As an American, having a British significant other is a bit like dating someone from a parallel universe where everything is just slightly off, like a constant Mandela effect—except instead of the “Berenstein” Bears, it’s TJ Maxx being called TK Maxx, the steering wheel is on the wrong side of the car, and new mothers get up to 39 weeks of paid maternity leave instead of going back to work almost immediately after giving birth.
In this alternative universe, there’s also a mind-blowing soft drink called Lucozade. Proper Lucozade is a carbonated energy drink “powered by glucose” that’s a fast and easy way to overdose on sugar. Unsurprisingly, it used to be primarily marketed as an energy drink for ill people and was sold in pharmacies before going mainstream in the 1980s. It is vastly superior to our flat and uninspiring Gatorade in every way.
There are a few specialty shops in New York that import Lucozade and sell it with a healthy markup. As it’s painful to pay over $4 for a bottle marked £1, it is instead preferable to pay hundreds of dollars for a plane ticket to the UK and drink so much Lucozade during your short time there that you become absolutely sick of it and deplete your desire to drink it for about six to eight months, at which point you repeat the cycle.
My first trip to the UK, I drank nine bottles in eight days, a disturbing 9:8 ratio. I documented all of my Lucozades in a Twitter thread:
I didn’t gorge myself as much this year—I drank a mere five bottles in nine days, sampling four different flavors. As a service to you, the sugar-starved reader, I have ranked these flavors below as a guide for your next trip to the UK:
4. Raspberry (Lucozade Sport)
Remember how I said Lucozade is carbonated? Unfortunately, the executives at Luco Inc. decided it would be a good idea to make the uncarbonated spin-off Lucozade Sport. It is, to put it lightly, trash.
3. Pink Lemonade (Lucozade Zero)
While you can definitely tell that Lucozade’s zero sugar line lacks sugar, it’s not a massive detriment to the drink. Pink Lemonade ranks third because it is largely inoffensive—it doesn’t taste horrible, but it’s not a knock-out flavor, either. Good if there’s no other option.
2. Orange (Lucozade Energy)
While Lucozade does have a “Classic” flavor, in some ways, Orange feels more default than Classic, and for good reason: it’s an all-around great orange soda flavor. You’ll never go wrong with an Orange Luco.
1. Apple Blast (Lucozade Energy)
Don’t ever say that Night Water shies away from controversial opinions. Apple Blast tastes like liquid candy. Sugary with a nice little kick, Apple Blast is the ideal Lucozade when you just want to treat yourself a little bit (you deserve it).
Exhaustive? Hardly. But with the support of Night Water readers, I’ll be able to make the transition to full-time Lucozade reviewer soon enough.