Posted August 15, 2011 by Big Red Boots in energy soda pop

Rainforest Citrus drink

I was first introduced to Rainforest cola and their line of drinks from the most unusual places – the energy drink graveyard, also known as Big Lots.  This is a huge chain super discount store where energy drinks go to die. The problem is my son and I LOVED this Rainforest Cola we found there for under a buck.  It was one of the more unique and delicious soft drinks we have tried in a long while!

After calling them up and their assurances that they are indeed alive and well, the owner was nice enough to send along the two flavors they did have out in the market now (I guess they pulled their cola from shelves – which is a shame).  The Citrus Blend was first on my list for sampling – a bright green drink which preserves 1 square foot of rainforest with every purchase – thanks to a partnership with Raintrust.

One of the things I like d best about this package is one of the sillier things as well.  They have this bright green tree frog on the side of their can – this, along with their very cool logo goes a long way to me liking this drink before I even open it.    I really liked the way they made this can look unique and stand out from other drinks on the shelf.  IT is a great print, and they even listed the caffeine content on the side of the can (which I really appreciate!)

But that does not mean there are not a few minor problems in here.  Rather than double face their slim 12 ounce can, there is an unnecessary paragraph about about “grams and grams of sugar”.  If this was replaced by the logo somewhere again, it would make the life of a stocker or convenience store so much easier than having to face the logo outward, as well as help the cool logo get more exposure.  Still this is a great design that attracted a lot of attention when hanging out in my communal workplace fridge.

Knowing how well they did with their cola flavor, I was hoping to be very impressed with this drink.  Also, citrus is one of those flavors that can be anything, from Mountain Dew sweet to a Xyience lemonade and have everything taste well.

While this was not the best citrus drink I have had, it was certainly good.  The flavor took some getting used to, as it is not overly sweet or syrupy – with a an herbal earthy flavor that probably comes from the stevia.  It was also a a bit less sweet with a slightly complex cirtus flavor than the usual citric-acid and artificial lime flavor of most citrus drinks.  This does have citric acid in it, but it also has green tea extract and a bunch of juice which add a slight complexity to the palate.  Both my son and I liked it, but would like to have seen even more of a taste differentiation from other soft drinks – this was more or less like diet Sierra Mist.

With 50mg of caffeine, this drink barely fit into my DMD scale (most drinks have to at least have as much caffeine as a Diet Mountain Dew to make it reviewable), and this was off by just a few measly milligrams.  SO in terms of a rush, expect a very light boost – or at least a nice maintenance of earlier caffeine – but about as much as a mountain dew would give you.
What it does give you is a big difference in what you are putting into your body.  Instead of filling it with Ester of Wood Rosin, there is a tropical juice blend.  Instead of High Fructose Corn syrup, there is a little cane sugar and Stevia.  Everything in here is about as natural and healthy as you can get – down to the caffeine coming from Green Tea Extract.  At only 30 calories per can, I would not mind drinking 3 or 4 of these in one go either.  After all, seeing as this is packed with vitamin C(100% RDA per can), ginseng, polyphenols and the promise of getting rid of my free-radicals (I don’t believe that anti-oxidants or polyphenols actually do anything to help your health), it is a whole lot better for me healthwise than downing all those cans of Squirt.

Not to mention, they give to the Rainforest too.  Even if South Park think that is a bad idea, I would like to think that this drink not only helps me feel better and look better while drinking, it makes me feel like a better person for helping the planet and gaining more Karma points too!

Big Red Boots