Wednesday, August 27, 2008

BooKoo Punch

I haven't had punch in a long time. Probably the last punch drink I had was a Hawaiian Punch, more than 6 months ago. Since I haven't had it in so long, I really don't remember what's in it. My best guess would be a bunch of fruit juices mixed together. The most specific definition I can find of what belongs in punch is fruit juices with or without alcohol mixed in. The distinct flavor of what we generally associate with punch is a mystery to me, and I'm looking forward to being refreshed with the BooKoo Punch. Examining the contents of the can, I notice a few things. The sugar content seems slightly high at 29g per serving, and the sweeteners are HFCS and Dextrose, which is odd. I thought Dextrose was the kind of sugar they pack together to make those hard, powdery lego candies, but now the internet is telling me it's just another name for or form of Glucose. Confusing. Anyway, I think it's worthy mentioning that there are no fruit juices in here whatsoever and that this contains sucralose. As if 29g of sugar wasn't going to sweeten it enough, BooKoo threw in sucralose. This might be another one of those drinks that is only good cold or over ice. I'll try both.

My first whiff is indeed of that characteristic fruity punch flavor. There's definitely a little grape, possibly some orange and lime and a lot of cherry or strawberry. The smell is incredibly pungent, almost overpowering; very close to Hawaiian Punch. I was expecting this to be pure and slightly opaque red, but instead, it's slightly different, being the color of maraschino cherries, clear red-pink and flourescent. Compared to many energy drinks, it seems much less carbonated, but that's likely true because of how terribly sweet this is, forcing you to take very small sips. I mean, we all know how sweet Hawaiian Punch is, but this tastes even sweeter, especially while it's hot. And something about it gives your teeth that "eaten-away" feeling just like fruit juice does, possibly the massive amounts of sugar in here. I think the only thing that might save this drink's reputation is putting it over ice. So I have my glass here of cold, clear ice and I poured the BooKoo Punch in. It doesn't have much of an effect as it taskes some time for the BooKoo to melt with the ice. After a little while, I notice that the ice does tone down the sweetness and makes it much better, but that same punch flavor has admittedly gotten old. Just like all of the other BooKoos I've tried, this one must be over ice to be enjoyed, at least in my opinion, because I would not be able to drink this down without it. Because just like Capri Sun, BooKoo is hard to enjoy hot.

I didn't quite "drink this down." It was more like sipping it for a good hour, because it was so unbearably sweet. Now, I looked at the supplement facts, and there are 29g of sugar per serving. Normally, 29g per 8oz doesn't make a drink this sweet, but when you look down in the ingredients, the second-to-last ingredient is sucralose. Not surprisingly, sucralose takes this drink's sweetness level way too far. Besides sucralose, the drink is sweetened with HFCS and Dextrose. The rest of the ingredients include citric acid, natural flavors, D-glucuronolactone, caffeine, sodium benzoate, inositol, L-carnitine, potassium sorbate, and red coloring, along with niacin, B6, B12, Pantothenic Acid, 2060mg total of taurine, and 206mg 0f panax ginseng. These energy ingredients don't look quite strong enough to provide a boost as sick as a Monster. And what weakens it even more is the fact that it's too sweet to finish within an hour or so for most people. I've never been crazy about punch, and this drink doesn't change that.

Taste: 6.4 - Decent punch flavor, but you don't want all that sweetness
Kick: 6.5 - Kick diminished because of the sweetness
Overall: 6.7 - I don't want another of these

Reviewed by: Jeff

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Jeffery "Jeff," Chandler "Chan"