Energy drinks aren't for everyone, we know. However, in recent years, some energy drink brands have made serious efforts to capture the attention of more caffeine lovers through aesthetic marketing and delicious flavors. Red Bull just isn't everyone's vibe, you know? That's where Alani Nu found its niche in the market. The vibrant colors, exciting flavors like Hawaiian Shaved Ice and Mimosa, and young-adult-appealing marketing by partnering with beloved influencers like Claudia Walsh have brought this brand so much success.
But style isn't everything. How does this brand shape up in terms of actual quality, and are the drinks really any good? We decided to try all the flavors (yes, all) out for ourselves to see if this hyped-up energy drink company was, well, worth the hype. It's worth noting that Alani Nu does offer other non-energy drink products, like protein shakes, but we honed in on just the 13 energy drinks currently available from the brand for this article (including the spooky season limited edition flavor, Witch's Brew). We based our ranking of these flavors mainly on taste but also on packaging and overall appeal. Let's get moving.
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Ranking the flavors from worst to best, sadly, the flavor we decided on for last place is Blue Slush. We'll let you know right now that we're not typically fans of berry-flavored items, like blue raspberry or blue slushies, but bias wasn't the reasoning for the ranking here. In fact, some unexpected flavors made their way higher up on the list than we would've expected, so it's not about disliking blueberry here.
Rather, we found the Blue Slush flavor to taste extremely chemically and cough medicine-adjacent. We wanted to like this flavor; we really did. It just missed the mark for us on both flavor and packaging, which was pretty lackluster compared to some of the other more exciting flavors featuring bold colors and beautiful designs. Perhaps Alani Nu will re-do the branding on some of these more standard designs in the future. But for now, Blue Slush comes in last purely because we couldn't imagine anyone liking it, especially since there were a few other berry flavors that were lightyears ahead of this one in terms of flavor.
Also at the bottom of the ranking but not getting quite last place was, sadly, Cosmic Stardust. We thoroughly enjoyed the packaging on this one, plus the name is just delightful. Cosmic Stardust sounds like a dreamy beverage you'd enjoy on the way to the gym. Unfortunately, the flavor did not at all match the expected vibes. Cosmic Stardust is a combination of grape and other mild berry flavors, but you don't get much of a fruity flavor from it.
Rather, it tastes a bit like grape soda or grape medicine (we promise the cough medicine comparisons will stop soon; it's just a very accurate way to describe some of these bottom-ranking flavors). It's quite sweet while being bitter, and we think if it had more of a pure grape flavor without being sickly, it would've ranked higher. But, sadly, it did not. The only reason this one got a higher ranking than Blue Slush was that we could stomach a few more sips of it than we could for Blue Slush.
While this flavor isn't around year-round, we were lucky enough to snag one to try out. Witch's Brew is Alani Nu's autumn/Halloween/spooky season seasonal flavor, and the packaging is some of the best we've seen on any of its products. It perfectly encapsulates what we'd think a witch's brew would be, featuring a cauldron, crystals, crescent moon doodles, and purple snakes, among other fun decorative motifs. The purple color of the can is so festive, and the can makes it very obvious that this is a seasonal flavor. But what is the actual flavor, you ask? It's none other than caramel apple.
We think caramel apple was a super smart choice for this flavor, as we've found that all of the Alani Nu energy drinks are inspired by at least one fruit. Since there's not currently an apple flavor on the roster, this seasonal drink was the perfect time to test it out. We ranked this flavor on the lower end because we couldn't decide if we loved it or hated it. For the first few sips, we were enamored. It tasted exactly like a carbonated caramel apple. But then, during the second half of the can, our tastebuds got pretty sick of the flavor and found it to be too sweet. If caramel apples are your favorite dessert, then you'll love this. But if you're not caramel's No. 1 fan, we suggest splitting this flavor with a friend to try.
Breezeberry shocked us in the best way possible. As we mentioned earlier, we were initially hesitant about the berry flavors of these energy drinks, as past experiences with berry-flavored beverages had us thinking they were too tart and sugary, bordering on inedible. But the Breezeberry Alani Nu flavor was so much fun. We enjoyed drinking it and didn't want to stop halfway through, like some of the other flavors.
