REVIEW: Gatorade Limited Edition Midnight Ice

Gatorade Midnight Ice, as its angsty color and name suggest, is a bit of an oddball. Most of the better-known Gatorade variants hint at their flavor via their color, like the grape-flavored light purple Riptide Rush, or blatantly call out the flavor in their name — you can’t get more straightforward than the orange, well, Orange. But it’s hard to put a finger on what fruit this black drink is supposed to evoke. It’s as if this emo-looking Gatorade is lamenting, “No one understands me!” In fact, it seems like the whole point of this flavor is to be mysterious and slightly spooky. Just look at the promo photos, which present Midnight Ice as an inky abyss darker than a vampire’s soul!

Unfortunately, as soon as you lay eyes on this flavor in real life, it’s apparent that its color is way closer to purple than jet black. And also… it tastes pretty similar to any other cool-colored Gatorades I’ve had. If you gave me a blind taste test of Midnight Ice and, let’s say, Cool Blue and Fierce Grape (and yes, I did have to pop onto the helpfully color-coded Gatorade Wiki to find those names instead of using my usual pet names for them, plain old “Blue” and “Purple”), I’m not confident I could tell the difference.

But of course, that comparison is only helpful if you’ve had a similar Gatorade flavor before. How would I describe this to someone with no frame of reference?

Honestly, I think the “purple=grape” association is so hard-wired that that’s my immediate comparison, even though upon further reflection, the taste doesn’t really feel as grape-y as the color does. When I close my eyes and open my mind, what comes to mind is that Midnight Ice is a rich yet mellow blend that’s kind of sweet, kind of tart, kind of tangy, kind of salty, and more than kind of artificial tasting… and yet all of these seemingly conflicting flavors work. It’s vaguely reminiscent of cough syrup yet so drinkable that the prospect of consuming a 28-ounce bottle feels comforting, not repulsive. It’s refreshing, the kind of more-exciting-than-water-but-still-not-too-overwhelming beverage that’s easy to crave and chug, whether you’re exercising, recovering from an illness, or just trying to beat the heat. All in all, while the drink isn’t as remarkable as its stark marketing would suggest, it’s definitely tasty, a fine addition to the Gatorade line (though I’m not sure I’d go out of my way to find it again since it’s only available in 28-ounce bottles at 7-Eleven or packs of 20-ounce bottles at Walmart).

I compared Midnight Ice to an emo teen earlier, but while those kids usually defend their style by asserting, “It’s not just a phase,” Midnight Ice can’t say the same. It’s a limited edition, so I’d recommend trying it soon if you want a fun new sports drink… or if you’re just trying to develop a more discerning palate for differentiating between similarly colored Gatorade flavors.

Purchased Price: $3.69
Size: 28 fl oz bottle
Purchased at: 7-Eleven
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (per bottle) 190 calories, 0 grams of fat, 160 milligrams of sodium, 22 grams of carbohydrates, 21 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.

5 thoughts to “REVIEW: Gatorade Limited Edition Midnight Ice”

  1. Almost $4 for a bottle of Gatorade? Holy inflation, Batman. Mind you, every other flavor is $1.48 at my local Walmart.

    1. Thanks for that. Even if I had wanted to try this flavor, I’d pass on it due to the utterly outrageous price!

  2. The return of Gatorade Midnight Thunder! I haven’t had this flavor since 1999! Glad its back, but i wish it wasnt an exclusive flavor.

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