Friday, 5 June 2015

Aldi vs Lidl: I'm trying these so you don't have to

Let’s get up to date now on what’s been going on in the long running and ongoing Aldi vs Lidl saga, with a few products I’ve been trying of late. First up, Cocobay…

I didn’t get around to writing about it at the time, but a while ago I found that I like popular coconut flavoured, rum liqueur Malibu – I normally mix it with coke; it’s just a good thing to add a bit of an alcoholic kick to a soft drink on a hot day when you don’t have any beer in the fridge – though I like to add a measure of vodka, too – just to make it worthwhile.

The thing is, Malibu is generally too expensive (£12-16 depending where you shop and when) in my opinion so… it’s almost like… you need a cheap alternative… and that’s where the budget supermarkets come in – Aldi in this case where, for a fantastic £4.99 you can pick up… Cocobay. It’s 21%, and worth adding to how ever many feet of Aldi shopping you’ve got already – are we the only people who measure our Aldi shop in feet?

You’re never going to drink this straight, but when I did, I can report that it wasn’t offensive, and when mixed, as described previously, there was no discernible difference between this and the real thing – which means you’d be mad not to buy it.


Switching genre now, with a trip to Lidl for the  Romanetti Extra Dry Vermouth…

One of the things I’ve noticed during the course of this ongoing Aldi-Lidl comparison is that Aldi’s products almost all state “bottled for Aldi” on the label (Clarke’s bourbon being a notable exception) while none of Lidl’s state anything to that effect.

Lidl’s Romanetti Extra Dry vermouth is another brand that strikes me as being made up in order to sound Italian. Is it actually from Torino? I’ve seen pictures online that state so on the label, but mine just says “producto de Italia” or something. On the reverse label it says it is made in Italy, but bottled in Germany. Come to think of it; aren’t all Lidl’s products actually bottled in Germany? Except the scotch. That’s one to look into… This one in all honesty looks the part. It has that generic vermouth presentation style, just… a little bit shitter. Let’s see what it’s like inside.

This has an odd aftertaste, but once the ice takes hold, it does exactly what I want it to – which frankly extends no further than give me a slightly refreshing fortified wine buzz. It is probably the worst [actual] vermouth I’ve bought so far [so Bellino isn’t included in this reckoning], but at £3.99 for 15 ABVs it would be picky to complain. All you can really ask for is not to get poisoned so, Lidl, mission accomplished. The thing is, a product of this standard isn’t going to win anyone over to the delights of vermouth so, with that in mind, next time I think I’m going to have to buy a decent one. It’s just hard to justify the price when you only get 70cl and it costs the same as (what I consider to be) an expensive bottle of wine (as decent vermouths do). It’s essentially only four glasses you’re getting for your money, after all.


And it’s back to Aldi for this week’s final contestant; Specially Selected Irish Cream (17% ABV)

This seems to fit into exactly the same category as Aldi’s Ballycastle Premium, and it’s the same price (£6.49) so I’m not sure why they are offering two almost (if not) identical products. The bottle is the standard Irish Cream type and the label looks like something that’s been stolen from the Tesco’s Finest range.

Without doing a direct comparison with the Ballycastle Premium, I think they’re essentially the same product. There’s certainly nothing here to make me think it is inferior in any way to the established favourite. Superb value, plenty of ABVs, excellent quality.


So where does that bring the head to head comparison? Well, we’ve now evaluated 11 Aldi products and only 3 from Lidl. I really must remedy that shortly. Nevertheless, Aldi is averaging a pretty good 6.6 out of ten, while Lidl is still struggling to recover from that -10 that James Cook is responsible for, and sits on a depressing zero.

Check back over the previous posts if you want to find out about the other products I’ve tried so far, and keep coming back for further updates. I’ll compile everything eventually – once I’ve tried an equal number of comparable products from each. In the meantime, keep it cheap, keep it strong.


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  4. hi
    have you tried the aldi captain morgan spiced rum at 10.49, very nice with coke.
    and also from lidl the rubarb and ginger gin liquer 11.99. very nice mixed with proper gin to give it a kick ?