QUICK REVIEW: Coca-Cola Clear (Japan)

Coke Clr

What is Coca-Cola Clear?

I’m in Japan – the mecca of novelty junk food! Of course, I sought out some new and quirky offerings. Coca-Cola has introduced a colorless version of its signature pop – trailing a quarter of a century behind Pepsi in the clear soda arms race. Without all that pesky caramel-y cola, it’s billed as lemon-flavored and is a zero-calorie drink. It is currently only available in Japan.

How is it?

Right out of the bottle, the aroma veers away from the usual Coke. It’s milder with a low-level citrus smell.

Coke Clr 2

I was expecting something with a strong lemon taste, ala Sprite or 7Up, but this was subtler – like squeezing a lemon wedge into your already-sweet seltzer water and adding a dash of cola. Despite the lemon base, it was identifiable as a Coke derivative and had the same sweeteness level, but was lighter and brighter than regular Coca-Cola. It didn’t have the neon citrus feel of other sodas.

While not unpleasant, Coca-Cola Clear failed to establish its own flavor personality. Hence, it’s easier to describe what it ISN’T – it’s not cola, it’s not un-cola. Because of this vagueness of character, I wondered why this? Why now? Is 2018 the right time just because Coke hadn’t done it yet?

Coke Clr 3

Is there anything else you need to know?

Be prepared for the pop. The Coke products I sampled in Japan were packaged in a way that caused the initial rush of gasses out of the bottles to be downright explosive. My travel companion and I startled each other all week with the loud cracks of Coke bottles opening.

Conclusion:

Overall, an OK lightly lemon soda, but as Dr. Ian Malcolm would say – Coca-Cola scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn’t stop to think if they should. Try it if you’re a hardcore noveltyist, but only one bottle.

Purchased Price: 48 yen (approx. 69 cents US)
Size: 500 ml bottle (17 oz.)
Purchased at: MEGA Don Quijote Shibuya, Tokyo
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (100 ml) 0 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of sodium, 0 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 0 grams of total sugars and 0 grams of protein.

QUICK REVIEW: Mtn Dew Merry Mash-Up

Mtn Dew Merry Mash up 2

What is Mtn Dew Merry Mash-Up?

Replacing the famed Mtn Dew Holiday Brew from holidays long past, the new limited edition Mtn Dew Merry Mash-Up, with its seasonal cranberry-pomegranate flavor, has arrived on store shelves with such a clatter, that I had to spring from my bed to see what was the matter.

How is it?

I have always wondered what Christmas would taste like if you could capture its essence in a much-loved soda pop, and the Merry Mash-Up does, I believe, come pretty close. Imagine, if you will, the sweet blood of Rudolph captured in a bright red 20-ounce bottle for all the children to share; the tangy pomegranate mixes spectacularly well with the tart cranberry, making a drink-mix that finally needs no alcohol to dull its senses.

Even at 290 calories a bottle, I would absolutely add this high-fructose concoction to my Christmas list and check it twice, but, sadly it’s another one of their limited edition flavor collaborations. So, in the fever of the holidays, load up on a few decorative bottles and serve the spirited beverage as your own homemade holiday punch this year. It’ll be our secret.

Mtn Dew Merry Mash-Up

Is there anything else I need to know?

I don’t know why they called it “Merry Mash-Up” when the far superior “Merry X-Mash,” coined by me just now, was available. Call me next year, Dew-makers, and we’ll come up with something equally clever together.

Conclusion:

This crisp step-brother to the Mtn Dew family fully enraptures me. The best one of their raucous limited releases of 2018, this is not the extreme version of the Dew were hyper-used to by now, but, instead, a party-hearty ready blend of joyous holiday flavors, spreading merriment to all who wake up to this in their stocking. Dew bless us, everyone!

Purchased Price: $1.59
Size: 20 oz. bottle
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (20 oz.) 290 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 105 milligrams of sodium, 77 grams of carbohydrates, 77 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein..

QUICK REVIEW: Mtn Dew Ice Cherry

Mtn Dew Ice Cherry

What is Mtn Dew Ice Cherry?

The latest concoction from Mountain Dew’s burgeoning “Ice” line, Ice Cherry takes everything you love about cherry soda, mixes it with a little of that Mountain Dew magic and then turns up the ice, I suppose. Oh, and it’s clear too, which is a bit weird. Kinda makes you wonder what its larger gameplan is with all this Ice stuff, doesn’t it?

How is it?

Like a cherry Laffy Taffy that’s been your pocket for way too long or an illegal helping of pure ICEE white cherry syrup, Mtn Dew Ice Cherry tastes like a bottle full of melted fake cherries. But that’s not a bad thing, just something you have to take in small doses due to its incredible sweetness.

Mtn Dew Ice Cherry 2

With its strong cherry flavor and light carbonation, it might remind some of cherry-flavored Alka-Seltzer. Those people, like me, who’ve been known to drop about five or six tablets in their glass at a time, will love this.

Is there anything else I need to know?

I thought the sugar would be through the roof, but 41 grams doesn’t seem all that bad, does it? This Ice variant contains high fructose corn syrup, acesulfame potassium, and sucralose and no real sugar per se, but all that fake sugar can’t be good for you, can it? Oh well. 41 grams collectively doesn’t seem all that bad.

