Wheat grass juice with aloe vera

 

IMG_7722There’s a shop close to my workplace that I visit every once in a while to pick up a drink. They often stock some imported drinks that you won’t find everywhere. One of such delights was a wheat grass juice with aloe vera. It was a translucent, slightly green, liquid with loads of equally translucent chunks of aloe vera.

It tasted to me like cucumber. I hate cucumber. Well, I don’t like it much anyway. It’s that watery taste that gets me. This juice not only had the displeasure of tasting like cucumber, the chunks of aloe very added to the discomfort. The pieces were a little but gooey and slimy and equally tasteless. I’m not even thinking about buying another bottle.

Fear Factor – 2 / Taste Test – 3

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Vespid Liquor

 

IMG_7572I have written before about a game meat restaurant in Tokyo called Rice and Circus and Circus. I didn’t just try some unusual dishes here though, but drinks as well. Of their menu of infused shoju spirits I chose what was called “vespid” shoju. I had to look up that word, and it turns out it is the wasp family to which hornets also belong. The waiter was nice enough to show me the bottle of liquor that seemed to be half filled with wasp-like creatures. Unfortunately I didn’t get a picture of that, so you’ll have to make do with the end result.

The liquor, though strong, was quite smooth with just a hint of sweetness. It was quite tasty actually. I doubt, however, that the wasps floating around in it changed the taste of it, or at least not very much. It seemed like any other straight up stiff drink to me.

Fear Factor – 2 / Taste Test – 8

Coca Cola coffee

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I had heard Coca Cola Japan had released a cola and coffee mixture that supposedly works a little like an energy drink. It’s high in caffeine and in sugar, and should give you a good buzz in the morning. I didn’t expect it to be so difficult to find though. After checking many supermarkets, convenience stores and vending machines throughout the country, I finally found one vending machine in the alley of my hotel in Tokyo.

It was only a small can. I guess the high amount of caffeine would be too much too handle. I half expected to not taste much of either coffee or cola, but I was wrong. I could definitely taste both coffee and cola. I’m pretty sure that if you poured some Coke in with your coffee you would get the same effect. The two actually blended very well together. They might even make a nice marinade for some barbecue pork.

Fear Factor – 1 / Taste Test – 8

Sugar cane juice

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In Guangzhou, a major city in the south of China, I often see street vendor slinging freshly squeezed sugar cane juice. The last time I went there I bought bottle to try. Sugar cane is obviously used to make sugar, so I imagined this drink to be super sweet. This, however, was not the case. Sure, it was sweet, but no sweeter than any other fruit juice. It tasted a little “grassy” to me. Makes sense, I guess, as I believe sugar cane officially is a sort of grass.

Fear Factor – 0 / Taste Test – 6

Morning tea flavored water

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I don’t know why people drink so much water, when there are so many other things to drink. I guess it’s a health issue. Water of course, contains no sugar, no additives and no calories. Water is the source of life. I also find water to be so dull and bland that I only drink one bottle a day. I do enjoy some lemon flavored water from time to time, as that can be a real thirst quencher.

In Japan they took one step further and released a morning tea flavored water. First I thought, why not just drink morning tea? That was until I tried it myself. It was clearly a bottle of water, and not tea as it was completely see-through, but you could definitely taste the tea. It didn’t just taste like tea, it actually tasted like milk tea. I thought it was a wonderful contraption. This is a great way of letting people drink healthily, without being bored by water.

Fear Factor: 0 / Taste test – 8

Pepsi refresh shot

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Having tried a few different varieties of Pepsi while I was in Japan, there was one more that I had to try out. After a bit of searching I finally found a can of Pepsi Refresh Shot. This is supposed to be a little bit like an energy drink as it contains double the amount of caffeine as regular Pepsi. It comes in a small can of 200ml. Drinking it, I couldn’t taste any difference with regular Pepsi. Which is a shame, as I don’t really like Pepsi. I also didn’t feel all that energized afterwards, but I’ll take their word for it.

Fear Factor – 1 / Taste Test – 6

Coca Cola Plus

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Coca Cola has, like Pepsi, also released a dietary version of their soft drink with added fibers to fight the bodies intake of fat. It was released in Japan in March of his year, but has been sold as import in stores in China since last month. Like Pepsi Special, Coca Cola Plus contains five grams of Dextrin. Unlike Pepsi, Coca Cola advises to limit the use of their drink to only one bottle a day, and only to be drunk during meals. Also unlike Pepsi, I actually like this stuff. Let reiterate, I am a Coke addict.

Fear Factor – 0 / Taste Test – 9

Blood orange Fanta

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I’m not the biggest fan of regular Fanta, but I do love some of the other ones such as Fanta lemon. In Japan I bought a bottle of blood orange Fanta, that had an intriguing red color. I do think it was a little bit nicer than regular Fanta as it wasn’t as sweet. Though not exactly sour, there was a certain tartness that made this drink a real thirst quencher.

Fear Factor – 0 / Taste Test – 7

Pepsi Special Zero

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Japan likes its special and limited editions. There have been almost 300 different varieties of KitKat alone. Pepsi is another contender for special editions that can’t be found outside of Japan. One of these is Pepsi Special Zero. Pepsi Special was first released in 2012 as a fat-fighting drink. It contains dextrin, a kind of fiber that is said to suppress the bodies absorption of fat.

It seems strange to drink a soda to get healthier, but it seems the dextrin does actually do what it is advertised to do, which is why in Japan it was listed as a “Food for Special Healthy Use”, and which is also why it will not be released in The States, due to health legislation. I tried a bottle of the Zero variety of Pepsi Special, meaning it has no sugar or calories, and I have to say it tastes a lot better – less sweet – than regular Pepsi. I’m not a convert yet, but I wouldn’t mind seeing this on the shelves outside of Japan.

Fear Factor – 0 / Taste Test – 8

Pepsi strong

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You should know by now that I drink Coke, not Pepsi, but I’ll make an exception for some of the more peculiar kinds of Pepsi. And thus I didn’t hesitate to try out a so-called Pepsi Strong in Japan. It’s called strong because of the extra high volume of gas. It is said to contain five times as much gas as a normal bottle of cola, which is why Pepsi had to come up with a new packaging material that could contain it.

I half expected a super fizzy drink that would make me burp as much as Charlie Bucket, but I found Pepsi Strong to bear almost no difference to any normal Pepsi. It might have been a little foamier perhaps, but I didn’t feel any extra bubbles. I should add that when I opened the same bottle again the next morning, as I hadn’t finished it all, it was still fizzy.

Fear Factor – 1 / Taste Test – 7