Having just tried PurAqua’s Orange Mango Sparkling Frost, I was ready to toss in the towel on this one before I even tried it. But I had already bought it, it was taking up valuable space in my pantry, and so there was really no reason not to drink it. So eventually I just sucked it up, and figured that no matter how bad it would turn out to be, there was a very good chance that I’ve had worse. That’s not too reassuring when that’s the mindset you go into when trying a beverage for the first time!
But on the other hand, that can also work to its benefit, because expectations are so low that, as long as you don’t hate it, it pretty much exceeds expectations and can be considered a victory. Well I’ve got to say that not only is this not gross, but this is a drink that I would gladly get again.
For starters, even though this is also a zero-calorie drink, it doesn’t have that disgusting bitter taste, or medicinal finish that we saw with the Orange Mango–it has a nice, semi-sweet and authentic black raspberry flavor (mostly made in a laboratory, I’m sure, but it does contain 3% of actual blackberry juice), which gives way to a sweet aftertaste. Now, the sweetness in the aftertaste is clearly one of the artificial sweeteners (in this case, sucralose), but I’ll take that over the metallic one offered by the Orange Mango.
There is a surprising amount of carbonation in this bottle…I actually got hiccups on my first two drinks (something that I get when downing an overwhelming amount of carbonation). I can’t recall exactly, but if my memory serves me correctly, I thought there were way more bubbles in this variety, than in the orange mango one, which doesn’t bother me, but might bother those looking for a lighter fizz. If anything, it gives it a texture more consistent with soda, making this a potential replacement for that sugary stuff, for those looking to kick (or at least lessen) their cola habit.
I’m actually really glad I gave this a shot. It’s not even near the top of my ‘Favorite Aldi Drinks’ list, but it’s something that I could see myself grabbing during the warmer months–I’d even dare use it as a mixer, with the carbonation giving a liquor some extra zing without adding much in the way of sugars, while the blackberry flavor could soften its alcohol taste. But even just straight out of the bottle, this is a pretty good little drink, especially at its $.69 asking price.
Overall: 7/10. Unlike the Orange Mango Sparkling Water, the Black Raspberry version is actually palatable–it starts sweet, with an authentic taste of blackberries, and finishes sweet, as well, with barely any of the typical medicinal tastes that plague many drinks made with sucralose. It’s nice and refreshing, with a boatload of carbonation that overwhelmed me on my first couple of swigs, which can also make this a semi-healthier alternative to soda. Value is excellent, as well, with a 17 oz. container retailing for a mere $.69, so it’s well worth a purchase. I will be getting this again in the future, for sure.