The Fanta Challenge.

Unlike most other countries where carbonated orange drinks actually taste something like an orange (Orangina, Tango, Sunkist, etc.), ours look orange but taste absolutely nothing like it. And somehow – likely the liberal amounts of sugar – they’re actually better.

So of our superior fizzies, which one’s the best?

We tried them all to find out.

The Contenders

The contenders were MyOrange, Elephant House’s Orange Barley and Orange Crush, Pepsi’s Mirinda and Coca-Cola’s Fanta. These drinks – except Orange Barley – are all unashamedly artificial in their tangerine tint and go along pretty similar lines of flavour.

MyOrange

We didn’t like this at all. It cost Rs. 60 for a 300ml plastic bottle, which is fine, but the drink is awful – both smelling and tasting like medicine. The orange flavouring was too concentrated, like an overbearing Vitamin C, and it wasn’t nearly as carbonated as it should be. Too chemical-tasting; don’t get this.

Mirinda

This tasted spicy and weird. Which was strange, because we’ve had Mirinda before and it’s been fine. But this Mirinda was decidedly bad. There was a strong aftertaste and it tasted bitter and off. Turns out this is because it was off – the bottle (Rs. 85 for 500ml) purchased from the government Co-Op City down the road had expired. We thought these drinks were designed to survive the apocalypse? How could it taste so bad so soon?

A non-expired Mirinda, however, is fine. It’s got a nice tangy hit and comes the closest to Fanta in terms of taste.

Orange Barley

We loved this. It doesn’t quite belong in the group of orange fizzies, because although it has the name orange, it isn’t really an orange drink at all. It’s really delicious and quite classy – something like a cross between Fanta and Ginger Ale, with notes of Cream Soda. Melted candyesque. It’s a lovely deep shade of champagne and would make a novel mixer . Costs Rs. 190 for 1.5L.

Why not pour into a champagne flute and add a dash of white wine?

Orange Crush

We have differing views on this one. Indi insists the drink is cloying, limp on the tounge and smells like fish. I disagree – it’s like a normal, oversweet Sri Lankan beverage. But like the MyOrange, it also lacks fizz. It’s okay, really not as bad as Indi makes out, but not amazing either. A 400ml bottle cost Rs. 39.

Fanta

Fanta’s the most widely available of the orange fizzies, and a good thing too, because it’s the clear winner. It’s nicely carbonated and tastes like gummy bears. Delicious. The Sri Lankan Fanta is very different from those you get elsewhere, like the UK Fanta which is yellow and actually tastes closer to an orange. But ours is better and we love it. Costs Rs. 27 for 175ml.

Prices

Orange Crush had the highest value while Fanta was the most expensive. Note that these numbers are skewed because we bought different sizes. The Fanta was a tiny bottle and the Orange Barley was huge. But this gives you a sense.

Value (Price/ml) Price ml
Orange Crush 0.10 39 400
Orange Barley 0.13 190 1500
My Orange 0.15 27 175
Mirinda 0.17 85 500
Fanta 0.20 60 300

The Conclusion

1. Fanta
2. Orange Barley
3. Mirinda
4. Orange Crush
5. MyOrange

 

Fanta is still the best. It’s the classic – comforting and somehow normal, and it’s redefined what the colour orange tastes like. Mirinda’s also quite good but if you want something a little different and more unique try the Orange Barley. It’s a completely different sort of taste.

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