We think this flavor would be beloved by a lot of people, and it's not too isolating in terms of flavor. The packaging is top-tier, too. Pretty blue coral snakes around the bottom of the can, and blue raspberries decorate the rest of the blue-background drink. Was it our favorite flavor? No. But it did impress us enough to snag a spot in the top 10. If you're a fan of "blue-flavored" treats and drinks, you should go for this option rather than Blue Slush or Cosmic Stardust.
If you took a 7-Eleven cherry slushie, gave it a blast of fizz, and turned it into an energy drink, you would get the Cherry Slush Alani Nu energy drink. Let's get things straight before we jump into this flavor: We are big fans of the cherry slushie. It's a perfect summertime treat and a brain freeze you always look forward to. In energy drink form, however, we had some qualms with it.
Alani Nu absolutely nailed the cherry slushie flavor. If you took this drink and added ice, then blended it (note: Don't do this, as it's carbonated, and your blender will probably overflow), the result would be a classic cherry slushie. But without the ice to water things down a bit, we found the flavor to be way too sugary and sweet. The first few sips were a great time, but after that, it was so sickly sweet that we couldn't imagine ever re-buying the flavor. It's like you're drinking the cherry slushie syrup directly from the machine. It's just, unfortunately, way too much. If Alani Nu ever alters its recipe for this flavor to tone it down just a little bit, we would jump on trying it again, as it has so much potential. It was just too syrupy for us. But it was more edible than the previous flavors, landing it more in the middle of the pack.
Hawaiian Shaved Ice
Hawaiian Shaved Ice is in a similar spot to Cherry Slush. While the packaging is less intriguing than Cherry Slush, featuring a white background with pink strawberries and shaved ice cones, the flavor concept feels similar. It's just as syrupy as the Cherry Slush, just focusing on a strawberry flavor instead of cherry. The reason we ranked this one higher than Cherry Slush was that we could definitely drink more of it than the other comparable flavor.
We enjoyed the taste of Hawaiian Shaved Ice immensely and could get to almost the bottom of the can before getting sick of syrupy vibes, rather than just the first few sips, like Cherry Slush. It's a fun flavor, and you're likely to enjoy it, but we just wished it was a bit more watered down so we could fully enjoy it. After all, the concept is there; it's just the execution of both the packaging and flavor intensity that needs a little adjusting.
The newest energy drink flavor from Alani Nu, Kiwi Guava, has been promoted all over the brand's socials. The packaging on this can is some of our favorite yet, and we think it's intensely creative. Two hot air balloons are featured on the front; only the balloons are a kiwi and a guava fruit, cleverly incorporating the two main flavors into the design. The color palette of blue, pink, and green is bright and summery, as is the actual flavor of the drink. The design couples perfectly with the beverage, making it what you want to be holding on a hot summer day.
As far as taste goes, Kiwi Guava was not bad. If you're kiwi's biggest supporter, you're going to love this. If you were expecting guava to take the lead in flavors, you'd be disappointed. The kiwi definitely overpowers the guava, but we weren't mad about it. The balance of flavors was delicious, and we thought it was a tasty drink. It didn't blow us away as some of the top flavors in this ranking did, but we had no complaints, either, landing it in the upper middle of the group.
Not quite breaking the top five, Watermelon Wave is a pretty straightforward flavor -- though it shouldn't be. According to Alani Nu, there are hints of orange, cherry, and grape in here, along with, of course, watermelon. But when you take a sip of this energy drink, 99% of what we tasted was watermelon. We weren't mad about that, of course. We'll happily drink this flavor over all the other ones ranked lower. The fact that the watermelon flavor comes across without being sickly sweet like Cherry Slush and Hawaiian Shaved Ice is a huge plus – you can drink it before a run without feeling like your tastebuds just had dessert beforehand.
The flavor was a bit basic (though enjoyable), and so, sadly, was the design. It's that same basic white background with the various fruits whose flavors feature in the drink collaged on the white background, and we're a bit bored with that packaging. If you lined up the flavors with the same white background design style on them, they all look the same. Because neither the flavor nor the packaging wowed us, Watermelon Wave got sixth place.
