Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Bundaberg Lemon Lime and Bitters

Those keeping track of things here at Drinkable Review know that I recently reviewed Bundaberg's Peachee and was fairly impressed with the product overall. I recently returned to my local World Market to pick up some more of the stuff, when I found this sitting on the shelf in the space previously occupied by the Peachee. According to the World Market employee with whom I spoke about it, the Lemon Lime and Bitters is a new flavor from Bundaberg, and they didn't restock the Peachee this time around to make room on the shelf. Although I was dissappointed by the lack of Peachee, I was immediately intrigued by the alternative, and decided to give it a try.

I have made plenty of cocktails in the past that mix bitters with soda, but never lemon-lime. I had a hard time imagining the taste while standing in the store, but I couldn't think of anything that would have made it bad, either, so I picked up a four pack. The smell upon opening the first one was pretty strong, and the smell of the aromatic bitters was definitely very pronounced. For those who are unfamiliar with bitters, it is an alcoholic, liquid mixture of aromatic spices that is added to certain cocktails a few drops at a time to give the drink a bit of a dry, spiced flavor. There are several other types of bitters (such as orange), but aromatic bitters are the most commonly used. As a disclaimer, Bundaberg's products are not alcoholic and contain less than 0.05% alcohol per unit volume.

Like the Peachee before it, this one is naturally brewed, and has a sort of heavy smell and consistency that reflects its method of preparation. Also, like the Peachee, I found this one to be a little bit too sweet for me to drink a whole bottle in one sitting. This reluctance to drink an entire serving is further amplified by the added bitters, as they are quite strong and although it adds a unique and interesting flavor to the lemon-lime, it is easy to tire quickly of the taste. The lemon lime elements of the soda are good, although not nearly as natural-tasting as the peach in the Peachee. I have yet to have a lemon-lime soda that does not have that candyesque "7Up" flavor. It's certainly not bad, don't get me wrong. I love the occasional 7Up, but I would like to have a soda that has the literal taste of lemon and lime juice.

Overall, this is a decent beverage. It's certainly interesting and worth a try, but I feel that the flavors could stand to be a little bit more balanced. The bitters are very pronounced (as they are wont to be in any beverage, really), and the lemon-lime base of the drink actually takes a bit of a background role in the face of the other spices. Pulling back a bit on the amount of bitters that get added to the soda would probably do this one some good. This, in combination with the syrupy heaviness of the beverage, makes Bundaberg Lemon Lime and Bitters a difficult one to recommend flat out, but it is definitely a unique experience and is enjoyable enough to warrant at least one purchase.

Verdict: Worth a try

Purchased: World Market [Columbia, SC]
Size: 11.5 fl. oz. [340 mL]
Price: $6.99 [Four pack]

1 comment:

  1. It's lush. And in Australia there is a diet version too.