Serious Eats: Drinks
Diet Soda Report: Izze Esque Low Calorie Sodas
We like the idea of 50 calorie soda. If you use juice to sweeten up your fizzy water, it's going to cost you a few calories, but at least you're not consuming a bunch of artificial sugars. Izze's Esque line of sodas all use juice as a sweetener and come in four fruity flavors. But how do they taste?
For the most part, pretty good. They're not too sweet (though they're also not as intensely flavored as some other fruit sodas.)
The Sparkling Limon reminded us a bit of seltzer with a hit of limeade. It's sweeter and fuller-flavored than lime seltzer, but not as candylike as Sprite. We liked the tang of key lime in this soda, and appreciated the clean aftertaste and lively carbonation. This doesn't taste like a diet soda, but there is the telltale flavor of white grape juice. Better than aspartame, we say.
Several tasters chose the new Sparkling Watermelon flavor as their favorite of the bunch. This soda starts out tasting like just-smashed sweet watermelon cubes, but then transitions into a bit of black currants. "This tastes real," commented one taster, though some wished for just a straight watermelon flavor.
Some tasters thought the Black Raspberry version had a bit too much going on—is it raspberry? Is it black cherry? Is it apple? Is it grape? It's not as concentrated a flavor as we'd hoped, but some tasters found it quite refreshing.
While it's definitely not Minute Maid-style orange soda, we could imagine craving the Sparkling Mandarin. It's more like seltzer with a splash of sweet clementine juice, but the flavor was nice (if a little mild and sweet.)
Have you tried these sodas? What do you think?