Sunday, December 20, 2015

Duetsche Kuche Apfel Schorle Sparkling Apple Juice Drink (Aldi)



Almost tastes like an apple wine, only without the alcohol.
One of the cool things about Aldi are their “German Weeks”, where they offer a bit of German culture, through a series of food Special Buys in their U.S. stores (in case you weren’t aware, Aldi is a German company).  While some of the things they offer during these times seem to be Americanized takes on German tradition (like their Bavarian soft pretzels), others legitimately seem to give Americans a unique taste of their culture (such as Peanut Puffs, or some of the “crazy” breads and desserts).  Either way, I enjoy it because it gives me a chance to try things that I otherwise would completely ignore.

Perusing the ad for the latest German week, I saw a “sparkling apple juice drink” as one of the highlighted products, and I knew I had to try that.  Apple juice is one of the greatest juices on the face of the planet, and it’s pretty much common knowledge that carbonation makes just about everything taste better.  How could I turn down a combination of such forces?  Even at a pretty steep price ($4 for six 16.9 oz. bottles) I knew a pack of these were coming home with me.

The ingredients are about as “natural” as you can get these days: Apple juice from concentrate, water, and carbon dioxide.  No fillers, no preservatives, just a classic combination of juice and gas.  Now, the only hesitation I had going into this is thinking how such a drink would taste in Germany.  Certainly it wouldn’t be as sweet as Americans like it, right?  I feel like we Americans like everything to be sugarcoated (I know I do!), while other countries and cultures are fine with cutting back on the sugar.  Would it be bitter?  Would it be dry?  Would there even be any discernible sweetness in it at all?

The answer lies somewhere in between all of those questions.  I’ll admit, I was turned off at first sip because this definitely isn’t American apple juice with carbonation, as I was secretly hoping; true to what I was expecting, the sweetness is certainly dialed back a little bit.  It even manages to approach “bitter” territory, though only briefly, before the natural sweetness of the apples shines through.  But as I drank more and more, my taste buds seemed to adapt, and by the end of the bottle I actually started enjoying it.  It’s different, but it’s good, and it can function as a semi-healthier alternative to soda (even though there’s really no nutrients in here at all, either).

Overall: 7.5/10. Semi-sweet apple juice injected with carbon dioxide gas has never tasted so good!  The lack of super-sweetness took me some getting used to (I was expecting/hoping it would be American apple juice with carbonation), but once my taste buds got used to it, I really started to enjoy it.  Price is a little steep, at $4 for a six-pack, so this will only be an occasional splurge, but I would definitely get this again at some point down the road.  

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