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.