I've always leaned toward 7 Up when it comes to lemon-lime soft drinks, but I've never had a good reason for it. So when I saw that 7 Up had recently reformulated itself (and had signed on Chris Farley's better half in Tommy Boy to promote it), I figured it was time to revisit the lemon-lime triumvirate and ally myself with one once and for all.
So ... I conducted my own Lemon-Lime Taste Test.
I rated the three major lemon-lime sodas -- 7 Up, Sprite, and Sierra Mist (nee Slice) -- in four categories, worth (arbitrarily) five points each:
- Packaging Style
Taste: 3 points. The reformulated version is, in a word, mild. There's not much that separates it from, say, seltzer water. It's refreshing, I suppose, but it's also kind of bland.
Carbonation: 3 points. There are way too many bubbles. I think it'd almost hurt if you drank it too fast.
Packaging Style: 4 points. I miss the can with dots, but the logo is dominant and proud and the swirls are kind of trippy.
Nutrition: 3 points. The least nutritious of the bunch (not that you're looking for a "healthy" drink when you choose a lemon-lime soda ...). It has 140 calories per serving and 38 grams of sugars. The can also touts "natural flavors," but I'm not sure what that means.
Total: 13 points
Taste: 2.5 points. Sprite tastes more artificial to me than the others. But, ironically, it says it has "natural flavors," too.
Carbonation: 4 points. Less than 7 Up -- it goes down much smoother.
Packaging Style: 3 points. The bottle is minimalist, although the "Sprite" logo has perhaps been modernized since my lemon-lime-soda-laced youth.
Nutrition: 4 points. 100 calories per serving and 26 grams of sugars.
Total: 13.5 points.
Taste: 4.5 points. The best way I can think to describe it is, "It tastes like what I remember 7 Up used to taste like." In other words, it tastes like a classic lemon-lime drink and I can actually sense lemon and/or lime.
Carbonation: 5 points. Much smoother bubbles. In other words, not overly bubbly. This would never hurt your throat no matter how fast you drink it.
Packaging Style: 5 points. I like the splashing limes and lemons. It's almost anticipatory. (Although the old can with the mountains was too Mountain-Dew-like and made me feel like I should be eating a Taco Bell burrito and playing video games.)
Nutrition: 5 points. The "best" -- 100 calories per serving and 25 grams of sugars.
Total: 19.5 points.
So ... there you have it:
- Gold: Sierra Mist
- Silver: Sprite
- Bronze: 7 UP
I'm surprised by the results myself ...
What's your favorite lemon-lime drink?