Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Love Mode Ginger Zero
This soft drink has been around for awhile, but I've been too cheap to pay 147 yen for it. When it finally showed up in the local 99 yen shop, I took the plunge. This is one of those absurdly named and oddly designed items which is almost certainly going to be all potatoes and no meat, all style and no substance, and whatever else you want to add which conveys the idea that it looks exciting on the outside and is going to be boring on the inside.
I figure that any drink that is trying so hard to look exciting has to have little going for it. Beyond the bling-like design of the name on the front of the label, there is a sexually suggestive leather zipper on the side of the bottle which runs along the perforation on the plastic sleeve where you tear it and remove it. Also, pink ginger ale? Pink? For those who don't know, pink is generally seen as a color associated with sex in Japan. I think this is intentional design to try and make this drink look, well, sexier.
I didn't take a shot of the drink in a glass because you can see through the bottle. Suntory promotes this as being "sweet and dry". This is actually truth in promotion. It's a little sweeter than Canada Dry ginger ale and has a dry finish. It's made with a cocktail of artificial sweeteners including acesulfame K, Sucralose, and aspartame. Unlike most of the diet drinks I've tried in Japan, you can't detect the sweeteners so obviously. Note that I am accustomed to diet sodas and may not be able to taste them as clearly as someone who doesn't tend to drink them so often.
My response to this is a bit mixed. I think it's a good sugar-free ginger ale blend, but the ginger part is somewhat subdued. I actually liked it better as a stand-alone drink than Diet Canada Dry ginger ale and if they were both the same price and I had a choice and I didn't want to mix it with something (and I sometimes mix with orange juice), I'd go for this. I wish it weren't pink though. I keep thinking it should be tropical punch when I drank it.