Maybe it was because I was feeling a little tired, or perhaps because it was so dark and miserable outside on Friday, that I decided to give it a try.
Taj presented me with an initial challenge of getting into the bottle! My grip's not bad, but I really struggled to open the twist cap and had to resort to running a knife around the band to be able to open it! When I tipped up the bottle, it looks like the whole unit is vacuum-sealed for preservation purposes as there were no air bubbles in the bottle - I'm assuming this is what made it quite tricky to get into.
The ingredients list is surprisingly short, with aloe juice being the predominant ingredient and strawberry juice being the third on the list. I was interested to see the drink is sweetened with Stevia, a plant-based, zero-calorie sweetener which has been used in Paraguay and Brazil for centuries, however still a sweetener and therefore something I would usually steer clear of (in favour of drinking less of a natural sugar-sweetened product). Upon opening, you can immediately smell the strawberry, which although a little strong, wasn't unpleasant. I poured just under half the bottle into a glass for a closer look :)
Upon pouring, I could see the pieces of aloe pulp in the drink - you can just about make them out in the picture.
My first impression on drinking, was how sweet it is! As I've been eating fewer sweet products recently, this really hit me to the extent that I had to water the drink down a little. The flavour is surprisingly natural with no real aftertaste, which I did find quite surprising as I remember drinking straight aloe vera juice when I was younger and I found it repulsive! The pieces of aloe pulp are a little like chunks of fruit jelly and quite nice, although they did seem to sink to the bottom once I'd diluted the drink a little.
As Britain's leading ethnic food's brand, Taj foods are probably unfamiliar to many UK shoppers, so it would be interesting to see if their Aloe Vera Drink takes them a little more mainstream.
Although possibly not something I'd drink on a regular basis, if you are on a low/restricted calorie or carbohydrate diet, it could be well-worth considering Taj's Aloe Vera Juice Drink as a more natural alternative to traditional 'diet' soft drinks which tend to use artificial sweeteners.
I've got the Original flavour still in the fridge, so will be interesting to see how it compares.
Please note that I was sent Taj Foods Aloe Vera Juice Drink in Strawberry and Original flavours, for review purposes. All opinions are my own.
Further information can be found at the following:
TAJ Foods - http://www.tajfoods.com/
Aloe vera drinks - http://www.tajfoods.com/index.php?p=catalog&parent=30&pg=1