The Tropsicle Alani Nu energy drink flavor came in fifth place, making it one of our favorites. This flavor is a repeat buy for us, and we enjoy it no matter the season. The Tropsicle flavor features pineapple slices and an orange popsicle on the front of the can. The flavor is really what lands this product in the top five – it's just plain delicious. We found that the pineapple flavor is what comes through more than anything, though the slight citrus burst does make a small appearance that's appreciated and breaks things up a bit.
We wish the packaging matched up to the hype we're giving the flavor, but sadly, it's one of the basic white background ones. What we enjoy about this flavor is that you can taste the tang of the pineapple and citrus, but it's not so sickly sweet that you can barely sip it. If you're looking to play things safe, try Tropsicle.
Don't worry -- there's not actually Champagne or Prosecco in this energy drink. That would be potentially problematic health-wise. Rather, the flavor does taste like a mimosa in that you can taste the light orange notes, plus you get the fun bubbles everyone loves in a mimosa. And it doesn't taste alcoholic, thankfully. It's just the best parts of a mimosa mixed with the benefits of an energy drink, which we call a win-win in our book. It's not so overpoweringly orange that you can't stomach it; in fact, it's just the right amount.
Again, like Tropsicle, we think Mimosa would've ranked a bit higher if the packaging was more whimsical. But, also like Tropsicle, it sadly features that tired white background we've seen on a few others. Mimosa deserves a makeover to match its deliciousness, but in the meantime, we will keep sipping on it for those mornings when we need energy rather than a real mimosa.
Juicy Peach, while we understand the pun and respect the pun, is actually our third favorite flavor of the bunch. It has all the refreshingness of Mimosa and Tropsicle, plus a very engaging and pretty design. You'll never have to question what flavor you're drinking when holding this can, as cute doodles of cartoon peaches create an endearing pattern on a light blue background. And the bubble font used on the word "peach" on the can just adds to the overall effect even more.
Something to note is that we don't think you even need to be head over heels for the peach flavor to enjoy this energy drink -- the carbonated factor mellows out the peachiness a bit, making it refreshing and memorable without slamming your tastebuds with too much flavor. We love the Juicy Peach flavor, and the only reason it didn't rank higher was because our top two flavors are simply unbeatable.
Another smart business partnership, Alani Nu teamed up with Kim Kardashian to make a new flavor appropriately called Kimade, and, outside of the celebrity wow factor of it all, we genuinely love everything about this flavor. First, taking a look at the packaging, the color is a gorgeous pastel pinkish lilac color that immediately stands out from the rest of the energy drink section. Second, that same bubble font was used on the front, and the design was completely different from the rest of Alani Nu's doodle-esque fruits scattered over its cans. Instead, the word Kimade is written horizontally on the front of the can, and the bottom simply says "By Kim K" because, of course, you already know who that is. It stands out in all the best ways.
It also stands out in terms of flavor. The strawberry lemonade-esque Kimade is genuinely one of the best energy drinks we've ever tried. Heck, it's probably one of the best sparkling drinks we've ever tried, period. It's light, flavorful, refreshing, and so memorable that we've found ourselves checking the energy drink section at every grocery store we go to see if it's there. We hope Alani Nu keeps bringing this flavor back in the future.
We've finally reached the very best flavor of them all -- Dream Float. This drink is an absolute dream, and the pun is intended. The first time we ever had a sip of Dream Float, we couldn't believe what we were tasting. This flavor genuinely tastes like an orange creamsicle float, and not in an artificial way at all. We're honestly hesitant to hype it up this much for fear that more people will go out and buy it, and we won't be able to get it anymore. But, alas, we're not gatekeepers around here, so we'll share the magic of Dream Float with you.
This is the absolute ideal Alani Nu flavor, from the packaging to the name to the flavor combination. The can design is as dreamy as the name, showcasing a cut-open orange in a glittery cloud bed, surrounded by mini ice cream cones and popsicles. We love this flavor more than we can put into words, and if we could drink it every day, we would.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.