Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Organic Sparkling Cranberry

Organic Sparkling CranberryMade by: Whole Earth Foods

Origin: UK

This organic juice drink is a clear, pale salmon pink colour. When poured out, a series of fine pinhead bubbles rise steadily from various points in the glass.

There is a striking floral nose to this, quite unexpected but enticing with aromas of rose petal and carnations. A sweeter, more concentrated layer of wine gums and turkish delight lies beneath.

The delicate, balanced flavours on the palate are a delight. The impression is light but satisfying, not dilute. The appetising sour-sweet duet of the cranberry has acquired a distinctive blackcurrant twist here, with a drop of cordial coming through. We also detected an interesting grassy pepper note that may hint at the agave syrup used (the drink's sweetener). Fruit gums appear on the finish: Altogether a very refreshing experience.

Packaging claims: Soil Association Organic, no artificial colours, preservatives or flavours, suitable for Vegetarians and Vegans, Vegetarian Society Approved, produced to strict organic standards, as this drink is made from natural ingredients it may contains a slight sediment
Ingredients: Sparkling water, organic agave syrup, organic cranberry juice from concentrate (4%), organic lemon juice from concentrate (1%), natural flavourings

Price: Should be about £0.80 for a 330ml can, from branches of Asda, health and wholefood stores and specialist cafes

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Vitamin Water Multi-V Lemonade (b-zinc)

Vitamin Water Multi-V Lemonade (b-zinc)Made by: Coca-Cola Enterprises Ltd

Origin: UK

This still lemonade drink is a translucent off-white colour, fading to a watery rim around the very edge of the glass. It's appearance is similar to water with an aspirin in solution.

The nose is peculiar, with a lactic aroma at first, like a Calpis (cultured milk) drink. There are more unusual aromas to follow: crushed biscuits, damp walls, papier mache...original! Everything here is subtle and swimming in a well-diluted environment.

The flavours follow suit on the palate, where a faint chalkiness compliments the taste of dilute lemon barley. A flavour of cookie dough emerges with a light citrus tang attached (that Calpis drink again), before everything vanishes in a short finish.

Packaging claims: Still lemon flavour spring water drink with vitamins and minerals

Ingredients: Spring water, fructose, sugar, citric acid, mineral salts (calcium lactate, calcium gluconate, zinc gluconate), flavourings, vitamins (C, niacin, E, pantothenic acid, B6, folic acid, B12), stabilisers (acacia gum, glycerol esters of wood rosins)

Price: Should be about £1.30-£1.50 for a 500ml PET bottle, widely available

Friday, 2 October 2009


VimtoMade by: Nichols plc (under licence)

Origin: UK

Vimto is a fruit flavoured soft drink that originated in Manchester in 1908. It was formulated by a spice and medicine merchant under the name of 'Vim Tonic', and sold as a health tonic.

Sparkling Vimto is an intense crimson red colour, clear and bright. There is a purple hue that develops towards the rim of the glass.

The nose is aromatic and laden with fruit syrups (strawberry, cherry and blackcurrant). These are smothered in a rich vanilla essence (think of cream soda), and there is a suggestion of Parma Violet sweets. An odd note catches briefly in the throat, not unlike ammonia.

The light, sweet flavours on the palate are broadly consistent with the nose: Red and black fruit syrups, vanilla cream and Parma Violets again. Vimto has a short, sweet finish that echoes of vanilla in the aftertaste.

Packaging claims: Mixed fruit juice drink made with the delicious secret Vimto flavour, a tantalising mix of secret herbs and spices, for the most amazing taste experience you'll ever have

Ingredients: Carbonated water, sucrose, mixed fruit juices from concentrate 3% (grape, blackberry, raspberry), Vimto flavour (including natural extracts of fruits, herbs, barley malt and spices), citric acid, colour (anthocyanins), preservatives (potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, antioxidant (ascorbic acid)

Price: Should be about £0.70-£0.80 for a 330ml can, widely available