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Pete's Natural Lemon Chilli is made in New Zealand from lightly carbonated water, freshly squeezed New Zealand lemon juice, organic fair trade raw sugar, white vinegar, New Zealand grown hops and fresh red hot chilli.
Watch out! Pete's Lemon Chilli gets hotter as it matures! For maximum impact, use it close to it's Best Before date.
I forgot that I had requested to try this and when it arrived a few weeks later I immediately recalled the reviews by other members that I had read when I first applied. All made mention of how the drink matures with age and as such gets hotter and hotter. They all stated how theirs was hot and definitely left a burn feeling on the tongue lol I wondered how quick it would mature and as I was receiving some couple months after those initial reviewers did this mean it was going to be super hot already? Lol :)
Soooo, I have teenage boys. Ones whom love to do crazy weird challenges they watch on you tube. I'm a bit of a wuss, so it seemed that encouraging my 16yo to try it first was the best move. And being him he was very willing to try it. He also wanted to eat the chilli, but I said no to this, & I believe he appreciates that now that I wouldn't let him lol
When you open the bottle you are met with a mix of lemony chilli scents but the chilli is definitely the strongest. My son poured himself (just) a nip as he did not want to waste any either. Turns out it's quite hot. It has the potential to cause some burning sensations to those who prefer food and drink with no kick to it lol and if you're not used to hot stuff then having milk nearby is also a good idea. There was some burning, some squealing, a bit of funky dancing and a very amused mum watching it all lol
The bottle is plain and simple. A small size label that allows you to see the chilli floating in the drink. The chilli is possibly what intrigues one the most and makes you want to try it. What do ya do with the chilli once the drink is gone though?
So basically, it's hot. It's tasty. It's not for everyone :) lol
This product was delivered to me while I was at work this morning, and due to a serious accident on the motorway ahead of me, I ended up being stationary and stuck in my car for an extended period of time. Perfect time to try it out. Unfortunately, due to having just received it, the product wasn't freshly chilled as I prefer my drinks, but it has been a rather cold and overcast day, so there was a bit of coolness to the bottle.
The packaging itself looks nice. A clear bottle with a clear label gives it a very clean look, with some cute artwork. The ingredient list is as minimalistic as the packaging, and is comprised of only six items, which is great for those that prefer natural drinks low in sugar. Being in a clear bottle, the floating chilli is immediately obvious, that combined with the illustration of a chilli pepper "bomb" and at least two other cautionary message warning to the presence of chilli, I feel that they have taken all practicable steps to ensure nobody is surprised by the beverage inside.
The concept of a drink that becomes hotter as it matures is an interesting one, but as the product I received is best before October 2017, I don't have the ability to properly test it out (would be nice if they had some already matured drinks available, as no drinks sit in my fridge for more than a week...).
When you open it, the aroma has quite a strength to it. The chilli is the predominant scent. Flavour-wise the chilli takes front and centre stage yet again. While you are pouring the drink into your mouth, you can feel the coolness and refreshing zing of the lemon, which lingers for a little while on the cheeks, but this is overshadowed by the chilli, which immediately warms up the tongue. It almost felt like a burning sensation on the tip of my tongue, and as someone that eats a lot of curries, that's a rare (but enjoyable) thing to encounter. The burning, gradually becomes just a general warming as I get used to the drink, and while it doesn't have much of an effect on my throat, I can certainly feel it in my stomach (feels slightly acidic).
Ignoring the "heat" of the drink, the flavour is quite subtle, which comes back to the minimal list of ingredients. The carbonation is quite mild. Not too bubbly, just providing a slight fizz as it enters the mouth. One warning I do have to give, is not to look into the mouth of the bottle. Not too sure why, but as I was about to take a sip, my chilli pepper burst open, spitting a chilli seed out of the bottle. I'm sure it wouldn't be expected to happen often, but I imagine if that got in my eye it would hurt. A lot. This is not a beverage that I would drink on a daily basis, but something that I would definitely enjoy from time to time. And random idea, but it would be nice if there was some kind of graph or diagram, that had like a minimum/maximum heat over time, so I could gauge when I would want to drink it for optimal heat.
One question remains...what should I do with the chilli once the drink is gone?
I have tried all of the Pete's Natural products so when they released a lemon chilli I had to try it for curiosity more than anything. Once getting a bottle to review it sat in the back of my fridge for a couple of weeks as I wasn't sure if I would like it or not. The time came where I knew I had to drink it as this review had to be written.
I poured the drink into four small glasses so that I could share the experience with my husband and daughters (6.5 and 8 years old). I had not told them what the drink was as I knew the girls would refuse to try it if they knew it had chilli in it. They didn't know what to expect so they all took a chug and then acted like I was trying to poison them. I tried hard not to laugh at their reaction.
