Never Say Never: Revisiting Coconut Water
So guess what happens when you go on the record saying that you never want to taste another sip of coconut water ever again? You have coconut water companies like Greater > Than try to convince you that it’s not the most horrid drink on earth. (In that vein, bah, I just hate chocolate and wine and snuggly socks—yuck, never again!) So while I said I’d never try it again, well, I’m a glutton for punishment. Because when it comes to coconut water, I’d love to be proven wrong. Was I? Read on…
Before I get into the review, funny story. So the box of flavored coconut waters arrived, and I cracked it open. My 2-year-old grabbed one and attempted to twist off the cap. I threw it back in the box and went on with my day. Later, I headed into the kitchen to find a massive Berry Blue puddle. Apparently my daughter had broken the cap’s seal, and I hadn’t noticed. I cleaned it up, thinking that coconut water hates me, too. Later, I was totally convinced it hated me when I was down in the basement and looked up at the ceiling to see a small water spot on a ceiling tile. It was a new water mark because we’d recently had our basement ceiling updated. I remembered back to the spill. Sure enough, the water had managed to make it through a crack near the baseboards all the way through to the basement. Not the company’s fault at all, but, um, coconut water? Sorry I ever insulted you.
This all happened before I knew the offending drink was even coconut water. So I took an unknowing sip of Berry Blue and my palate was highly offended as well. I may have yelled, “THIS IS COCONUT WATER!” to my husband.
When I finally settled down, I gave the stuff an open-minded try. I swear. The Greater > Than drinks come in several varieties, so I tasted on Berry Blue (the basement saboteur), Tropical, Orange-Mango, Grape and Original. Shockingly, I didn’t die from drinking them. Apparently, adding a little beet sugar helps out a great deal in the “not going to kill me if I drink it” department. Berry Blue was actually my least favorite. But the Original version has a really smooth mouth-feel and is sweet but not sickeningly so. It also left none of that nasty aftertaste I hate so much. Grape and Tropical were definitely my faves; they reminded me of generic grape and tropical drinks of my childhood (and I mean that in the nicest way—they were my favorite!). Orange-Mango was fine, but I definitely preferred the others.
Of course, the drinkable, non-nauseating coconut water comes at a caloric and sugar cost. Most of the bottles pack 80 calories and 15 to 17 grams of sugar. But is that a price worth paying if you love coconut water’s benefits but want to hide its nasty taste? Abso-freaking-lutely!
Are you nuts for coconut water? Or need to hide its benefits in a little flavor? —Erin