Boylan's Grapefruit Citrus ZingWe’re mashing on Boylan’s Mash. Photography by Corey Lugg | THE NIBBLE.


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June 2009

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Beverages

Boylan’s Mash

A New Line Of Soft Drinks From An Old Drink Concept



CAPSULE REPORT: What’s mash? No, it’s not something made in a still. According to Boylan’s, one of our favorite brands of all-natural soda (and a NIBBLE Top Pick Of The Week), mash is not a soda, it’s not a sparkling juice, it’s not a fizzy water. It has attributes borrowed from sparkling juice, and it’s sweetened with sucralose. You may just develop a mash (crush). The line is certified kosher.


In brewing and distilling, the mix of milled grain and water create the wort. In beer-making, the hops are added to the wort, the wort goes into the fermentation tank where carbon dioxide is created and it transforms into beer. In distilling, the wort is fermented into alcohol. In soft drinks, a mash is made from fruit—mashed, of course, and mixed with carbonated water. Read enough old literature, and you’ll find characters enjoying a fizzy orange mash at the drugstore.

But everything old is new again. Boylan’s calls its mash a “natural fruit essence, low calorie water drink.” This is a bit of marketing mumbo-jumbo that we could do without: What’s a water drink? There’s pure water, flavored water, flavored sweetened water, and then there are other beverages that have a lot of water content (soft drinks, tea, coffee, juice). If you buy a “water drink” are you getting flavored water? Nope: It’s more like a watered-down (in the good, “light” sense), juice-inspired drink. In these calorie- and sugar-conscious times, it just may be what people are looking for.

Start with the bottle, since packaging is such a purchase driver. Boylan’s has created a notice-me! custom bottle. The modern design has a lively label, a nifty berry seed pattern at the top and an overall persona that looks like a friendly Star Wars critter. Although the company says it conceived Mash with “everyone in mind, taking all that’s good from a number of well-liked beverages,” the bottle requires a man-size grip. It may be a water drink, but it’s for big people with big thirsts.


There are four fruity flavors that employ 1% to 2% juice, sweetened with a touch of sugar and sucralose (Splenda), which means the whopping 20-ounce bottle has only 100 calories (or, 40 calories per 8-ounce serving). It’s a fizzy thirst-quencher—more watery than a sparkling juice than Fizzy Lizzy, but with two-note flavors that demand attention. We liked them all, although each taster had her preference.

Grapefruit Citrus Zing

  • The moment you open the bottle, you’re hit with the clean, unmistakable aroma of pink grapefruit with no tartness on the palate. It’s soft, feminine and lovely, even if it weren’t pale pink.

Lemon Peel Ginger Root

  • Our favorite of the bunch, the tart bitterness of the lemon peel and mild spike of the ginger marry beautifully to produce a bright, not-too-sweet and very refreshing experience.  The most “adult” mash.     

Pomegrante Blueberry MashPomegranate Blueberry

  • Here, the pomegranate juice dominates, though you can definitely taste the undernotes of blueberry. The strongest of the varieties in flavor and color.

Ripe Mango and Blood Orange

  • The color of pale lemonade, this flavor is very fruity and sweet, with mango and blood orange fighting for top note dominance. But the combination of citrus and mango makes for a seductive fruit soda with a pleasant lingering aftertaste. Good for a sweet tooth.

The verdict: This lightly carbonated, low-sugar and calorie alternative to water, makes a great summer beverage.  Feel free to add gin, vodka or tequila.


Grapefruit Citrus Zing, Ripe Mango Blood Orange, Lemon Peel Ginger Root, Pomegranate Blueberry

Certified kosher by Kosher Technical Konsultants

  • 20-Ounce Bottle
    Suggested Retail Price

Available at fine supermarkets and specialty stores.

For more information visit

*Prices and product availability are verified at publication but are subject to change. These items are offered by a third party and THE NIBBLE has no relationship with them. Purchase information is provided as a reader convenience.

Boylan's Mash
Schedule a mash-up and try all four.


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