When it comes to energy drinks, coffee will always be king. But that hasn’t stopped dozens of companies from entering the growing market of super-caffeinated formulas that now range from shots to tallboys to inhalers. Mtn Dew (sorry, still want to call it Mountain Dew), whose flagship drink is already known as being a little more jacked up than the competition, is the latest to enter the mix with Mtn Dew Kickstart.
Parent company Pepsi is throwing so much weight behind the product that the press kit included an iPod shuffle, a pair of Beats by Dre headphones and Spy sunglasses—with no explanation. I claimed none of the swag so I could review the new beverages without the pressure of bribery. Just wanted to let you all to know that the economy is apparently back on track.
I’ll also preface this review by saying that I find most energy drinks syrupy and metallic and wouldn’t down a Redbull and Vodka if I was falling asleep on a dancefloor.
We’ll start with the Fruit Punch, which is a little like carbonated Kool-Aid. Very sugary (sorry, high fructose corn syrupy), though the 5% fruit juice, grape, thankfully comes through fairly strong. It doesn’t have that bitter metallic edge that many similar drinks can’t seem to escape. It got a good response from the rest of the office, who appreciated the morning pick-me-up, calling it “refreshing” and “effervescent.”
The Orange Citrus is my favorite of the pair, though, and one of the first energy drinks I actually enjoy. Despite its name, white grapes make up most of the 5% fruit juice, along with some concentrated OJ. It’s got a hint of Emergen-C but goes down much easier. You can taste the Vitamin C—something both drinks boast 100% of your recommended daily allowance, along with 80% of the required Niacin and B6.
Altogether not a bad way to get a jolt of energy if you don’t mind the 20g of sugar which make up almost all the 80 calories per 16 oz. can (still less than half that of drinks like Pepsi and Coke). And 92mg of caffeine means I don’t need to go track down a coffee this morning.