Crystal Light Pure: Strawberry Kiwi, Mixed Berry, and Lemonade

Recently, and possibly after seeing my MiO review, I was sent a couple boxes of the new Crystal Light line, “Pure.” Pure features flavor packets with all natural flavors and the standard gamut of flavors. Being that it was 66 degrees and hot out today, I decided that today was the day I’d need a serious refresher.The flavors are powdered, like the bulk of flavor packets out today, and are about three times larger than the standard packet. When I saw the size of these, I was reminded of the Special K Protein Water, but in this case, I couldn’t quite see why there was a need for larger packets. I mixed up a glass of each flavor, strawberry kiwi, mixed berry, and lemonade, and was wary before I took the first sip. The drinks, which I expected to be clear and naturally colored as a result of their lack of artificial ingredients, were cloudy and neon-colored, reminiscent of the classic Crystal Light my grandmother would make me by the gallon as a child, with a murky, salty flavor. It wasn’t a very good first impression. In addition to the flavor, these were absolutely pungent. The second I opened the packet, my nostrils were assaulted by acidic, sugary scents.The flavor of the mixed berry tasted somewhat fermented and jammy, like berries that had botrytized before being mixed into water. It was a sour, watery flavor with no distinct flavor that really reminded me of berries. If anything, it was like drinking Life Savers dissolved in water. The dissolving problem that I encountered in the mixed berry and lemonade was more improved in the strawberry kiwi and the water was transparent with no residue at the bottom. The flavor was also sour, but counterbalanced by a nice fruitiness to its body and a non-chalky consistency. This was my favorite of the three.
My final drink, the lemonade, looked appetizing and juicy on the package with slices of lemon. I was most excited for this one as I was hoping it would deviate from the traditional standard powdered lemonade and taste like something freshly made. Well, once you stop laughing, let me tell you that yes, you’re right. Of course this wouldn’t taste like a $4 glass of lemonade in a bistro or a $12 Lemontini or even like Lemon Pledge. Despite its hawkings of all-natural ingredients, I was just not convinced that this was any different than the store-brand version.All in all, I was pretty disappointed. As someone who has already established a healthy love of beverages, I have no qualms in crossing these off my list and sticking with drinks I already know and love.

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