Not too long ago, I popped into my local Kroger store to pick up some rice and a box of Strawberry Pocky, when I saw they were having a closeout sale on some canned drinks from Malaysia. The cans came in bright colors and in flavors I've never tried before as drinks: White Gourd, Chrysanthemum and Lychee. So I checked around for the price tag.
Chrysanthemum: 69 cents.
White Gourd: 49 cents.
Lychee: 89 cents.
Expiration date: May 17, 2017
Did I go back in time? These are unheard of prices in today's market! So seeing this as a bargain, I grabbed one can of each, took them home, chilled and took a few, hearty sips.
... I am sorry to say this, but there is a great reason why the drinks are this dirt cheap.
First up was the Lychee drink in the pink and red can. I was expecting the usual candy flavor for lychee, which is a mellow sweet/tart combination. But instead, all I got was sickly-sweet syrup. There's so much corn syrup in this canned beverage that it drowns out all traces of the lychee berry.
Next was the Chrysanthemum drink in the sunny, yellow can. This had a bright, floral scent to it, but sadly, that did not translate to flavor. Again, there was so much sugar in the watered down drink that I couldn't taste anything. For being called a "tea" drink, there's no actual tea in it either.
Last was the White Gourd drink in the bright green can, and this was the most confusing of the trio. It too was swimming in enough sugar to dilute the flavor, but it left a bitter aftertaste, somewhere between a tart fruit and a sharp, green veggie taste. It also had an odd scent to it, somewhat like stale potpourri.
While all three boast not having any artificial preservatives, they are loaded with corn syrup, which as we all know, isn't really good for you, and caramel, thus erasing any hope of this being a "healthy" beverage. I could live with that, but the flavors were a real let-down.