Fro-yo girl here. I’ve seen bottled yogurt drinks for years at Middle Eastern restaurants and grocery stores. I bought one a long time ago and didn’t like it. I think it was carbonated yogurt soda. Then I saw the yogurt drink on the menu at Sunnin Lebanese Café (1776 Westwood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA) and I was convinced to try it since they said they made it there. I enjoyed their yogurt drink, which tasted like plain yogurt thinned with water and sprinkled with mint leaves. It was savory rather than sweet and it complemented their food.
Based on that positive experience, I decided to take a closer look at bottled yogurt drinks. There are carbonated (yogurt soda) and non-carbonated (yogurt drink) versions. They usually come in two flavors, plain and mint.
I’ve mostly seen yogurt drinks from Abali and Karoun in this area. Karoun’s yogurt drink has more sodium than Abali’s (762mg vs 600mg per cup). One bottle is 16 fl oz. I found the drink for $1.19 at Armen Market in Altadena, CA.
The Abali yogurt drink has a best by date and directions to shake well before use. One 8 ounce serving is 110 calories and 2.5g total fat. It tasted like sour plain yogurt with salt. The mint flavor is nice. It’s the right consistency too – not too thick but similar to milk. Drinking it made me thirsty, probably because of the salt. It definitely tasted more natural and more like real yogurt than Japanese and Korean yogurt drinks like Yakult.
Ingredients (Mint): Low fat milk, water, salt, mint extract, active yogurt cultures).
I still think it’s too salty but diluting it further with ice cubes would help. It seems easy enough to make at home. Traditionally one combines equal parts yogurt and water and then adds salt and dried mint to taste.
3.5 out of 5 stars.
You know you love me. X0 X0, fro-yo girl.
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