Passionate lemonade enthusiast Ben Morrell continues his review series on this popular genre of drinks
The first thing that one notices about the Tropicana Trop50 Lemonade is the smell. Some lemonades smell faintly of lemon, but the ingredients that typically proceed the lemon juice are water and sugar, thus the lemon smell is generally pretty weak. Trop50 Lemonade smells… sour with hints of something metallic. I have some theories on this and one of them is that “white grapefruit pulp” is one of the ingredients in the juice. Full disclosure: I’m not a fan of grapefruit in any form and I have this penchant for being able to smell things I really don’t like.
If you are anything like me you just did a double-take on the ingredient I mentioned. Grapefruit pulp? Lemonade? Yep. I don’t know how much they put in the juice but it’s slightly more pulpy than what you might find in other lemonades. Because of the pulp I am not sure how much it is tainting the juice. I noticed with the first sip that this lemonade is more sour than anything I have reviewed previously. This isn’t an artificial sour either — despite also containing citric acid. This is a real-from-fruit sour taste in the mouth. The lemon juice in Trop50 Lemonade comes from concentrate which I have found seems to lose something of the fruit flavor, while also accenting the sour flavor more sharply.
The bottle design is somewhat familiar to that of Simply Lemonade, featuring a narrow neck (easy for grasping and carrying around) and a wider bottom. The screw-top even looks very similar to other lemonade bottle designs. The color of the juice in the bottle is very alluring. It’s just about the perfect color for lemonade, both in the bottle and then poured into a glass. From the sight of the bottle alone I was excited to try this. The label on the front heavily hits the “50 calories per serving,” and the fact that it contains a lot less sugar than typical lemonade.
The benefit to this lemonade over the others I have reviewed is that the calories are probably 50% lower. At 50 calories per eight ounce serving you can drink a solid 20 ounces of this stuff and consume the same amount of calories (about 120) as another full-calorie brand. It’s the use of stevia that allows for this calorie reduction, in this case PepsiCo’s branded PureVia version. I don’t think, other than the “Trop50″ name and the “50% less sugar” branding all over the front, I would have realized that this was assistedly sweetened (Sucrose is still on the ingredient list.) There isn’t any lingering artificial taste that I can notice.
Overall, Tropicana Trop50 Lemonade — while more sour and less lemony than I like — provides a fairly complex lemonade taste. I don’t think I have mulled over a lemonade as much as I have with this one. Do I like the juice? No. But unlike some other lackluster lemonade experiences, I can’t say as this is a bad lemonade. It’s just not a lemonade that I enjoy. It’s sour, the smell is tripping me up, and the pulp is kind of obnoxious. However, the calories make this lemonade one that is perhaps more accessible to those watching their waistlines, and if you like a sour flavor this would be a good choice for you.
Tropicana Trop50 Lemonade
Filtered water, sucrose, lemon juice concentrate, white grapefruit pulp, lemon juice, natural flavors, ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), citric acid, Reb A (Pure Via brand), and Vitamin E acetate (Vitamin E)
An 8 oz. serving contains 50 calories, 12 mg sodium, and 12 g carbs (12 g sugars). Caffeine free.