I’ve been searching for alternatives to regular soda, so I picked up a bottle of CasCal Ripe Rouge, one of 5 available flavors. They only had 3 available at the time of purchase.
CasCal is made with fermented juices and fermented malt. Its marked as have a “grown-up” taste, while being caffeine-free and alcohol-free.
I figured since I’ve enjoyed a number of fermented beverages before, albeit alcoholic ones, that I might enjoy fermented juice soda too.
This drink is marketed basically like a wine, except without the alcohol. As you can see in the graphic above from the CasCal website, the flavor I tried has “Notes of Cherry, Chocolate, and Rose” and “pairs well with asiago cheese, grilled beef, and chocolate.”
I have to admit that I was skeptical that a juice made from fermented apple juice and lemon juice could taste like cherry, chocolate, and rose. But after the first few sips of this rather dry beverage the cherry and chocolate notes became prominent.
With no added sugars, the drink was sweet enough from the 38% juice, and of course healthier that way. I seem to recall other juices being ingredients in this particular flavor, but the website doesn’t seem to mention them, which is odd.
The drink does partially live up to the “grown-up taste” moniker given to it because its not too sweet and the fermented barley malt does give it a beer-like texture. The part that’s missing is that its not grown-up enough to actually contain alcohol, which is what I missed from a drink trying this hard to get “grown-up” attention.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a healthy, alcohol-alternative drink, this might be the drink for you.
I give it 3 out of 5 bottles.