(I apologize for the terrible quality of the picture above. It did not look this blurry on my camera's screen)
I realize that I have already done several MiO reviews within the past few months, but every time that I begin to think that I have caught up with the new flavors, the good people at Kraft are already adding new varieties to the line. This is in no way a bad thing, however, as I am very excited to see MiO gaining popularity as quickly as it has been over the past year or so. I always look forward to trying the new flavors, and although I don't drink MiO quite as much as I did during the latter years of my undergraduate career, it is still always a pleasure every time I return to the small, grey bottle. And I have been given a very good reason to do just that, as Kraft has recently sent me samples of the two newest MiO flavors: Lemonade and Blueberry Lemonade.
I have always been somewhat hesitant when it comes to instant lemonades, as many of them tend to be either extremely acidic and "chemically" or tooth-destroyingly sweet. I am therefore relieved to report that this is not the case with MiO's take on the drink. The plain lemonade is actually very mild, and has a light sweetness that is uncharacteristic of production lemonades, particularly those that are artificially sweetened. The taste is reminiscent of other instant lemonade prodcuts (think Country Time Lemonade), but the balance of sweetness and lemon flavor is more refined than a lot of the competition. Unlike some of the other MiO flavors that I have reviewed before, the lemonades are sweetened only with sucralose (rather than a combination of sucralose and acesulfame potassium), but it is actually very difficult to tell that it is artificial. The only real indication of artificial sweetening is in the aftertaste, and even then it is fairly remote. There is a slightly dry sensation that the drink leaves in the back of the throat, but that is common among most alternative sweeteners, particularly when combined with lemon flavorings. All in all, the lemonade is a great flavor. It's light, well-balanced, and tasty, and avoids a lot of the usual pitfalls of artificially flavored lemonades. However, it is worth noting that these qualities only hold fast when using small quantities of the MiO liquid. The first time that I made the lemonade, I used too much, and the resulting drink was very tart and extremely sweet. But I had accidentally used far more than the recommended serving size, so as long as the reccomendations are followed, this is a great instant lemonade.
The blueberry lemonade, on the other hand, is a very different drink. I will go ahead and say up front that it is very good. In fact, it is possibly my favorite MiO flavor so far (rivaled only by the previously reviewed Orange Tangerine). Much like it's plain lemonade counterpart, the blueberry variety is perfectly sweet and is full of flavor without being overbearing. The bluberry is more of an artificial "candy" taste than it is a natural representation of the fruit, but it is still quite tasty, regardless. Also, I found that portioning out the blueberry lemonade concentrate was not quite as touchy as the regular lemonade, as the taste is relatively consistent over a fairly large margin of serving size error. Again, like with the regular lemonade, the artificiality of the sweeteners is only really evident in the distant aftertaste, but the dryness found in the regular lemonade is absent in the blueberry version. However, this may be due in part to the fact that the blueberry lemonade really does not taste very much at all like lemonade. In fact, the blueberry almost completely takes over the other flavors, and I actually found myself wondering at first if there was really any lemon in the drink at all. The lemonade taste is there, but it is buried deep within the background of the drink, and you really have to be looking for it to notice it among the strong blueberry flavor. Although the lemonade may not be immediately apparent, it is present in that it alters the taste of the blueberry somewhat. But this is a sort of vague approach to the mixture, and although the resulting drink is still very good, it makes me wonder if Kraft may have just been better off making a strictly bluberry flavored MiO. I really like the blueberry lemonade, but I can see how the taste might come across as a little bit lacking if you went in expecting a perfect mixture of the two flavors.
Overall, I really like both of these new flavors, and I think that they make two more excellent additions to an already very stong line of products. These are definitely flavors that are worth the investment, especially the blueberry lemonade. I can't wait to see what's next for the brand.
Samples sent courtesy of Kraft Foods, Inc.
For more information about MiO, visit Kraft's website.