Aluminum can of 7UP lemonade soda drink with fresh lemons and limes.This refreshment drink produce Pepsi company.
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Sierra Mist Vs Sprite Vs 7UP — What’s The Difference?

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When it comes to refreshingly fizzy citrus drinks, there are only three real contenders on the market! Sierra Mist, Sprite, and 7UP all adorn the shelves of most grocery stores, making it hard to choose a firm favorite.

But is there actually any difference between these types of drinks, and how do you know which one to choose?

When it comes to Sierra Mist vs Sprite vs 7UP, Sierra Mist is the only one that is sweetened purely with real sugar — it is also thought to have the most natural flavor. However, many people find Sierra Mist to be too sweet and instead opt for the more zingy flavor of 7UP. Sprite sits midway between the two in terms of sweetness and flavor.

Whether you’re already a fan of one of these brands or are trying to find the perfect citrus mixer for your next cocktail party, keep reading to find out everything you need to know about these popular carbonated drinks!

What Is 7UP?

7UP (or 7 Up, 7-up, or 7up, depending on where you live) is by far the oldest of the three beverages we are comparing today.

The manufacturers of this drink invite us to “Refresh yourself with an Original 7UP® with 100% natural flavors and its iconic lemon-lime flavor!” — we’ve gotta admit, that does sound pretty tempting!

Considered to be the original sparkling citrus drink, 7UP has a long and fascinating history.

This American brand of soft drink was first created in 1929, and it originally contained a mood-stabilizing drug called lithium citrate!

This led to it being given the rather lengthy and not at all catchy name of “Bib-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime Soda” — which, yeah, we probably wouldn’t buy on name alone.

Nowadays we can be reassured that 7UP is free from any mood stabilizers, and is also free from caffeine.

This makes this lemon-and-lime-flavored drink popular with people who prefer to stay away from caffeinated soft drinks, such as Coca-Cola.

The 7UP brand is owned by Keurig Dr. Pepper and is distributed internationally by PepsiCo. There are many different variations of this drink available, including seasonal specials and some discontinued lines.

However, the original lemon-and-lime formula remains the most popular around the world, so this is the one we will be focusing on today!

Original 7UP is sold in mini and standard-sized cans, as well as a range of different bottle sizes. It is normally served chilled, either straight from the can or bottle or poured over ice.

What Is Sprite?

Like 7UP, Sprite is also an American-owned brand featuring a citrus-flavored sparkling drink.

Now owned and distributed by The Coca-Cola Company, it was created in 1961 and was intended to be a direct competitor to the ever-popular 7UP drink.

Sprite comes in a range of different flavors, but the mainstay of this drink has always been the lemon-and-lime-flavored version. It is sold in a range of different bottle sizes, as well as in standard and mini cans.

The manufacturers of Sprite laud “Original Sprite, the flavor that started it all— classic, cool, crisp lemon-lime taste that’s caffeine-free with 100% natural flavors.”

This crisp and refreshing drink is best served chilled, either straight from the can or poured over ice.

What Is Sierra Mist?

Sierra Mist is the new kid on the block, created by PepsiCo in 1999 in direct competition with 7UP and Sprite.

This carbonated citrus drink rapidly rose in popularity.

For a brief period, it was rebranded as “Mist Twist,” but it reverted to Sierra Mist in 2018.

This tasty beverage is described by the manufacturers as “a light and refreshing lemon-lime soda that is made with real sugar and has a caffeine-free formula.” 

As with the other citrus-flavored, carbonated soda drinks that we are comparing today, Sierra Mist is intended to be served chilled, ideally over ice.

Sierra Mist Vs Sprite Vs 7UP — Compare And Contrast

Now that we’ve learned a bit about each of these carbonated beverages, let’s learn how they compare to each other!

Flavor

It is very hard to truly compare the flavors of these three soda drinks, as they all have a similar basis. They are all sweetened carbonated sodas that have been flavored with natural flavorings.

However, what these flavorings actually are is not apparent! This is because manufacturers are not required to disclose precisely what flavorings they use if they are of natural origin.

So, we have no way of investigating how these three drinks are flavored, and we need to rely on a taste comparison.

Many people report that 7UP has a slightly salty, zingy flavor, which can be off-putting for some, while others seem to love it!

Salt is normally a good pairing for citrus flavors (think of the classic margarita cocktail) as long as it is well balanced out with sweetness. Sprite is said to be smoother than 7UP, with a less prominent lime flavor.

Reviewers frequently claim that the flavor of Sierra Mist is more natural than its counterparts, with the other two often described as having a chemical tang.

All three have a strong citrus flavor, with an equal blend of lemon and lime.

Fizziness

There is little to choose between these three soda drinks in terms of fizziness.

All three are carbonated, meaning that they have carbon dioxide dissolved in them under high pressure. When the bottle or can is opened, this carbon dioxide is released in the form of many, many tiny bubbles.

But is any one citrus soda drink fizzier than the next?

