Robinson’s Squash’d…

You’d have to be living in a cave not to have seen the TV ads for Robinson’s Squash’d – a micro-dispenser of very highly-concentrated squash.

The ad features a whole bunch of people creating large glasses of cold drink with the tiniest of squeezes – but how does the reality measure up to the hype?

Well, truth to tell, it comes up short. Very short.

First, there’s the size issue – and yes, it does matter. You have to squeeze 3.3ml of concentrate (good luck guessing that), into 250ml of water.

Right away, that’s a fail for me – I’d have half a litre, 500ml. But, OK, that’s a personal issue – of far greater importance is how the hell you measure 3.3ml – it’s tiny, about half a thimble-full. Just giving the container a casual squeeze, as in the ad, could pretty much empty it after a couple of glasses (and from the volume shot into the glass, probably actually does).

So I used an oral syringe with a female Luer connecter, though an unused hypodermic syringe with the same fitting would be fine too (I know, if you don’t use these things, that means nothing, but it doesn’t matter**), which fits the outlet perfectly. Insert the connector, invert, as if preparing an injection, and draw 3.3ml (practice with the orange flavour as the Summer Fruits colour obscures the syringe markings).

**If you have a scale that measures in small enough divisions, say down to half a gram, or even a tenth, then you can weigh the squash – 3.5g is a tad over 3.3ml (1g = 1ml), and if it goes in tenths, than you can weigh 3.3ml exactly.

I squirted it into an empty glass, added a measured 250ml of cold water, and tasted it. It tasted exactly as it looked – weak.

In the TV ad the glass looks bigger, and the squirt of squash gives it an intense colour.

Based on my test, I guessed that 10ml in a half-litre glass (actually about 450ml of water as half a litre is full to the brim), would be better. But no, it still tasted weak, but sweeter – sickly, in fact, while being acidic enough to catch the back of the throat and leave my mouth feeling as if I’d been sucking lemons. Maybe a more assertive flavour, like orange and peach (why no plain orange?), would work better than summer fruits? I doubt it, though.

Conclusion: An idea let down by stupidity, in that it’s utterly impossible, in normal circumstances, to measure out 3.3ml, and also by the fact that it simply doesn’t work.

And used as depicted in the TV ad – which is what almost everyone would have to do by default – there is no way to get the claimed 20 drinks out of it. And, frankly, I wouldn’t want to – what was left has gone down the sink.

I don’t doubt someone will give me an argument, so let me say up front that if you like what this does, fine, that’s nice for you, but you still can’t measure out 3.3ml, freehand, while sitting in the garden, or halfway up a mountain, and yet you are expected to. Frankly, that’s an abysmal failure at the design stage – it simply hasn’t been thought through.

Hell, even something as simple as a removable cap with a capacity of 3.3ml would have solved that problem – have that with my compliments, guys – but it won’t change the fact that the concentrate itself is crap.