“ Fruit Juice „
COST: 18p for 1 litre
DESCRIPTION: Lemon squash with 5% fruit juice
NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION (per 250ml glass):
DIETARY & ALLERGY INFORMATION: Contains sulphites, suitable for vegetarians and vegans, contains a source of phenylalanine
Sainsbury's "Basics" Lemon Squash comes in a clear ridged plastic bottle, with a white sealed screw-top. There is a white label stuck around the middle of the bottle. On the front of the label at the top, is the usual "Sainsbury's Basics" logo which is an orange background with white lettering. Two green circles appear underneath, and in white writing inside of them are the words "Only natural colours & flavours" on one, and the other contains very basic nutritional information. Then follows an image of a dripping tap, and the words "Lemon Squash, Contains 5% fruit" - all in orange - and at the bottom is a small square with a green circle inside containing a white letter "V", and in black, the words "vegetarian & vegan".
The back of the label is identical to the front. On one side of the bottle are the storage and use instructions, together with (in white lettering on green rectangles) recycling information. The other side contains the full nutritional information, Sainsbury's disclaimer regarding how the drink is sweetened, allergy advice, ingredients, and at the bottom, a red speech balloon containing the words "Try me!" in white lettering, and to the right of that is instructions on how to complain and get a refund if you find the product unsatisfactory.
Realising that I have to economise even more than I have been doing lately, I decided that another cutback I must make is in the area of the drinks that I buy. I don't drink tea...and though I am a coffee-lover I limit myself to one mug per day...and most of my fluid intake is in the form of fruit squash. The "quality" brands of fruit squash are now leaping upwards out of my price range, so I thought I'd give the Sainsbury's "Basics" brand a try. I was rather dubious, as fruit squash is something I'm very fussy about, but nothing ventured, nothing gained, and the last time I was in Sainsburys a bottle of their "Basics" lemon squash found its way into my trolley.
Once home, "test time" began. I unscrewed the bottle and sniffed the contents....there was no lemony smell at all, but appearance-wise, the squash looks exactly the same as any other brand. I make up my fruit squash drinks much weaker than most other people do, as I find it too sweet if I stick to the manufacturers' recommendations as to what a single serving should be - I'd say a single serving for me is around half of what it is for other people.
I poured a little of the squash into a glass and diluted it with water, and noticed there were no tiny particles of lemon floating around in it - but, to me that's not the important part - I'm almost solely into how something tastes, regardless of its appearance. As I raised the glass to my lips, I noticed a slightly "candified" smell, not dissimilar to that of the sweetshops of my childhood. I took a mouthful, swallowed, waited a few moments, then took another.
Verdict: The resemblance between Sainsbury's Basics Lemon Squash and that of the higher quality brands is virtually nil. The drink is almost devoid of any lemon flavour, but it doesn't have that sharp, sherbet taste that some other bottom of the range brands have. Though nothing like real lemon squash, I found this squash to have a pleasant flavour which isn't too sweet. I can't liken the taste of it to anything else, as it has a flavour all of its own that is indescribable. I finished the glass of drink, and was pleased that there was no unpleasant after-taste, so the remainder of the bottle I'd just opened didn't find its way to the rubbish bin until it was empty.
All in all, this is a nice, pleasant drink with no horrible saccharin flavour - though I suspect (and I haven't tested this theory out) that for someone who prefers their squash made up stronger than me, it may become unpleasant in the area of sweetness. All the same though, for 18p a bottle - which is from 70p to 90p cheaper than all other squashes of better quality - you can't expect true perfection.
Sainsbury's Basics Lemon Squash doesn't get the full star rating from me, as it certainly isn't by any means superior, but it's not disgusting either, and I shall certainly be buying it again.
Thanks for reading!