Hello. My name's Nathan, and I love Trader Joe's. My wife Sonia does too. She's a great shopper, has excellent taste and knows good value when she comes across it. As many of you know, Trader Joe's is unsurpassed in the world of good-value grocery stores, so we spend a lot of our time and money there. Although the store fairly consistently delivers great taste with its own unique line of food products, there are definitely some big-hits, and unfortunately, there are some misses...

After doing a couple of internet searches for reviews of TJ's food items, Sonia discerned an apparent dearth of good, quality reviews for the store's offerings. So, at her suggestion, we decided to embark on a journey of systematically reviewing every Trader Joe's product, resulting in the blog you are about to read...

A couple of months into our Trader Joe's rating adventure, an old college friend, Russ, who unbeknownst to me had been following our TJ's blog, decided that I had been slacking in my blogging duties (which, of course, I was) so he decided to contribute his own original TJ's reviews to the blog, thus enhancing it, making it more complete and adding to it a flavor of his own. He and his wife Sandy are also avid TJ's fans and, as you will soon discover, he is an excellent writer and is nearly as clever, witty and humble as I am.

Seriously though, Russ: You go, boy!

So here it is: "What's Good at Trader Joe's?"

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Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Trader Joe's Raspberry Cranberry Spritzer

There's something very festive about cranberries. I guess it all started with cranberry sauce, an integral part of the traditional Thanksgiving meal. I mean, they cram cranberry sauce into those ubiquitous Thanksgiving-themed wraps during the month of November. Cranberry is even part of most Christmas meals and many Christmas snacks these days. 

I'm sure there was some earlier version of the fruit that was consumed at the first Thanksgiving—something other than the shivering, gelatinous mass that slides out of a tin can and maintains the exact shape of the canister, right down to the ridges around the sides of the product. The Pilgrims and Native American Indians might have eaten, like, actual cranberries. Apparently, they're harvested up until the middle of November, so it makes sense they'd have a bunch of them on hand. Or, just as likely, they may have had cranberry juice to drink.

Raspberry is more of a summer fruit. But thanks to Ocean Spray, most of us know that raspberry and cranberry together is something pretty tasty and special. Add a little sparkliness...er, spritzeriness? And how could you go wrong?

The taste is lightly sweet, but very natural. It actually tastes like fruit juice and sparkling water. You can taste raspberry, cranberry, and even a dash of lemon flavor, but it's not as tart and intense as the aforementioned Ocean Spray offering. Both beverages are good, in my opinion, albeit in completely different ways. The sparkling water adds the perfect amount of fizz and dilutes the juiciness and syrupiness of the product, so it seems just a bit more sophisticated than typical Cran-Raz. Ever have Izze sparkling juice drinks? It's very similar to those.

Speaking of sophistication, how about the packaging? It's a very nice, classy bottle. To be honest, I'm not even sure if the cap was twist-off or not. In my zeal to open the product, I pried the metal cap off with a bottle opener without even testing my hand at the bottle top. Even though I managed to snap the only-slightly-mangled cap back in place, the spritzer will most likely lose its fizz pretty quickly. Oh well. Good excuse to chug a bunch of it today.

Because it's not super cheap ($3.49) I doubt I'll pick this up each time I swing by TJ's, but I would most definitely consider this as the non-alcoholic beverage to accompany my Thanksgiving and/or Christmas dinners.

Bottom line: 7.5 out of 10.

4 comments:

  1. I thought it would be good as an alcoholic mixer also!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love to pick these up for holiday parties- the designated drivers and any kids get it out of the bottle and the rest of us can spike it :)) win win.
    Ttrockwood

    ReplyDelete