Product Type: Ovaltine Soft Drink
Newest Review: ... the drink itself. The orange lid is easy to screw on and off so that you can access the Ovaltine powder inside. This packaging is simpl... more
Member Name: Dryad
Advantages: Reasonably priced, vitamin rich
Disadvantages: Not tasty enough for me.
Last winter I developed a craving for old fashioned hot drinks, such as Horlicks, Ovaltine and good old hot chocolate. I blame the cold weather as I'm normally an ice cold soft drink girl.
I admit I bought this because the Horlicks I normally buy was not available at our local (not very good) Co-op and was hoping for a similar smooth malty taste to Horlicks. I do remember Ovaltine from my childhood, but it wasn't seen as a drink for kids in our family more for the grannies and grandpas, so I don't have any particularly strong memories of it.
The tub is exactly the same as the one shown in the Dooyoo picture. On breaking through the seal at the mouth of the jar I was surprised that there was not a stronger malty smell. What smell there is is more like chocolate powder than a malt drink. The colour too is darker than Horlicks and fairly chocolatey in appearance. This surprised me as although Ovaltine does contain chocolate powder it's a very small proportion of the ingredients (8% to 75% malted barley powder).
I like my Ovaltine made with warm semi skimmed milk, but it can be made with other milk or cold milk. I don't take much notice of the recommended instructions for making up; I just add as much powder as tastes nice for me. Which is about two rounded dessert spoons in a large mug, which I whisk up a bit using a manual hand whisk. It doesn't make it frothy but it does give it a little head, and mixes the powder in thoroughly.
The instructions for making up are on the tub, but since the advent of energy saving bulbs which have plunged us back into an era when we read by flickering candle light I cannot read the details for the life of me. However they are on the Tesco web site as "Just put 4 tsps of Ovaltine Original in a mug and add hot milk (200ml)" which is just a little less powder than I use. For the recommended serving the calorie content is 198 calories, so not a product you'd want to drink a few times a day.
Ovaltine can be made in the microwave, but I don't bother and do it old school in a saucepan on the cooker.
When I tasted Ovaltine for the first time in many years I was disappointed. For me it lacked the sweet distinctive malty taste I expected, or any discernable chocolate taste and I felt it tasted more watery than I remembered. This could of course be the fact that it was made with semi skimmed mild rather than the creamy gold top my mother used to make it with.
This drink nor any other milky drink has any associations with sleep for me, the link between milk and sleep is mainly psychological and as I didn't like milk or milky drinks as a child there was no psychological trigger embedded in my psyche. There is some tryptophan in milk, this chemical is known to help relaxation (via conversion to seartonin and melatonin in the body), but it is contained in milk in too small a quantity to make any impact. That said my cousin who loved a milky drink before bedtime a as a child swears this helps her sleep, so it may well help those who love the comfort a warm milk drink provides.
This drink is rich in vitamins C, E, Niacin, A, Pantothenic Acid, B12, B6, B2, B1, Folic Acid, Biotin, Iron, Zinc Sulphate and folic acid. These vitamins are vital to us all but particularly useful to pregnant women the elderly, convalescents and children. So unlike high calorie soft drinks such as coke, the calories in this are not 'empty' and there is a good nutritional pay off.
At the time of writing Ovaltine original costs £2.29 for 300gms and £3.29 for 500gms at Tesco.
Would I recommend this drink, yes it's pleasant and good for you and reasonably priced. However it's not for me and I'll stick to Horlicks or hot chocolate for my warm milky drinks in future.
Summary: A pleasant milky drink that does you good.