Category: Citrus Soda
Ratings (out of 5)
Taste: 7UP 3, Sprite 4
Fizziness Factor: 7UP 4, Sprite 4
Bottle/Can Design: 7UP 3, Sprite 3
Availability: 7UP 5, Sprite 5
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the beverage battle royale between The Uncola and Lymon! Since 7 comes before S in my alphabet, first up is 7UP, which, if you have a moment, has a pretty quirky history. Highlights include the fact that it was originally called "Bib-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime Soda" and that its first formula contained the mood-stabilizer lithium citrate. Sadly, the lithium is gone, but 7UP has recently been reformulated so that it can carry the "100% natural" label—though it still contains the dreaded high-fructose corn syrup. I have to admit that, until today, I hadn't had a 7UP in a long time, and I found the first sniff of it alluring in a Lemon Pledge sort of way. The taste, however, was a bit of letdown. It's fizzy and citric acid-y, but even though the new bottle design features both a lemon and lime wedge, the contents of the bottle don't taste like either one. Given a choice between 7UP and plain seltzer, I would take the 7UP by a nose.
Sprite has less fragrance but more flavor than 7UP, thanks mostly to a limey (the fruit, not the Brit) aftertaste. Although the two citrus contenders are nearly identical in every other nutritional category, Sprite has a lot more sodium—110 mg per bottle versus 65 for 7UP. Sprite's history is not as compelling as 7UP's, although it did come from Germany and give birth of the word "lymon," which as an English major I find perplexing because it's supposed to be a combination of "lemon" and "lime," neither of which contains a "y." Oh well, maybe Fergie used to work in their ad department. Both sodas are light, caffeine-free, and refeshing, but your winner by a TKO is Sprite, for now the World Champion of Mass Market Citrus Sodas. Please proceed to the exits in an orderly fashion, and join us next week for the Root Beer Rumble. (Total Score 7UP 15, Sprite 16)