Kingfisher Radler Review – New Packaging, New Flavors
From the four Kingfisher Radler flavors we tried, the one we couldn’t get enough of was…
Think Kingfisher and you think beer. Unless, of course, you think ‘bird’ which would be surprising, because Kingfisher is one of the most popular beer brands in India. They launched their first-ever ‘soft drink’ which has no alcohol content and has 100% natural ingredients, the brand claims.
‘With the smoothness of malt and freshness of real fruit juice’ we tried the four new variants that feature a brand new packaging and here is our Kingfisher Radler review.
Here’s a quick overview of the variants we tried.
|Kingfisher Radler||Strawberry Cranberry||Black Currant||Mint||Lemon|
|Price||Rs 50/-||Rs 50/-||Rs 50/-||Rs 50/-|
|Net Quantity||300 ml||300 ml||300 ml||300 ml|
|Buy Now||On Amazon||–||On Amazon||On Amazon|
|Shelf Life||Nine months||Nine months||Nine months||Nine months|
Our Review Factors
What were we looking for?
In addition to gauging the flavor, mouthfeel, and consistency, we checked the alcohol and sugar content in our Kingfisher Radler review. What are the main ingredients, and how are the flavors achieved- does the brand shed light on these details?
Editor’s note- I spoke to Nitin Tewari, one of India’s foremost beverage experts, to understand how a drink like this is made at the brewery. Nitin explained that unlike beer (which contains 4 ingredients primarily, namely malt, yeast, water and hops), a drink like this would not contain yeast. Yeast is what triggers fermentation of the malt (grains which have been soaked, allowed to germinate and then roasted to varying degrees as per the requirement). In the absence of the fermentation process, hops, malt and water come together to create a drink which has a resemblance with beer, only minus the alcohol content and calories, of course!
Nitin also pointed to the every-growing trend of ‘low-on-sugar’ drinks people like to try out these days. He runs a popular new restaurant and bar called Together@12 along with Chef Vanshika Bhatia in Gurugram’s Le Meridian hotel. This is a growing trend he has seen in his restaurant and this, he believes, might contribute to the Kingfisher’s low calorie approach for Radler. (Read more about Nitin and his passion for the liquid arts here!)
The factors we gauged it on are –
Malt typically has a sweet-nutty flavor profile. The ingredient list also mentions hops that are known to add an earthy, spicy flavor.
How does this flavor pair with fruit juices? Is this something we’d go for during the summer afternoons?
Berries, citrus fruits, and herbs – do they make their mark in terms of aroma? If yes, does it feel natural or synthetic?
Carbon dioxide (CO2) adds the crisp fizz to carbonated beverages. When carbon dioxide is added to beverages, it creates fizz and a popping sensation when sipped on. This chemical addition also impacts the taste by lending a subtle sourness.
Did Kingfisher Radler add that feeling of bubbles popping when sipped on? If yes, how bold was it, and how long did it last?
4. Other Parameters
- Packaging – Kingfisher Radler is offered in non-reusable tin cans.
- Appearance- Overall, does the beverage take the color of malt (golden) or that of the fruit juice? Would this add vibrancy to the table?
- Shelf Life – These have a shelf life of nine months.
- Price – A 300-ml can is priced at Rs 50/-.
- Ingredients – The main ingredients are water, invert sugar, barley malt, mixed fruit juice concentrate, carbon dioxide (INS 290), acidity regulator (INS 330), stabilizer (INS 414, INS 445), Quillaia extract, and hops.
Kingfisher Radler – Detailed Review
In 2019, when Kingfisher Radler was first launched, we reviewed two variants. One of the key differences lies in the packaging. Initially, these non-alcoholic beverages were offered in glass bottles. Now, these can be availed in 300-ml cans or bottles. Following is a brief review.
Mint & Lime- The flavor was more mint-dominant than lemon.
Ginger & Lime- This tasted like a lemony ginger ale, YUM!
1. Strawberry Cranberry
This variant had a pleasing pink appearance when we poured it in a glass. A layer of fizz settles at the top as is the case with carbonated beverages. This emits a tarty, fruity aroma.