Conclusion:

Mtn Dew Ice Cherry 3

While not as mind-numbingly delicious as Pitch Black but way better than that DEW.S.A. dreck, Mtn Dew Ice Cherry falls somewhere in-between, leaning a little more on the plus side of the bracket.

Purchased Price: $1.29
Size: 20 oz. bottle
Purchased at: Buy for Less Supermercado
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (20 oz.) 160 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 10 milligrams of cholesterol, 90 milligrams of sodium, 41 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 41 grams of sugar, 0 grams of protein, and 91 milligrams of caffeine.

QUICK REVIEW: Mtn Dew Berry Monsoon

Mtn Dew Berry Monsoon

What is it?

Mtn Dew Berry Monsoon is quite possibly the most exclusive soda in stores right now!

Oh, wait, I mean store.

That’s right because it’s available only at Sam’s Club — and, even then, only at the soda fountain. Luckily for me, I happen to be a member of The Club, so I grabbed a cup of this ultra-exclusive, berry lime-flavored soda during my last Sam’s run.

How is it?

Coming from someone that drinks enough Mtn Dew to have a lucrative Dew Nation Rewards account, pretty good! The berry flavor is definitely more prominent here, but the hint of lime provides a nice countenance for the fizz, which is a bit on the lighter side.

Mtn Dew Berry Monsoon 2

If you can imagine mixing together three-fourths of a cup of Mountain Berry Blast Powerade with one-fourth of a cup of 7Up, then you would get a pretty accurate representation of what Mtn Dew Berry Monsoon tastes like. You’d even replicate the color, which is nearly identical to that of Berry Powerade.

Is there anything else I need to know?

This stuff is a great deal if you have a Sam’s Club membership, or if you know someone with one that you’re able to drag along with you to get you in the door. I paid less than a dollar for my 24-ounce cup, and, yes, you can get refills. You’re probably going to want to because Berry Monsoon’s likeness to carbonated Powerade makes it particularly satisfying after shopping and hauling cases of chips and toilet paper around the store.

Conclusion:

If you shop at Sam’s Club, like Mountain Dew, and are looking for something a little lighter to quench your thirst over the summer, then I think that Mtn Dew Berry Monsoon is something you’ll enjoy! Hopefully, PepsiCo will incorporate this flavor into its regular selection, because I’ll be sad to see this one go.

Purchased Price: 89 cents
Size: 24 oz.
Purchased at: Sam’s Club
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (8 fl oz.) 60 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 calories from fat, 35 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of total carbohydrates, 16 grams of sugar, 0 grams of dietary fiber, and 0 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Canada Dry Ginger Ale and Lemonade

Canada Dry Ginger Ale and Lemonade

Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve always thought of ginger ale as a drink that skews toward the older demographic. I can’t say for sure because I don’t spend much time at skateparks or halfpipes, but I don’t imagine too many people under 21 grabbing an ice-cold ginger ale after doing some kind of extreme sport.

Even for the legally-able-to-drink-but-under-65 crowd, ginger ale is something that might be included in a fancy drink you order to impress a date, but not a beverage you imbibe on a regular basis.

On the other hand, lemonade is a drink for kids. Sure, adults will get a glass at an outrageously marked-up price from the neighborhood stand run by kids who always mess up the directions and either serve the strongest or weakest lemonade ever concocted. And yes, if you are of drinking age you’ve might’ve had lemonade with vodka. But if you are at a fancy dinner for a job interview — like at the type of place with tablecloths and metal utensils — chances are you are not ordering a lemonade (unless said interview is for a job at Country Time or Snapple).

So that brings us to Canada Dry Ginger Ale and Lemonade. As soft drinks go, it’s not very creative or wild. Soda flavors have proliferated over the past decade in a seemingly endless pursuit of the most extreme outcomes to the point where bacon-flavored drinks are passé. And this Canada Dry offering certainly isn’t a fancy craft soda using dragon fruit, passionfruit or other variation of fruit that I’m not certain truly exists.

Canada Dry Ginger Ale and Lemonade 2

It’s just ginger ale and lemonade, but it’s surprising this combination of flavors is really satisfying and refreshing.

The aroma is barely existent, with a faint smell of ginger ale and no lemon at all, and the color is more translucent than you might expect. But the flavor is where this drink shines, as it should. You do have to focus a little to pick out the separate ginger ale and lemonade flavors, as they meld into almost a mellow Mountain Dew-like taste with a bit less citrus kick and a touch less carbonation. Further research confirms that this also makes an excellent mixer with vodka or other spirits.

The label touts that it’s made “from real ginger and real juice,” but before you get ready to count a glass as a daily serving of fruit, take notice that it contains a whopping 1 percent lemon juice. For the mathematically-challenged, included is a visual aid showing 12 ounces of the drink with the amount of lemon juice it actually contains (about 3.5 milliliters). A juice drink this is not.

Canada Dry Ginger Ale and Lemonade 3

I guess this would be easy to make yourself by mixing ginger ale and lemonade, but why go to that trouble when the good folks at Canada Dry have already found the right flavor combination that is surprisingly good.

(Nutrition Facts – 12 fl. oz. – 140 calories, 0 grams of fat, 50 milligrams of sodium, 36 grams of carbohydrates, 36 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $1.00
Size: 2 liters
Purchased at: H-E-B
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Pleasant, mellow and refreshing flavor. Mixes well with your favorite alcohol.
Cons: Won’t count as your daily serving of fruit. Can’t be sure if this drink will make you feel old or young.