Product Type: Coca-Cola Soft Drink
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Rose's Lime Cordial
Member Name: Verbena
Rose's Lime Cordial
Advantages: Refreshing flavour, sharp but not bitter
Disadvantages: Higher sugar level than I realised
When it comes to soft drinks I have to admit that there are not many that appeal to me. Squashes in all their various permutations I would generally rather leave than take. That's no reflection on the products, I suspect - I'm not especially fond of sweet drinks and, on the whole, I'd prefer a glass of water when I'm thirsty. I know, I'm strange like that! The only real exception is Rose's Lime Juice Cordial. We do have other drinks in the house, I must admit, but they are for the other family members.
It could be the familiarity of this drink's taste that makes it a must have for me; after all, it's been around for a very long time, older even than me! If that were the case then I'd probably be equally fond of drinks like Robinson's Barley Waters, but I'm not. It must be down to other factors, then.
I bought my bottle from my local Tesco store and I reckon I paid around £2 just before Christmas - maybe slightly less. It's offered for online shopping at £1.99 as of today's date [30/1/2013]
=== Cordial v Squash===
I'd never really thought much about the difference between these two drink products until now, even though I've made elderflower cordial in the past. After all, you dilute them both, don't you? Unfortunately the more I researched these, the less clarity I found. One view was that cordials were generally less sweet, being made from fruit syrup that you diluted, whereas squashes might be made from fruit juice - from squashed fruit, of course - that was sweetened and then diluted. See what I mean? A slightly cynical view was that posh shops or labels used the term 'cordial' whereas 'squash' was more suitable for 'ordinary people'. One website suggested that cordials were usually alcoholic - except in the UK! But maybe this is a clue: it may have started life as alcoholic syrup. It seems that British sailors in the mid 19th Century were give lime juice with rum to combat scurvy. Lauchlan Rose, who is credited with inventing this cordial, found a way to preserve the lime juice that dispensed with the need for alcohol. It was probably much more cost effective, but I can imagine he wasn't very popular with the sailors! Progress often has a price!
===A Sturdy Bottle===
Well it used to come in one, not so very long ago; quite a substantial glass bottle at that, but no more. Nowadays Roses Lime Juice Cordial comes in a sturdy enough plastic one. There is an embossed leaf patterning on the top part of the bottle that is much in keeping with the original bottle as I recall it. I feel this does make it stand out on the shop shelf. It's a 1 litre bottle and I don't think I've ever seen it offered in different sizes. The largest print on the dark green label is reserved for the name 'Rose's'. Above this I see that the company are suppliers to Her Majesty the Queen. Beneath the brand name is an illustration of a lime sprig, if that's the right word, complete with leaves, fruit and flowers. The company was established in 1867 and this is 'the original' lime juice cordial.
===The Juicy Bits===
Also on the front of the label is nutritional information. A 250ml diluted serving contains 53 calories with 12.3g sugar [which is 14% RDA, rather scarily!] The only product I have at hand with which to make a fair comparison is Morrison's Pink Grapefruit Squash , with values of 5 calories and 0.7g sugar[0.8% RDA] I find this really surprising and a bit of a shock, as I genuinely thought this lime cordial was a healthier option. These values, though, are based on a suggested dilution rate of 4 parts of water to one of cordial. I believe I dilute mine by at least 6:1. Children should have proportionately more water added.
The reverse of the label provides further information. There's a brief retelling of the Lauchlan Rose story. The serving suggestions given are simply to serve with still or sparkling water. Lime and lemonade is an occasional favourite of mine. I don't drink much alcohol, but I'm sure you can think of other possibilities if you like a tipple. Nutritional values are given per 100ml diluted. It seems that, before dilution, 25% of the product is juice. Ingredients start with water, then lime juice [from concentrate], sugar, citric acid, flavourings, preservatives, colours. No claims are made about health benefits such as vitamin C levels, so I guess this modern incarnation wouldn't' help much with scurvy! Storage instructions indicate that the bottle should be stored in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. You are supposed to consume within 3-4 weeks after opening, something I confess I have never done and have noticed no ill effects. You shouldn't reuse the packaging, apparently - what do they mean by that? You can recycle the bottle. Almost the last piece of information on the label is that this is manufactured in GB under the authority of Atlantic Industries for Coca-Cola Enterprises Ltd, Uxbridge. There is a Freephone Customer Careline number given.
===A Long, Cool Drink===
Those nutritional details have really made me think! I just checked my favourite size of drinking glass and found they hold about 280ml. I barely cover the base with the cordial and top up with cold water. The resulting drink is only very lightly coloured. Sometimes I can see the cordial swirling around in the water until it mixes in. For me it's not the kind of drink I consume quickly. I prefer to sip it steadily, particularly on a hot, summer's day. The sharpness of the lime juice comes through quite quickly, although I wouldn't say it was bitter. I suppose that's where the sugar comes in! I do really like the taste and I find it refreshing, whatever the weather, time of year etc.
I've read earlier reviews of this product. Some suggested that this is an 'adults only' drink. I don't see why this should be, especially if well-diluted. It's true that children may find the taste somewhat sharp, but that doesn't mean they would necessarily dislike it. Surely exposure to as wide a range of flavours as possible will be beneficial in many ways. Others call this product a summer drink. While I think its refreshing qualities are really valuable in hot weather, this is a drink I am happy to consume at any time of year. The sugar content did surprise me, as you can probably tell. If I drank this several times a day I would be having a rethink, but in truth I probably never have more than two glasses a day. It's something I shall keep an eye on, though. Because I dilute it far more than suggested I find it goes a long way. Overall I think the taste is great and I haven't found a comparable product. On one occasion I couldn't find Rose's and bought Tesco's squash instead. I may review that sometime! No, it's Rose's for me and I have to give it 5 stars, even if it is sweeter than I thought. It's up to me to use it wisely.
Thank you for reading my review. It will probably appear on other sites.
© Verbena, January 2013
Summary: A refreshing drink, but keep an eye on those sugar levels.