Guest reviewer and natural beverage enthusiast George Tsakiridis returns with another review.
In the past few years, pomegranate flavored drinks and juices have taken off, especially in the health food sector. We’ve taken a look at many of those, including Pomegranate 7Up, ViB Pomegranate Berry, Hansen’s Natural Green Tea Soda Pomegranate, and Hansen’s Natural Sparkling Sleek Pomegranate Green Tea. In this installment, I look at Hansen’s Natural Pomegranate Soda.
Statistically, pomegranate cane soda has no high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and uses real cane sugar, both of which are made clear on the can, and are positives out of the gate. In addition, each can contains 130 calories. The ingredient list is as follows: “pure triple filtered carbonated water, cane sugar, citric acid, natural flavors with extract of California pomegranate.”
Moving to the actual sensory experience, I cracked open the can and immediately heard a soothing fizz while taking in a fruity smell. If I didn’t know it was pomegranate, my first instinct might have been to say strawberry. Upon further olfactory inspection, it is clear that the aroma was not strawberry, although in a blind study I don’t know that I would have identified it as pomegranate either.
Speaking of clear, once again, the drink was absolutely clear and from a visual standpoint looked like a lemon-lime drink. When I opened the can it gave me a nice big crack and as I poured it fizzed up nicely. It was carbonated just right. Not the key factor in enjoyment, but it helps.
Moving to taste, as that is the most important aspect of a drink, I am somewhat ambivalent. That is not to say that the drink isn’t good, because it is, but the taste is not overly powerful and in some sense the aftertaste and smell are better than the actual taste. The flavor contains a slightly sweet finish that may take a bit of getting used to. It is definitely sweeter than some fruit-flavored drinks, but not in a sugary way – almost in a flowery way, think metaphorically.
As a disclaimer, I am not a huge fan of pomegranate drinks, but am also not a detractor of them. Even with that said, I do not know that I would identify this drink as having authentic pomegranate taste, but again, this could just be a personal opinion. To be fair, it is more of a niche flavor and is a harder taste to create accurately in a soda than, say, cherry or strawberry.
In conclusion, if I were offered this drink at someone’s house, or at a barbeque, I would probably have one, but if I were at the store purchasing, Hansen’s has better choices from which to pick. I also think this selection might be a better accompaniment to food than as a stand-alone drink. In general, pomegranate is a solid, but not spectacular offering.