And that's exactly what this is, unfortunately for those of you who thought this was actually cherry cider. As we discussed in an earlier post about a different cider, this kind of drink should be "tangy and brown." Now, I'm not sure how the color is on your computer monitor, nor am I certain that my camera was properly color-balanced, but the liquid in the glass is definitely red. It's a deep red, approaching brown, but it is not brown. The packaging, too, hints that the drink within is bold red. And the beverage's subtle tartness is overshadowed by its Juicy Juice-like sweetness.
I think the color red has come to be a symbol of classic sweet drinks. Coke cans are red. Everybody knows red Kool-Aid is the best Kool-Aid. When the makers of Mountain Dew decided their green beverage too greatly resembled a health drink, they introduced Code Red to make sure everybody knew they stood for rapid tooth decay and higher rates of diabetes death.
This cherry-flavored beverage is, thankfully, very natural. They didn't dump cups of high-fructose corn syrup into it. It's actually just apple, cherry, plum, and pineapple juices from concentrate.
My only complaint about this product is its incredibly misleading name. It is not cider. This is Trader Joe's version of Code Red, sans the carbonation and artificial nonsense. It's totally for kids...and for old dudes like me that like to drink kids' beverages. After drinking a glass, there's a syrupy reside on the tongue that lingers for a while. Not sure how I feel about that...
Sonia shocked me almost as much as the candied-kick of the drink when she gave it a 4. I expected her to say it was too sweet. I give it a 4 as well, docking a point because it's not really what it says it is. But overall, it's a highly-chuggable, refreshing treat. If you like Juicy Juice, you'll want to check this stuff out.
Bottom line: 8 out of 10.