Levi Roots was once a regular occurence on this blog and for a time you couldn’t go into a shop without seeing a new product on the shelf. Recently the expansion seems to have calmed down, either that or I’m now blind to the swinging dreadlock silhouhette emblazoned across every packet. These drinks are not new, they’ve been out for years, but it was only when I spotted them in poundland at two for a pound that I decided to give them a try.
I never really drank fizzy drinks as a child as my mum wouldn’t let them in the house apart from at birthday parties, I used to argue with her about it but largely just to be contrary as in truth I never liked them anyway. Occasionally I would have them at other friends houses but in my teens I stopped drinking them altogether as I was questioned every six months by Roger the dentist about how many fizzy drinks I had. Apparently I have soft enamel and he always attributed any deterioration in my teeth to an excess of fizzy drinks. Eventually the message got through that I wasn’t drinking any and he took to grilling me on acidic orange juice which was the next thing to go. By my late teens and pretty much ever since my liquid intake has been restricted to a lot of tea and sometimes, when no tea is available a glass of water.
So tasting Levi’s carbonated delights was dangerously outre for me. The first one I tried was the Caribbean Crush, I didn’t gulp it down in one crazy session but had a mouthful a day over a few days. In hindsight I think was wise as I imagine drinking a bottle in one sitting would have a) dissolved my teeth in an instant (if Roger the dentist was to be believed) and b) brought on a hyperglycaemic attack as this stuff was incredibly sweet. For all intents and purposes the Carribean Crush is Lilt by another name. I actually quite liked it, it had grapefruit in it to give a bit of a bitter edge and the other flavours were mango and pineapple – all fruits I’m very keen on. Fruit juice however only made up 5% of the ingredients and what juice there was came from concentrate so as a contribution towards your five a day it wasn’t going to make a dent.
Next up was the Tropical Punch and if the Carribean Crush was sickly sweet, this stuff could give a Hallmark valentines card a run for it’s money. The fruits featured were again pineapple and mango but instead of grapefruit there was apple. It tasted horrible. It was like some kind of children’s medicine and Levi had used extra sugar to disguise how horrid it actually tasted, a sort of liquefied desperately sweetened ear wax drink. God knows what Roger the dentist would have made of this stuff, but I’m pleased he spent so many years encouraging me to avoid it.
Levi Roots – Caribbean Crush and Tropical Punch £1 for two 500ml bottles.
Caribbean Crush – 5/10
Tropical Punch – 2/10