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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Trader Joe's Lemon Elderflower Soda and Rhubarb & Strawberry Soda


Rhubarb. 

I know you can make a pie from it, though I don't think I've ever had one. I know it's celery-esque and looks like a vegetable. 

And that's about it. That's a comprehensive summary of my personal knowledge of rhubarb up to this point. Sure, I Googled it and informed myself a bit more just now, but I never had any idea what it tasted like until I tried this soda.

Elderflower is a similar mystery to me. I assumed it was a type of flower that perhaps grows on the same plant as elderberries..? I'm apparently correct on both of those assumptions, although I'm guessing a good percentage of our readers could elaborate on the elder bush a great deal more than I am able to—and if you care to flaunt your botanical expertise in the comments section, I invite you to do so to your heart's content.

But evaluating something brand new with few preconceived notions can be a good thing.


First thoughts on the rhubarb strawberry soda: VERY unique. Like strawberry, but significantly more tart. Perfect amount of sweetness and carbonation. Just different enough from a run-of-the-mill sweet soda that it's worth a try simply for the novelty of the experience.

And the lemon elderflower offering? Similarly unique, but not to the same degree. Like a Wink, Fresca, or Squirt type soda, but with more true lemon flavor and an unexpected flowery essence. I'd generally prefer the classic citrus sodas over this Trader Joe's beverage. Sonia thinks there's something guava-esque going on here. I don't know if I'd put it like that, but I do agree that there's an odd aftertaste vaguely similar to that of guava. It doesn't taste like guava per se, but it confuses the tongue in a similar manner, if that makes sense.

We both like the rhubarb & strawberry soda slightly more than the lemon elderflower one. I wasn't expecting that going into it, since I tend to enjoy any and all citrus sodas, and products like Strawberry Fanta are palatable, but certainly not the first drink I'd reach for on a regular basis.

Considering the diminutive size of these cans, I think $3.49 is a bit steep. Each 8.4 oz can is just barely enough to quench my thirst at any given moment. I could easily go through all four in a single day. The quality here is very high. Good ingredients. Interesting flavors. Sonia and I would both consider buying the rhubarb & strawberry again for a special occasion. Sonia will go with four and a half stars on the strawberry and an even four for the lemon. I'll go a full star less than that on both.

Trader Joe's Rhubarb & Strawberry Soda: Bottom line: 8 out of 10.

Trader Joe's Lemon Elderflower Soda: Bottom line: 7 out of 10.

8 comments:

  1. My daughter and I came to the same conclusion as you did. We definitely enjoyed the Rhubarb and Strawberry one more than the Lemon Elderflower. However, when we were at the store, initially discussing which flavour we would try, one of the employees came by, described both flavours to us. She then told us that her favourite way to drink them was by mixing one can of each together. We plan on trying that combination next.

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    1. Hmmm. Never would have thought to try them that way myself. Thanks for passing on the suggestion.

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  2. I quite like the elderflower drink from ikea. Still not sure what it is! I think elderflower might be more popular in the uk

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    1. I always get that apple cider in a can or the lingonberry juice. I'll look for the elderflower next time.

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  3. I loooove the flavor of elderflower, the liqueur St Germain might be my favoritest thing with a bit of seltzer or a cheap sparkling wine when i’m fancy.
    I worry the lemon would obliterate that floral flavor.
    Maybe it’s better over ice with some vodka or gin.
    The smaller can size is nice to keep the calories and sugar down but i’m also trying to reduce excess packaging and this seems like a lot of waste.
    Ttrockwood

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  4. As an avid rhubarb consumer, I was a little disappointed that there was not more of the rhubarb flavour to this one.

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  5. The Rhubarb & Strawberry had a very unpleasant taste to me that ruined what otherwise was a promising beverage. I assume it's from the rhubarb because I have never tasted a strawberry with a bitter, almost herbal, sharp flavor. I didn't enjoy it at all and probably won't finish the other cans, sadly.

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