Arizona iced tea is a nostalgic, comforting beverage that reminds me of being in high school. Those afternoons I shared with Arizona after grabbing my favorite quick sugary drink from the Walmart down the street are some of the few (and I mean very few) fond memories I have from that time. Arizona currently carries three fruit snack flavors: Green Tea, Mixed Fruit, and Arnold Palmer. The question is: Do these fruit snacks actually taste like the iconic beverages after which they’re named? I decided to investigate.
The Green Tea and Arnold Palmer fruit snacks each come with four flavors: three fruit-based and one named simply and mysteriously, “Original.” The Mixed Fruit batch includes five flavors, a couple of which are named after other drinks Arizona produces, like “Mucho Mango,” and top-billed “Fruit Punch.” Based on their names and packaging, I compared each Arizona fruit snack to its drink counterpart (using Fruit Punch as the counterpart for Mixed Fruit gummies, because close enough).
Some of the flavors in these packs are downright amazing. I tried the Arnold Palmer gummies first and was wowed—not only by the delicious taste of the gummies, but also by how closely the flavor matches the drink. Just like the Arnold Palmer iced tea, the gummies have a prominent tea taste and a slightly acidic quality that makes them taste like lemonade (some of the gummy flavors are even a bit peachy). It’s as if Arizona took their Arnold Palmer iced tea and condensed it down to fruit snack form—pure artistry.
The Green Tea Fruit Snacks’ stand out flavor was “plum blueberry,” which was almost grape-like, but more berry-ish and bright. However, what I’m guessing was the “Original” flavor I found rather subpar in comparison to the other flavors in the pack. It tasted like an Arizona Green Tea, but in a way that I did not appreciate. It was oddly bitter, like tea that has been steeped for too long. It did taste like tea, which I had to respect. But it tasted like tea in a “food is medicine” kind of way, and not in a “relaxing Sunday afternoon” kind of way, sadly.
Now, Mixed Fruit and Fruit Punch, I’ve decided are going to be the new names for my eyeliner wings—because like my eyeliner, these flavors are sisters, not twins. So far, the other flavors of gummies have had a specific drink that they are emulating, but Mixed Fruit is the exception here as Fruit Punch is the closest drink I could find to it. Despite the flavors not quite matching up with the drink, these gummies are delightful and pack a punch in the fruit flavor department. In fact, compared to these condensed fruit gummies, the fruit flavor in the Arizona Fruit Punch drink is more muted, even a bit watered down. Both are good and beautiful in their own ways, but they’re different. It’s almost as if they were crafted using different fruits—which very well may be the case being that they are not 1-1 as the other fruit snacks are.