This was much hotter than I expected. I had been warned that it gets hotter the closer to the best before it gets. My bottle had 14 months to go so wasn't at full potency. I think that would have been too much for me. I found that if I sipped it slowly the chilli flavour was more dominant. It I drank it as I normally would a lemonade I could taste more of the lemon. I happily emptied everyone else's glasses for them. I found my lips were still tingling half an hour after I had finished but I wasn't uncomfortable.
When I buy it again it will either be for me to enjoy for myself or to prank some other unsuspecting victim who thinks they are getting a glass of lemonade. The challenge will be for someone to eat the chilli. I wasn't brave enough to try it but suspect it would be different to a regular chilli as it had been marinating in the lemonade.
When Pete's Natural sodas released the Lemon Chili flavour, I was intrigued. I decided that I would have to get my hands on a bottle. My husband loves hot chili sauces so I figured that he might enjoy this drink as well.
I brought the bottle out to show him when he got home. He said "that looks dangerous". I had to agree. When I saw a photo of the bottle I didn't realise that there was a real chili in the mix with the soda drink. We popped open the bottle and each had a shot glass of the soda neat I'm not sure how long the chili had been sitting in the soda liquid but the drink was like fire water.
The smell of it was like capsicum at first, there was a slight hint of citrus but mostly it burnt. My husband didn't think it was as hot as I thought it was, but he has a better resistance to chili heat. In fact, he fished out the chili from the bottle and decided to eat some on its own. He thought it was quite tasty but definitely hot.
I made up some cocktails with some of the drink. I used some soda water, lemon juice, vodka, ice and the Lemon Chili drink. It was nice, though the heat was definitely a stand out feature. For the rest of it I used it in a meal. I added two tablespoons of it in a stir fry instead of sweet chili and then added honey and soy sauce as well. It gave the meal a good kick!
This drink was a bit on the hot side for me. It would be an excellent addition for cocktails though and it was quite good in our stir fry meal. I also thought it would be great at a fear factor party or as a challenge among friends. If you really like chili and you were looking for something a bit different to drink at a BBQ this could be your thing. Or you could pour it onto your meat as you BBQ it.
I came across a Pete's Natural stand at the Christchurch Women's Expo last year and absolutely loved the drinks I got from them. When I saw the lemon chilli drink come up as a sample I just had to request it! I'm all for trying things that are a little out the ordinary.
I am someone who can't handle a lot of chilli - I often go no more than a medium when ordering spicy foods as otherwise I just can't enjoy them. I was a little hesitant when I noticed the bottle had a caution on it - making me aware that it was going to be hot! Seeing a whole chilli floating in it was quite novel, but also reminded me that it was going to be quite a hot drink. I poured a small amount into a glass, and had a big glass of water on standby to chase it with. I was, however, quite surprised. Yes it certainly does have a kick - probably just above my limits but not too far that it made me uncomfortable. The kick came and it was soon followed by quite a nice after taste. Avoiding the water straight after I enjoyed this after taste for some time before having another sip. Lemon and chilli go amazingly well together, and Pete's Natural have got the balance of flavours just right. However I do notice that it says it will get hotter as it matures, so I wouldn't want to leave the chilli in it for too long!
You certainly don't need to drink much of this to enjoy the flavour. In fact, a few sips over a period of time would be quite nice! For this reason the one bottle would last for some time. I do wonder also what other drinks this could be mixed with - this will be my next challenge! I'm sure it will add a nice amount of heat to some otherwise boring drinks!
Well, this drink certainly has it all. Strong flavour, refreshing aftertaste, and that little je-ne-sais-quoi that practically blows your socks off if you are not expecting it. But after a couple of trial runs I had it sorted and so did my friends (well, let's face it, they were pre-warned...) The trick is to hold your breath when you take the first sip. It appears that the capsaicin affects your nose rather than your mouth, and it sends you into a coughing fit. But once the liquid is safely in your mouth, and not being inhaled on the way, it is all good.
Undiluted, it is still a little too hot for me. I managed a sip but, even when I thought of it as a strong liqueur, I could not manage more than 10 ml in one go, and neither could my companions. But once it is mixed with other ingredients, it is only delicious. I tried it with vodka and also with plain soda water. Both variations were highly palatable, resulting in a drink that packed a punch but stopped short of being too hot. I also tried it half-and-half with a cola drink, and that was something else: it spiced up the cola without adding unnecessary heat.
One of my friends steadfastly refused to try it, even when it was diluted with vodka and she was reminded to hold her breath while she took the first mouthful. But the other two were more daring and, like me, they found they really liked it. I was also impressed by the keeping properties: five days after the bottle was first opened, the contents are still perfectly fresh. Of course, having a bottle with a screw top helps to maintain freshness.
As a PS, the friend who refused to so much as try it offered to buy the empty bottle from me after the contents were all gone. She thought it would go nicely with her bottle collection. I asked how much she was willing to pay for it - she said she was not sure - whereupon I said it was not for sale. (I like it too much myself. In fact, I LOVE the bottle!) And finally - I fished the chili out when I first opened the drink and it is sitting in the fridge waiting to be included in some chili con carne next week!
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