True Lemon WaterI have a confession to make: I’m a water drinker. All day and…well, up until an appropriate evening cutoff so I don’t have to get up in the middle of the night. Still water by day, sparkling water after work. It is my beverage of choice.

But I know that not everyone feels the same about water. For them, plain water, even sparkling, is just…meh. It’s one thing that leads a lot of people to drink more soda than might objectively be good for them. (I wrote about this very topic for The Seattle Times a few years back, “Kicking the sugar-sweetened beverage habit.”) When I want something a little more lively than plain water, I grab a flavored LaCroix out of the fridge, or cut up a lemon or lime. However, despite my best grocery shopping intentions, sometimes I run out of all three of those things. That’s why when I received an email from True Citrus offering to send me some samples, I was intrigued.

Heeding the siren’s call of minimally processed convenience

Before I even said, “Yes to samples,” I perused the True Citrus website, and was satisfied that their products were minimally processed.

When I had a chance to give them a test drive, I was surprised and delighted that there was virtually zero difference in taste between fresh citrus juice and the True Citrus crystallized lemon, lime, grapefruit and orange, which come in small packets. From my point of view this was awesome for three reasons:

  1. Easy to tote to work. I used to get all ambitious and take a baggie of lemon wedges to work with me, but that fizzled out after a few weeks. Now, I keep a stash of True Citrus in my office in case I want to jazz up my water in the afternoon.
  2. Portable and packable. When traveling, even if the water is safe to drink, it’s not always super tasty (Las Vegas water, I’m looking at you). A packet of True Lemon, Lime, Grapefruit or Orange can hide a multitude of flavor sins (even if what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas).
  3. Recipe rescue. Need that last fresh lemon for a recipe, but also want some lemon in your water? Never fear—you can have both. Or if you’re totally out of lemons for your recipe, True Lemon works for that, too.

Lemonade and Limeade and Watermelon Aqua Fresca…oh my!

I don’t drink a lot of sweetened beverages (sugar-sweetened or artificially sweetened), other than the occasional kombucha, which contains a small amount of sugar. That said, I was pleased by True Citrus’s line of lemonades and limeade packets that use a tiny bit of sugar and some stevia for sweetness (I’m not a fan of artificial sweeteners, personally, but I’m okay with stevia, in part because it originates from an actual plant). A great option, especially over ice in the summer (which is now firmly behind us in Seattle, sadly).

While the various flavors of the plain True Citrus packets (read: not the lemon- and limeades!) will work in recipes, the company also offers a line of shake-able citrus-based seasonings for recipes: there’s lemon and lime, but also orange ginger, lemon pepper, and lime/garlic/cilantro. Yum!

Where to get your True Lemon on

In Seattle, you can find True Citrus products at QFC and Metropolitan Market (there’s a store locator on the True Citrus website). It appears that the lemon- and limeades are easiest to find, but you can also shop online from True Citrus themselves.

I really do recommend these products, and I’m pretty hard to please. I receive a lot of offers of free product and the first thing I do is look at the product website. If I think, “No way in hell-o would I use or recommend these,” I say “No thank you.” If I am pretty sure the product is one I can get behind, I say, “Send away!” True Citrus was clear that they weren’t expecting me to write about the product (which I appreciate), but I’m always happy to share news of a product I love, whether I paid for it myself, or not. So there you have it. And now, I’m going to go sprinkle some True Grapefruit into my water!