New Drinks: Ocean Spray Sparkling Juice


[Photograph: Robyn Lee]

Ocean Spray recently introduced a new line of sparkling juice drinks. Four flavors are currently available: Pomegranate Berry, Diet Pomegranate Berry, Cranberry, and Diet Cranberry. As a fan of juice and bubbly drinks (and bubbly juice drinks; hello, Bellinis!) I decided to give them a try.

The Pomegranate Blueberry and Cranberry flavors both contain 70% fruit juice and no added sugars. This would be great if the majority of the fruit juice came from the fruits on the label. But the first ingredient listed is grape juice, which unfortunately overpowers the flavors instead of just adding a subtle sweetness. The carbonation was pleasantly fizzy, with a fine bead, more like mineral water than soda. If they weren't so sweet, they'd be refreshing.

As for the diet drinks, more is lost from the regular version than just 80 calories. Both the Diet Pomegranate Blueberry and the Diet Cranberry tasted quite artificial and extra-sweet to us. Containing just 8% and 12% juice respectively, this probably shouldn't come as a surprise, though the strange hard-candy aftertaste does. We wish they'd bump up the tartness and tangy fruit flavor; these drinks reminded us more of Sprite than juice-and-seltzer.

As cocktail mixers, any of these would work in a pinch. But if you're looking for a light and sparkling drink with real fruit flavor, I'd suggest buying fruit juice and seltzer and mixing them up in your own preferred ratio.