Wednesday, December 30, 2009
CC Lemon Zero
C.C. Lemon is one of those drinks that I've had an interest in for quite some time because it is packed with Vitamin C and who doesn't enjoy a good lemon beverage? My former boss used to drink it on occasion and some of my students swear by it as a way of keeping colds at bay.
I don't like to drink my calories and I particularly don't like to drink sugary acidic sodas because they have a bad effect on the teeth. This is what has kept me from sampling C.C. Lemon for all these years. I especially wanted to try it around the time that the Simpsons were used heavily in their promotions as there were some nifty bits of swag available at that time. Unfortunately for me, the Simpsons aren't being used now when a zero calorie version is available.
I investigated the name "C.C. Lemon", but didn't come up with any explanation of what the "C.C." stands for besides the fact that it's supposed to be packed with a lot of Vitamin C. The American Wikipedia page says that there has been some controversy about whether or not the advertised amount of C is really as claimed, but the Japanese page doesn't mention anything about it. The weird thing is that they don't mention the amount of Vitamin C in terms of usual measures, but as the number of lemons worth of C. A 500 ml. bottle of C.C. Lemon zero supposedly contains 70 lemons worth.
The soda smells pleasantly lemony and you can tell it's lightly carbonated when you open the lid since it makes less of a "pop" noise than other fizzy beverages. The lemon flavor is pronounced, but not overwhelming. The sweetness level is just a tiny bit higher than I'd personally prefer and you can detect the fact that this is made with a cocktail of artificial sweeteners, but it's far less obvious than some of the other diet beverages I've sampled. After the first several sips, the artificial sweetener taste tends to mute (but not disappear) a bit as your tongue grows accustomed to it.
This was a very refreshing lemon drink with a good balance of flavors and a very mild citrus bite. It's flawed because I wish it had a little less of an artificial sweetener flavor, a little more carbonation, and a little more citrus bite and less sweetness, but it's pretty good for a diet version of a beverage. My feeling is that diet soda beggars can't be too choosy, but this is pretty good regardless. I will definitely revisit this if it doesn't end up vanishing as so many zero-calorie drinks in Japan seem to do.
Suntory's web site for C.C. Lemon is currently sporting a strange space ship made from a drink bottle motif. It includes a little Flash-based game, but you have to read Japanese to play it and some desktop pictures and a screen save that can be downloaded. Among the desktop pictures, I find the diagram of the internal structure of the imaginary spaceship rather amusing because of all of the lemon-shaped furnishings.