Thursday, July 28, 2011

Review: Jus Cool Sugar Cane Natural Drink

Upon a recent trip to a local dollar store/smoke shop to get the coveted "Medio Litro"(half-liter)Mexican Coke, I discovered a new, interesting canned beverage from Thailand. Jus Cool brand Sugar cane Natural Drink. It wasn't carbonated, but I had to try it and review it on principal alone.
A little background, Jus Cool is a Thai manufacturer of canned juices, and apparently someone decided that it would be a good idea to can up Sugar water and call it "Sugar Cane Juice". Anyways, the ingredient list is short(as could be expected)-Sugar cane juice, water. The can features exactly what you'd expect-a logo, some writing and a picture of the source of the juice. Even if there were no English written on the can, there's a pretty good bet anyone in the world could figure out what this can contained-either cane juice or dehydrated spider legs. However, the most interesting part of the can was the expiration date(something that is always wise to check on any product at a shady-looking dollar store). The can said "good if consumed by date on bottom of the can". So, I flipped the can over-this is what I saw...
A scribbled on price-$1.49(not too bad for imported anything really). And "BCBBBB". Hmmm....I had to check the date on my phone to make sure we weren't past the date "BC/BB/BB", or even "BC/BBBB". My phone assured me that it was "07/22/2011", and not "BCBBBC" or any other date past BCBBBB. However, I'm not entirely sure if there is an alternate means of telling time that involves some kind of marriage of Greek-rooted letters and Thai numerals. I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that since it's basically syrup in a can that I should be ok.
Here went nothing. I popped open the can-still a little disappointed not to have heard a "psst"-but I took a whiff-smelled deeply like a can. I tried really hard to smell something, but it just wasn't coming. So I took a drink-hmmm....that's some thick sugar water. It was very much like drink cold syrup, but with that weird gummy feeling that bottled fruit juices get, particularly orange juice. Must be something to do with the sterilization process. Either way, this tasted like very bad sugar water. My eldest was super-excited about trying this new "soda" after discovering it in the refrigerator. I put it out of her(and her sister's) view so that I could partake of this peculiar beverage before they discovered it and begged their mother for a chance to try it. She was sorely disappointed to discover this was not what she expected it to be.
I was pretty disappointed as well. I mean, I wasn't expecting anything too great, mind you, but I recently had an experience with something that was supposedly a "root beer" recently that gave me high hopes for this. I'll get to that review soon as well.
Anyways, on with the ratings...

Packaging- 6/5
Again, the packaging was everything it needed to be and more-if you consider a mysterious expiration date to be "more"-which I do.

Aroma- 0/5
Can something have negative smell? I think that after attempting to waft this for at least a minute it took me about 20 minutes to smell anything again. Also, I originally mis-typed this as "arp,a", so maybe that is a better way to describe this canned contrivance's smell- "arp <pause> ahh"

Taste- 2/7
It wasn't entirely unpleasant, but I could have done with the weird, milky pasteurized feel that also accompanies bottled orange juice(which is why I hate orange juice that isn't fresh-squeezed). Funny thing is, I'm pretty sure that the process of extracting cane sugar juice probably involves dropping large amounts of sugar cane into a big vat of hot water-which is probably sterilization enough before your machine dispenses it into a can. Whodathunk it needed more than that? Whatever, it killed the drink-ability for me. Everyone can make better sugar water in their own home with very little practice.

Overall- 8/17
Not the worst canned beverage in the world. Hell, it's probably better then their actual fruit juices, which is a very disconcerting thought. It's a good thing they had a cryptic expiration date system, otherwise they would have gotten half the score on packaging.

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