Shuirong C100

01 Oct 2008
水溶C100

水溶C100

In the last few weeks a new drink has appeared on the convenience store shelves of Shanghai. It’s called 水溶C100, but you probably know it as “lemonade.”

The name 水溶C100 comes from the idea of 水溶性维生素 (water-soluble vitamins). In this case, obviously, it’s vitamin C, and the drink boasts 100% of the recommended daily dose of vitamin C (the equivalent of 5.5 lemons, the bottle tells us) in each bottle… but only 12% juice.

I like the drink well enough. Seems to be another success for bottled water company Nongfu Spring, the same company that pleased me 5 years ago with it’s “Farmer’s Orchard” juice. But this new product has been given a fairly horrible name. My wife, who’s been drinking the stuff for a few weeks (like me) still has no idea what it’s called if she’s not looking right at the bottle. It’s just “that lemon drink” (什么100?). And what should we call it in English? C100? I don’t even know. And not only does it have an unmemorable name, but there’s that awkward word in big print “lemon,” just hanging out on the label, though apparently not part of the name. Thanks. Lemon. (But only 12%!)

CC Lemon

The drink is quite strong (sour/sweet), but I find it mixes nicely with tonic water, creating a classy concoction remarkably similar to Japan’s own CC Lemon (now there’s an Asian lemonade with a catchy name!). I bet this stuff mixes great with vodka as well.

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John Pasden

John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.

Comments

  1. That’s a really horrible name! It’s just “Soluble C-100”? Maybe they’re planning on making more than just lemon flavor, so that’s why they put the word “lemon” on the label.

  2. Gaijintendo Says: October 1, 2008 at 10:41 pm

    I always feel drinking C.C. Lemon is a bit like drinking battery acid – in a good way. Is it a frosted plastic bottle – or is that condensation?

  3. Gaijintendo,

    It’s a frosted bottle. I actually rather like the design. It’s uncharacteristically minimalist for Nongfu Springs.

  4. Ji Feng Jing Cao Says: October 2, 2008 at 1:04 am

    The name sounds more like some sort of a pesticide than a bottled beverage!
    Some of these new drinks taste just like sugar water. I bet that’s exactly what some of them actually are. But oh well, if people are willing to pay for bottled tap water, why not sugar water?

  5. Maybe there are trying to build up on the whole “C什么,什么” thing..like “CJ 7” or something like that.

    Anyways, yeah bad name for a drink.

  6. I noticed that in the local convenience store’s cooler the other week, but after trying some “salty soda” a few months ago that tasted like carbonated toothpaste back-wash, I’ve been hesitant to try any new drinks.

  7. I used to go to this really cheap food bar in my local shopping centre years ago. I’ve never seen anyone do the same thing before or after in Sydney. Basically they had one type of food “hotdogs” and one type of drink “lemonade”.

    They made the lemonade fresh at the shop and it was heavenly lemonade. It was admittedly very sweet but I was hooked on the stuff. Their bread rolls were always soft and fresh.. and you could put as much ketchup, cheese sauce, mustard etc on it as liked. It was also reasonably priced.

    I have to go to IKEA now for my hotdog fix but sadly they don’t have lemonade. Still.. $1.00 (10RMB) per hotdog.. can’t complain about that for Sydney.

  8. @Erick: Actually, that’d be “长江什么” in Chinese. I completely thought about “CJ7,” too, though. Cute movie!

  9. A nice coincidence! I bouht the drink for the first time two days ago. I mix it with blandy. It’s not so bad.

  10. hobielover,

    At the time, I didn’t think there was much chance of other flavors (it’s got to give you your daily 100% of vitamin C, right?), but I suppose you’re right. At the very least, they could do lime and grapefruit.

  11. It’s catching on real quick in Hunan. My students even reuse the bottles, apparently the 4.5 kuai price tage gives it an air of luxury. It’s a tad too sweet though, but then again even juice in China is too sweet.

  12. I went to my local FamilyMart today to pick up a few items, and I noticed the 水溶C100 was given a lot of shelf space. Not only that, but I witnessed no less than 8 bottles purchased in the less 5 minutes I was there. (And then I bought 6 bottled myself…)

  13. The label looks to be displaying an orange with a photoshop color change to yellow to match “lemon”. Even the shape is of an orange, not a lemon (oval with pointed tips). Heh, for a time earlier this year, I really enjoyed a habit of drinking Schwepps tonic water on a daily basis. Sweet to point of adding body, lots of texture with the syrup body, and glows in UV light.

  14. Sounds like a reason for me to start drinking vodka again.

  15. […] for my Boston Red Sox hat, which keeps the sun out of my eyes so nicely.  I bought a bottle of C100 and after wandering a half-hour more turned around and headed […]

  16. CCGGART Says: June 28, 2011 at 6:28 am

    I love this drink. It’s the only thing I drank in China. I definetly reccommend it. Does anyone know where i can get in the states?

  17. Katharine McEvoy Says: July 18, 2016 at 3:09 pm

    I just returned from China & I LOVE the C100 lemon & C100 lime drinks. We had been drinking primarily bottled water & beer , since the tap water was unsafe for foreigners. I found this drink at the summer palace for a mere 7 Yuan ( = about $1 US money) & kept searching for it the rest of the trip. Coke & Sprite are the easiest to obtain. Shanghai & the airport had it. It is the best lemonade I have ever tasted —- really quenches your thirst, with 98% humidity & 95 degree days.

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