Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Ito En Salty Lemon

When it's really hot and the sun is beating down on your, there are certain things that sound really good. One is the notion of ice cold lemonade. Another is something salty in order to replenish what you've been sweating out. Of course, I don't actually sweat much so I'm guessing I don't lose much salt. Nonetheless, as I trudged around in the blazing sun feeling dehydrated and overheated, I was thinking this salty lemon beverage would really hit the spot.

This drink was made by a company called Ito En which makes a variety of other beverages including tea drinks, fruit and vegetable juices, and sports drinks. They're also controlling Tully's coffee brand in Japan and Evian water. The company was established in 1966, which makes it a relatively young business by Japanese standards. They're best known for their bottled teas, especially green tea and barley tea.

The Salty Lemon is touted as being "calorie off". This is Japanese English for reduced calorie. The entire 500 ml. bottle has 81 calories and is sweetened with Sucralose artificial sweetener. It also has 1000 mg of Vitamin C and, of course, added vitamins and lemon are ingredients.

This smells ever so vaguely lemony with a tiny hint of something which is slightly medicinal. The first thing that surprised me when I poured it was that it wasn't carbonated. For some reason, I expected it to be fizzy, but there was really no reason for me to expect that to be so. The best way I can sum up the flavor is that it tastes like a Vitamin C supplement dissolved in water. The lemon flavor is very subdued. It has no acidity or bite and mainly seems like a weak lemon isotonic drink. It's not exactly repugnant, but it's not really pleasant either. Mainly, it's weakly lemon and weakly salty and lightly sweet. It really does remind me of what you'd get if you dissolved some sort of powdered medicine or supplement in a glass of water and drank it for your health.

If I were parched and had no water at hand, I'd drink this. However, there is no joy in it and I threw away the rest of the bottle. Certainly, I wouldn't buy it again, nor would I recommend it to any but someone who was sick and wanted to drink down a bunch of Vitamin C.


Kelly said...

Would you say this was similar to some of those drinks like Gatorade and Powerade in flavour? I find them like watered down cordial.

Orchid64 said...

Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately), I've never had Gatorade or Powerade so I can't compare. It wouldn't surprise me if they were similar, but I'm not in a position to judge.

Thanks for your comment!

Molly said...

Your lemon drink sounds like very watered down kool-aid. Bleah.

I have a product suggestion: My boss just received a care package from Japan and it had new Tirol chocolates. It's Hawaii-themed and comes in a little paper cup with an "Aloha" logo and a very nearly racist rendering of a hula girl (think those "African" dolls with big lips which Japanese consider "cute"?)on it. The chocolates come in macadamia nut, Kona Coffee, and pineapple flavors.

Orchid64 said...

Hi, Molly, and thanks for your comment and for reading.

I haven't seen the Tirol cup you mentioned, but I'll keep my eyes open for it. Some of the releases are regional so I don't have access to them all. I wonder if it's a specialty of one of the warmer areas of Japan. If I can find it, I will certainly buy and review it!

The stuff in the bottle was actually worse than Kool-aid (and I don't like Kool-aid)!