In addition to the above-mentioned common ingredients, this variant contains black carrot juice concentrate and 1% mixed fruit juice concentrate.
This Kingfisher Radler variant primarily had a sharp tarty taste. A berry-like, sweet-sour aftertaste was noticed with some level of acidity. The fizz is sharp and refreshing.
- The fizz is refreshing.
- Full marks on the captivating packaging.
- This juice is prepared with natural ingredients.
- The tarty, acidic flavor may feel too sharp for some.
Looking for a low-calorie sweet and sour fizzy drink? You should try Kingfisher Radler in Strawberry Cranberry.
2. Black Currant
The can features a fancy font with an enticing graphic of the bird. ‘Zero alcohol’, ‘real juice’, and ‘made from natural ingredients’ are mentioned.
The ingredients used only in the Black Currant variant include 2.8% fruit juice concentrate and lemon extract.
Dried, overriped grapes have a sweet aroma that is laced with tartiness. This beverage had a similar aroma. We also noticed some acidity in the aroma. This variant featured a ruby red hue.
In addition to black currant, blackberries, acai, and raspberries are some fruits that are used for preparing trendy beverages owing to their hues, based on the Pantone Color of the Year 2022.
As compared to the first variant, the fizz started lowering relatively sooner. One of the first ingredients we could identify during the taste test was lemon extract. It lends a lovely zesty flavor. There’s minimal pungency with a slightly bitter aftertaste.
- This is an aesthetically pleasing beverage.
- The lemon extract adds a zestiness that is yum!
- The aftertaste is too complex.
- The fizz disappears relatively quicker as compared to other variants.
Bored of sweet carbonated drinks? Kingfisher Radler in Blackcurrant offers zingy and tangy flavors.
This beverage has a light beige hue. The aroma is strong on mint but it isn’t inviting.
Surprisingly, the taste was fairly good! It has a very natural taste of ingredients like barley malt, hops, and quillaia extract. What we really liked was the refreshing flavor. The sweetness is well-rounded and the flavor of mint is fresh, not bitter. The lemon extract used makes its presence felt in between sips. It cuts right through the sweetness, adding a hit of sourness.
Quillaia extract, used as a plant-based sweetener, is milled from the inner bark of trees.
- AH! Super refreshing.
- It features an interesting flavor profile.
- The mint tastes fresh and not bitter.
- The aroma was not as inviting.
Straight out of the can or jazz it up with a spirit of choice, Kingfisher Radler Mint would make for a refreshing base.
Visually, this is quite similar to the Mint variant. The fizz, when we served this, lasted for a decent amount of time, thumbs up!
The main ingredients are water, invert sugar, barley malt, mixed fruit juice concentrate (4.3%), carbon dioxide (INS 290), lemon extract, stabilizer (INS 410), lemon grass extract, quillaia extract (INS 999), hops, and natural color (INS 150c).
As the name suggests, this Kingfisher Radler features the characteristic citrus flavor of lemons. This plus the balanced sweetness make it a pretty good beverage. The aftertaste is sweet and tarty, like that of pineapple juice.
- The packaging is pretty eye-catching.
- The aroma does full justice to the label.
- Very fizzy!
- It has a desirable lemon flavor.
- Thumbs up on the well-rounded sweetness.
- The pineapple-like aftertaste was a surprise.
Serve this Kingfisher Radler at your next house party for an easy peasy ‘lemon’ squeezy beverage.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some interesting FAQs on Kingfisher radler
One can holds 300 ml of the beverage.
Yes, it is sweetened with invert sugar.
A 300-ml can holds approximately 30 grams of sugar.
Hops are flowers of the hop plant that are typically used to prepare beer. They add flavors (citrrusy, piney, earthy) and may help treat anxiety, insomnia as it it used in pharmaceutical products too.
Though we did not test it with alcohol during our review, we’d recommend adding a spirit of choice to the mint variant.
Gorgeous, fizzy, and oh so refreshing! Kingfisher Radler are made with all-natural ingredients and certain flavors are quite impressive.
Our collective favorite was the Mint variant as it showcased a lovely balance of sweet and sour flavors. Moreover, it would taste great as a mixer for cocktails/mocktails.