Our resident lemonade enthusiast Ben Morrell explores this new item that features an interesting flavor blend
When it comes to lemonade, it can be said that I am mostly a purist. Adding flavors to my lemonade is rarely something I trust anyone to do except myself. The original Simply Lemonade, for example, with a healthy dose a mashed strawberries? Heavenly. The reason for this being that the added flavors can be almost anything artificial so as to not shift the manufacturer’s calorie counts, or organic ratings, or whatever else they are trying to target with their lemonade mixture.
My wife recently called me from the grocery store this afternoon, saying excitedly, “Simply Lemonade has a new flavor! They have one with Blueberry now!” Simply Lemonade with Blueberry peaked my interest as blueberries are commonly referred to as superfoods (extra good for you, high in antioxidants), and the quality of Simply Lemonades are known to be very well constructed (not too sweet or tart, and no HFCS). The only other Blueberry Lemonade I had had previously was at some high end fish-and-chip eatery in West Seattle and while it was really good, it probably cost the same amount as the entire bottle my wife had just purchased. I was both hopeful, for my previous experience with the blueberry add-ins in lemonades, and yet skeptical as to what it might do to the already almost perfect lemonade taste of Simply Lemonade.
The juice itself is flavored with a blueberry puree. The bottle still says that it contains 11% juice, and considering that the original Simply Lemonade also contained 11% juice I knew right off the bat that we were going to be losing some of the lemon flavor with the addition of the blueberry puree. The puree adds a very dark pink color to the juice. It’s not to be confused with a pink lemonade to be sure (or the pink of the Raspberry flavor) but it is a strong dark purple color. The color adds a layer of intrigue to the whole mixture. It asks, “What could this small subtle fruit, the Blueberry, have to add to the bold strong flavor of Lemonade?” It then it tries to answer that question in your mouth.
Pouring myself a glass did reveal that some of the stronger notes of lemon had disappeared from the drink. It had a more fruity scent. Closer to fruit punch. Though the smell did not make me hesitate to take a sip, it was just something I lingered over longer than I might a normal lemonade — trying to spend some extra time teasing out what secrets the sniff test might reveal before my taste buds had a go at it. As from my other lemonade reviews you will know that some lemonades don’t put out a very pungent smell and you are stuck smelling the bottle instead. The Simply Lemonade lines have always been very strong presenters at the smell test, and after a minute with my nose over the drink I took that first sip.
The blueberry (though subtle) is one of the first flavors to hit the tongue. Happening almost entirely at the tip, the rest of the tongue gets the traditional Simply Lemonade flavors, although somewhat muted by the brighter notes of the blueberry at the tip of the tongue, and what I can only assume is the lowered lemon juice content to make that 11% juice rating they had before. Drinking more of it, the initial impression was not wrong. Most of the blueberry flavor is at the front of the mouth with a very nice compliment of lemon further back. Another thing I noticed that I like about Simply Lemonade with Blueberry is the aftertaste, and it was a pleasant surprise. Often times with lemon it is the tart flavor that hangs around when the rest is gone and can lead to a kind of thickness in the throat and mouth, especially with lemonades flavored with HFCS. However, within a minute or two of swallowing this drink I could very distinctly taste the blueberry. There was little lemon left, but the flavor of blueberry remained as a haunting, refreshing, and cool reminder to the drink I had just consumed.
There isn’t too much different here in terms of packaging. Very similar to the Simply Lemonade packaging, but with a blue curvy font to denote that it has blueberry in it. Calorie-wise it comes in at the same as Simply Lemonade’s default 110 calories, however, perhaps because of the natural blueberry puree added, there are 2 less grams of sugar per 8 oz serving. Not sure it makes much of a difference, but I like to see the effort in fruit juices to add flavoring versus adding more sugars or “artificial this or that.”
Overall, there is very little tart in this Lemonade. If you like your Lemonade with even a hint of tart then you’ll want to go somewhere else. BUT, if you are looking for something different, with a very fresh natural fruity flavor that is a little bit of a departure from standard lemonade mix-in flavors, I would highly suggest picking up a bottle of Simply Lemonade with Blueberry. It’s an experience I’ll be going back to several more times until this bottle is gone… assuming I can get to it before my wife.
Simply Lemonade with Raspberry
Pure filtered water, sugar, lemon dunce, blueberry puree, natural flavors.
A 8 oz serving contains 110 calories, 15 mg sodium, and 28 g carbs. Contains 11% juice.