Clearly, at work, I have the willpower of a banana slug.
But at home, I try not to buy soda because I know if I don’t have it, I won’t drink it. Yes, yes, I’m thisclose to buying a Sodastream – but honestly that’s driven more by my addiction to kitchen gadgets than my love of sugary carbonated beverages that rot my teeth and cause obesity.
So, I bought a pitcher (SEE? Another gadget!) to brew my very own healthy H2O. I went with Zerowater, which I prefer over its more famous cousin, the Britta Water Pitcher Filtration System because that one leaves nasty little charcoal bits floating around in your drink. Ick.
I like my water flat or fizzy, but sometimes I thirst for something… more.
Enter Crystal Light (full disclosure: my awesome brother works on this tasty brand, but this test was MY idea -- as most good things are).
I’ve loved this line of diet lady-drinks for a long time. I have my go-to iced teas that I guzzle by the gallon. Who doesn’t? But I feel like I blinked and the number of flavor varieties in my local dirty Gristedes has quadrupled in the past year. Mocktails, Energy, and Fiber! These newcomers not only keep you hydrated for a raging all-nite sober dance party, they’ll keep you regular too.
Obviously, I needed to try them all.
Fresh off my solo ice cream taste test, with the bellyache to prove it, I decided to recruit a few new members this time – my trusty parents. Luckily, they humored me. Thanks Mom & Dad!
Incidentally, if you’re ever hosting a powdered beverage smackdown with your AARP-aged parents, you’ll need: 30 different flavors to keep things interesting, a spoon, a box of disposable bathroom cups, a case of your favorite bottled water, and a trip (or five) to the restroom. Each.
It was a hot night in Del Boca Vista when I commandeered their roomy kitchen island and set up this ridiculous non-alcoholic drinking game. Then we drank, and drank, and DRANK. And something odd happened...
We 3 people who might not agree on the time of day (it’s 4:45 -- NO it’s quarter to 5 -- NO it’s dinner time!), were all remarkably in sync about the tastes we didn’t care for. Who knew?
Anyway, enough sweet talk, let's get down to business. I divvied the flavors into 5 main categories for a faceoff. Here’s how it went down the hatch:
THE CONTENDERS: Mojito, Peach Bellini, Pomtini, Margarita, and Appletini
SIP: Peach Bellini, Margarita, and Appletini
THE CONTENDERS: Peach Mango, Grape, Citrus, and Wild Strawberry
SIP: Peach Mango and Strawberry
THE CONTENDERS: Sunrise Ruby Red Grapefruit, Cranberry Apple, Strawberry Kiwi, Cherry Pomegranate, Strawberry Orange Banana, Sunrise Classic Orange, Fruit Punch, Raspberry Peach, White Grape, Raspberry Ice, and Citrus Splash
SIP: Strawberry Kiwi, Cherry Pomegranate, and White Grape
SKIP: Strawberry Orange Banana and Raspberry Peach
THE CONTENDERS: Pink Lemonade, Lemonade, Pomegranate Lemonade, and Raspberry Lemonade
SIP: Pink Lemonade, Lemonade, and Raspberry Lemonade
SKIP: Pomegranate Lemonade
THE CONTENDERS: Lemon Iced Tea, Peach Mango Green Tea, Raspberry Iced Tea, Peach Iced Tea, Honey Lemon Green Tea, and Raspberry Green Tea
SIP: Lemon Iced Tea and Raspberry Iced Tea
SKIP: Honey Lemon Green Tea
So next time you’re in Stop & Shop or Shoprite, Foodtown or Fairway, Publix or Piggly Wiggly, remember our family taste test and load up on the good stuff.
And Crystal Light Powers That Be -- if you are listening -- here are a few more flavor concoctions I’d like to see ASAP:
- Lemonade + Lemon Iced Tea = Arnold Palmer
- Cherry Pomegranate + Margarita = Cherry Limeade
- White Grape + Raspberry Peach = White Wine Sangria
- Grape + Fruit Punch = Red Wine Sangria
- Wild Strawberry + Pomtini = Strawberry Daiquiri
So, do YOU prefer your water pure, or with a little pizazz? What’s your favorite Crystal Light flavor?
And what the heck do you do with all those empty plastic containers? Mix it up below…
tags: food, taste tests