Jianlibao Energy Drink - 健力宝
330 mL can
Jianlibao was the first soda pop created in communist China and made its debut as the official drink of the Chinese team at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. The name translates in English as "healty, strong, treasure" or "a treasure to strengthen health". With sponsorships of sports teams and marketing as an energy drink, Jianlibao became the most popular Chinese soft drink in the 1990s.
After the state-run company was privatized in 2002 the brand suffered from a series of management disputes which sent the company's founder Li Jingwei to prison for 14 years, as well as his successor Zhang Hai several years later, and the drink nearly disappeared to bankruptcy in 2005. Since then the brand has recovered and remains one of the most popular energy drinks in China.
I can't read the Chinese writing on the can, so before tasting this I had no idea what kind of soda is inside! What will it be? A cola? Tea? Hmm. Aha, the flavor is citrus, dusty with energy drink additives and sugar.
I can't quite place the flavor other than a general orange citrus taste. It's not a juicy orange flavor or a zesty lemon-lime flavor, just kind of middling sugary citrus and one-dimensional. It doesn't excite me too much.
Jianlibao Co. Ltd.
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