Monday, October 21, 2013

Calypso Strawberry Lemonade- Walmart: Cinnaminson, NJ

Calypso Strawberry Lemonade
- Walmart: Cinnaminson, NJ
I know this isn't Halloween-y, but it was in my review pile and I have to make room for more stuff. I have a pretty big back-log of foodie items and I need to start going through them.

Two years ago I went to the Amish market and got some of the best strawberry lemonade I had ever had. It was a seasonal item, and when I returned one year later, the vendor wasn't there. I have been trying to find a replacement ever since. (I really ought to try and make my own version next strawberry season.) I saw this big display of colorful, fruity, lemonades at Walmart and thought I might as well give this brand a try.

The bottle is made of glass and it is fairly large (20 fl oz). The logo on the clear label is a bit garish, with it's bright colors and thick outlines, but the same logo is embossed directly on the glass and it looks much classier. Losing that outer stroke really makes a big difference, because they are both written in the same font. Other than the logo, there are a few other little glass details, like little lemon slices around the neck of the bottle, that provide a nice texture and plenty of visual interest. I would say that the bottle design itself is great, but that cap and label need to be reworked. With a little tweaking you can make this product look much more high end than it is.

Once opened, it smelled like an instant lemonade mix, very similar to Country Time, with a hint of real strawberries. Although the bottle boasts that there are real lemon pieces inside, I didn't see any. (I didn't see much pulp in my bottle either and this product actually lists citrus pulp in the ingredients.) I doubt much of the flavoring is actually natural. The smell alone is a dead give away, but these colors are also way too intense and no where in the ingredients does it list strawberries. There is a "Natural flavors" category but those can be very open ended.  (Also these colors are from a lot of food dye. This specific flavor has red dye #40, but you guys should have seen the blue raspberry lemonade. It looked like a blue freezer popsicle!)

I took a sip, and it was like Arizona Iced Tea had made another strawberry lemonade product. It is very sweet, much like a powdered mix, and I couldn't detect any real fruit bits or pulp at all. Towards the end there is some nice, sour, lemon flavoring, but the Amish style strawberry lemonade was still much better by comparison.

To me, this was pretty generic lemonade in a fancy bottle with some intense food dye. Nothing too snazzy here. I could see kids loving this because it is really sweet and intensely flavored, but I don't think I'd purchase this brand again. (Although I do love the bottle detailing. More brands need to use glass bottles.)

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