Aji WOW: Blood Orangina
Aji WOW is my series of unusual Japanese food/drink reviews. 'Aji' (味) means 'flavour', and the name's also a pun on 'ajiwau' (味わう) - 'to enjoy the taste of'.
This time: Blood Orangina.
Alright, yes, this is a drink again and not a food.
Blood Orangina is apparently a 'PREMIUM' drink. Lots of gold accents and sparkly bits to make the point. No word on if it's a limited edition. Couldn't find the kanji for 'limited edition' on the bottle, anyway.
It proudly says on the front:
Born in France
Bottled in Japan
Along with a little French flag to push the point. Also because we're in Japan, and need the visual cue for people who aren't so great at English.
When you look on the back, this Japanese text explains that the blood oranges are from...
Now, I didn't do geography at GCSE level. I have a terrible memory for directions. I've often come out of a shop or restaurant with no idea whether I turned left or right when I went in.
What I do know - and also Googled to confirm - is that Sicily is... part of Italy. Which I can only point to on a map because it's conveniently shaped like a leg.
So here we have a French drink, made with Italian fruit, fresh off a Japanese production line.
This is a drink in the midst of an identity crisis.
And it doesn't end there. The bottle also sheepishly admits, near the bottom, that this is a blend of blood orange, orange, grapefruit and lemon juices. And it clocks in at 12% real fruit juice. So it's hard to call this Blood Orangina at all.
I admit Blood Orangrapelemongina isn't as catchy. (Side note: you can get Lemongina here!)
When I used to drink bog standard Orangina back home, it always had to be shaken well before opening. Y'know, to get the real orange bits to float around instead of languishing at the bottom. I instinctively gave my Blood Orangina a good shake.
Oh heck, it's fizzy. The taste test had to be put off by 20 minutes while I anxiously waited for the bubbles to die down.
The resulting flavour is weird. I was expecting a burst of sweet fruitiness, because it has the same colouring as Fruit Twist Fanta. It doesn't taste particularly like any one fruit. You couldn't pick any of the listed fruit ingredients out in a police line-up if you tried.
It's not bad, but it's not good. I don't have any urge to drink it again. Would if thirsty. Maybe.
Verdict: 5/10. A drink that doesn't know what to be. As the bottle says, it's horonigai (ほろにがい) - bittersweet.