same or an entirely new formula for the profile.

Conclusion:

This drink is only held back by how unbelievably elite a lot of the other releases from GHOST Energy have been. In the grand scheme of energy drinks, this is probably a 9 out of 10 and the best cherry limeade on the market — certainly better than Reign and Alani Nu. But when graded and curved against the other straight slam dunks from GHOST, it might be closer to a 7, which lands me very comfortably at a median of 8, and a damn fine one at that.

Purchased Price: $2.99
Size: 16 oz can
Purchased at: GNC
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 can) 10 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 35 milligrams of sodium, 2 grams of carbohydrates,0 gram of fiber, 0 grams of sugar, 0 grams of protein.