So Much Juice
We weren't expecting texture, but Foco Dragon Fruit juice has little fruit bits and seeds floating around it in. The flavor reminded us of kiwi, with a hint of toastiness and tons of floral sweetness.
Foco Mangosteen juice is super fragrant (“I would wear this as a perfume,” said one taster.) It’s soft and sweet, with hints of poached pear and delicate floral notes. You’ve gotta be up for something viscous—this is like the syrup that fruits are canned in.
We really liked Foco Roasted Coconut Juice which is sweet but refreshing, and slightly nutty The little blobby flecks floating inside are just slightly chewy.
We expected the Foco Tamarind juice to be tart, but this one tastes a bit more like Southern sweet tea, with earthy apricot and cider-like notes, and just a little undercurrent of the sourness we like in tamarind. Tasty, but sweeeeet!
Gina Guyabano nectar is thick and sweet (like a blend of white peaches and lychee) but not overpowering. This could work in a cocktail quite nicely; it’s a little heavy on its own.
We liked the Apple Sidra, which is somewhere between apple cider and cream soda, with hints of caramel and apple Jolly Rancher. It's sweet and pretty straightforward in its apple flavor, but it's pleasantly well-carbonated.
For some reason, we expected the Wasont Apple vinegar drink to be carbonated, but it’s not. On the nose, you’ll smell cidery vinegar, but the flavor is light, tart, and sweet. There’s a little burn on the back of your throat after you swallow, but the drink is nicely balanced (if a tiny bit too sweet to be refreshing.)
Foco Aloe Vera Drinks
The muscat-flavored version is a bit more floral than your standard white grape juice. There are tons of little fleshy bits of aloe floating around in each can, you're likely to get a mouthful with every sip.
The mixed berry version is clear (with aloe bits) and very, very sweet. If gummy fruit candies had been sitting out in the sun and then melted in a cup, this is more or less what it would taste like.
Sugar Cane Drinks
The earthy, nutty flavor of the hazy Foco Sugar Cane Juice reminded us a little of canned sweet corn.
While the Foco is cloudy and skin-colored, the Yeo’s Sugar Cane drink is clear and electric green. Whoa! The flavor is mild, slightly grassy, and sweet, with some of the same sweet corn flavors we tasted in the Foco version. This one’s a little more drinkable.
Mong Lee Shang Pearl Soybean Drinks with Tapioca
While the original flavor tastes like sweetened, watery soy milk, it manages to avoid being cloying or off-putting. It was surprisingly good thanks to the strong nutty, almondy flavor, but should be served super-cold. The boba in all of these drinks were squishy and stuck to the bottom of the can. A straw is required.
The strawberry flavor is pretty artificial and seriously sweet, and reminded us of Calpis yogurt drink (or Strawberry Nestle Quick.)
The mung bean flavor was our favorite. The grassy flavor of the mung beans pairs nicely with the soy's nuttiness.
Wax Gourd Drinks
Chin Chin's Wax Gourd drink is a little nutty and buttery. Is there something winter-melony about it? Honestly, not much. But it's an interesting sipper.
Yeo's White Gourd Drink was a bit more flavorful, with a similar nutty character, a bit like buttery Cracker Jacks. We preferred this one, and imagine it would be great with a bunch of shaved ice in it.
Grass Jelly Drinks
Chin Chin brand Grass Jelly Drink with Pandan is syrupy sweet with the smoky, grassy flavor of pandan. If you like weird jelly bits floating in your syrup, then this is the drink for you.
The Mong Lee version has the same grass jelly lumps, but the flavor is far inferior, with the fusty aroma of an old attic. A very very sweet old attic, that is.
Nata de Coco Mango Juice
The Chin Chin version isn’t as opaquely orange as we expected, and not as juicy or heavy either. It tastes a bit like sweet mango tea, with gelled nata de coco floating around in it.
The Mong Lee Shang version was more intensely mango flavored, but also more syrupy sweet.
The can of Sun Tropics Calamansi Lime says it's not from concentrate. It's nearly clear light orange color, delicately tart with a little mandarin-orange like flavor. It tastes a bit like Capri Sun.
We preferred the Gina Calamansi Juice drink, which is cloudier and a little more tart, with a nice balance of orange and lime flavors. We were reminded of limeade mixed with pineapple juice, and we bet it would be good with seltzer to cut the sweetness.
Foco Bird's Nest Artificial White Fungus
Super sweet, a little nutty, but the texture is mucous—gloppy and viscous. Visually, it's not very appealing—it's clear, with little white bits floating around in it, which I assume are the "Artificial White Fungus" it's flavored with. Though one taster said, "I'm not sure that I'd like it even if it was made with '100% All-Natural White Fungus.'"
Basil Seed Drink
The Chin Chin Sterchlia with basil seed pours purple-black with lots of little floating bits. Not everyone is a fan of banana-flavored beverages, but if you are, this one's kind of fun, though it's super-sweet.