With summer right around the corner, many people are looking for refreshing drinks that don't add a lot of sugar or calories. There's no shortage of fun drinks these days. You may have noticed the beverage category has kind of exploded in growth in recent years. Many of them are naturally flavored, and don't have sodium or calories. Some even come with added health benefits such as probiotics. Others add a smidge of fruit juice for flavor without added sugar. Soda waters, or seltzer, or sparkling water (all same!) are versatile. You can drink them by themselves, mixed in cocktails, or blended in with other teas and fruits. They're a fun and creative way to cool off in the summer. Here are five of our favorite sparkling beverages, from sodas to waters and in between.
So Olipop isn't soda water per se, but a full-fledged soda! Olipop originated in Oakland, California, as a low-calorie soda water with prebiotics, plant fiber, and botanical extracts that support digestive health. Olipop's vibe is retro, colorful, and healthy; you'd never "taste" that it was healthy, nor would you miss the sugar! The sodas are non-GMO, vegan, gluten-free, paleo, and keto-friendly. Currently, Olipop comes in 14 very fun flavors that include classics such as root beer, vintage cola, cream soda, grape, and orange, among many other fun seasonals. The brand also offers some seasonal faves, too.
Poppi originated in Dallas, Texas, and is a unique sparkling beverage that combines fresh fruit juices with apple cider vinegar (ACV). You might think it's astringent, but it's not. These soda waters lead with fruit (and other) flavors instead of the acidity of the vinegar. This brand was further popularized after making a deal on the tv show Shark Tank. Poppi currently comes in 10 exciting flavors: grape, strawberry lemon, orange, cherry limeade, ginger lime, raspberry rose, watermelon, classic cola, doc pop, and root beer.
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This sparkling water is highly coveted and not always easy to find. That has changed somewhat since its acquisition by Coca-Cola several years ago. Topo Chico originated in 1895 in Mexico as sparkling mineral water. The brand offers two main product lines, i.e. classic sparkling mineral water, and sabores. The latter combines the classic sparkling water with real fruit juices and herbs. Of the classic sparkling water products, Topo Chico offers 4 flavors: plain, lime twist, grapefruit twist, and tangerine twist. From their sabores line, Topo Chico offers 3 flavors: tangerine ginger, blueberry hibiscus, and lime mint.
Zevia originated in Los Angeles, California, with a vision to help people reduce sugar consumption by sweetening their drinks with stevia. The brand offers more than just soda water, but for this piece let’s stick to those. Their zero-calorie soda waters come in 18 varieties. These are all over the map, from cream, ginger ale orange cream, to cherry cola, orange, and lemon-lime, among many others.
La Croix, pronounced “la croy” as in “Enjoy La Croix,” originated in LaCrosse, Wisconsin. These sparkling waters are wildly popular, thanks to their creative flavors, and the fact that they have no calories, sodium, or artificial ingredients. These sparkling waters come in an array of several dozen flavors that include all manner of fruits. Some of their fun and sought-after flavors also include those directly inspired by beverages such as coffee, mojito, and limoncello, for example.
If we were to say which sparkling waters are our favorites and which are our least favorites, we'd say La Croix still reigns supreme while Zevia is our least favorite. La Croix does not use any sweeteners, and they offer a wide range of fantastic thirst-quenching flavors. Whereas Zevia, on the other hand, uses stevia. The theory behind stevia is amazing: to provide sweetness without the risks of artificial sweeteners or simplified sugars, but there is still a lingering taste after every sip. Maybe one day it will be improved, we are not giving up hope on stevia or Zevia.