A couple of weeks ago, Panera Bread, my favorite restaurant, released a new frozen strawberry lemonade… at exactly the same time McDonald’s released their own frozen strawberry lemonade. McDonald’s certainly got the mocha frappe right, and stole me away from Starbuck’s, but could they do the strawberry lemonade as well as Panera, just in time for summer?
McDonald’s Frozen Strawberry Lemonade, 16 oz (270 calories, 67g sugar)
Panera Frozen Strawberry Lemonade, 15¼ oz (180 calories, 39g sugar)
The short answer is a steadfast NO. The Panera frozen strawberry lemonade is a little more expensive, but tastes so much better! And did you notice how much more sugar and calories the McDonald’s version has?
I checked the list of ingredients in both lemonades, and shockingly, the McDonald’s frozen strawberry lemonade has very little strawberry or lemon in it. It’s mostly just high fructose corn syrup and flavorings. Ick! Also, when it gets melty (which it does, very quickly), it turns an awful nasty brownish color, and gets a frothy foam on it. NOT something I want to drink! And it doesn’t taste fresh… it tastes like exactly what it is — chemically produced phony frozen strawberry lemonade.
On the other hand, the Panera version is smooth, refreshing, and delicious… with actual real strawberries and lemons it in! You can taste the difference right away. The lemons are tart, the strawberries are sweet, and there’s just enough crushed ice to make it “frozen” without inducing immediate painful brain freeze.
If you’re looking for a perfect summer treat, take the time to visit a Panera Bread and order their frozen strawberry lemonade, and skip the McDonald’s drive through. You’ll be so glad you did!
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