Reviewers report that both Sprite and 7UP are fizzier than Sierra Mist, with larger bubbles that last for longer. However, Sierra Mist is still pleasantly fizzy, and many people prefer a carbonated drink that isn’t quite so gassy.

Sweetness

If you check out the nutrition facts for our three citrus soda drinks, you will see that the amount of sugar in each is pretty much identical.

However, some people claim that 7UP is not as sweet as the other two — why is this?

The reason could be that the saltiness of 7UP counterbalances the sweetness, or that it is flavored with high fructose corn syrup rather than real sugar. Sprite contains sweeteners in addition to sugar, which may explain the difference.

Sierra Mist sits in the middle of the other two beverages in terms of sweetness. It has a smoother, milder flavor and tends to be more refreshing.

Nutrition

Many people are quite rightly concerned about the effects of regularly consuming soft drinks on our health. Many of these drinks contain large amounts of sugar, and they tend to be loaded with artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.

You may see some drinks now marketed as “made with real sugar,” which is a result of the concern surrounding other products such as high fructose corn syrup to sweeten drinks.

There is also a growing trend toward avoiding artificial sweeteners such as aspartame.

So, which one wins the nutritional comparison? Let’s look at some stats to compare the three drinks:

SodaServing SizeCaloriesFatSodiumTotal CarbohydratesSugarProtein
7UP12 fluid ounces (1 can)1400 grams45 milligrams39 grams38 grams0 grams
Sprite12 fluid ounces (1 can)1400 grams65 milligrams38 grams38 grams0 grams
Sierra Mist12 fluid ounces (1 can)1400 grams35 milligrams37 grams37 grams0 grams

7UP Ingredients

According to the manufacturer’s website, the Original 7UP contains the following ingredients:

  • Filtered Carbonated Water
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Citric Acid
  • Potassium Citrate
  • Natural Flavors
  • Calcium Disodium EDTA (To Protect Flavor)

Sprite Ingredients

According to the manufacturer’s website, Sprite Original contains the following ingredients:

  • Carbonated Water
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Citric Acid
  • Natural Flavors
  • Sodium Citrate
  • Sodium Benzoate (To Protect Taste)

Sierra Mist Ingredients

According to the manufacturer’s website, Sierra Mist lists the following ingredients:

  • Carbonated Water
  • Sugar
  • Natural Flavor
  • Citric Acid
  • Potassium Benzoate (Preserves Freshness)
  • Potassium Citrate
  • Calcium Disodium EDTA (To Protect Flavor)

Which Drink Is Healthiest?

All three drinks contain high levels of added sugars, and these are the type of sugar it is best to avoid.

To follow the guidance of nutritional specialists, you should never drink more than one can of most types of carbonated drink per day — unless you switch to a sugar-free version!

But of the three drinks, the sugar content of Sierra Mist just edges ahead. Not only does it contain slightly less sugar than the other two, but it is also free from high fructose corn syrup and aspartame.

Other than this, there is little to choose between the three drinks in terms of their nutritional content. They are all flavored with natural flavorings, but the manufacturers are not required to disclose exactly what these are.

Which Drink Is The Best Mixer?

If you’re trying to find the perfect citrus-based soda mixer for your cocktails, it is vital to ensure that you match the flavors.

All three beverages in our comparison have their own strengths and weaknesses and are more suited to certain flavor combinations.

7UP has a sweet yet salty, intense lemon-and-lime flavor that works perfectly in cocktails such as the classic tequila-based Margarita.

It also has two well-known cocktails named after it — the famous Seven and Seven, a mix of Seagram’s 7 Crown and 7up, and a CC and Seven, which contains Canadian Club Whisky.

However, 7UP is too punchy for more delicate liqueurs (such as vodka) and will overwhelm the complex taste notes. The salty flavor also means it does not mix well with fruit-based drinks and flavorings, such as Grenadine.

Sprite sits in the middle of the table in terms of sweetness and strength of flavor, making it the perfect partner for punchier liqueurs.

Try combining Sprite and rum for a refreshing long cocktail, or add a splash of Sprite and a wedge of lime to your glass of whisky.

Sierra Mist is the most natural-flavored drink of the three as it does not contain chemically flavored notes that will overwhelm delicate spirits.

This makes it the perfect partner for vodka, sherry, or gin. Sierra Mist is also a great choice for making a rosé or white wine spritzer.

Don’t forget that any of these three carbonated drinks will also work well in non-alcoholic cocktails, as long as you stick to the general guidance above.

Which Drink Is The Winner?

Disclaimer alert — most citrus soda lovers will have a firm favorite, and this is a debate that could go on forever! But if you’re new to the world of these popular carbonated drinks, which of the three products should you go for?

Well, it’s a tricky choice, but we think that Sierra Mist has got the edge here!

The flavor is purer with less of a chemical tang than its counterparts, and it is sweetened with real sugar rather than high fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners.

However, if you prefer a drink that is less sweet and with a punchier flavor, then give 7UP a try. The sweetness is perfectly balanced with a zingy, salty aftertaste and that distinctive lemon-lime flavor.

And in the middle of these two extremes, we have Sprite, which is not one of the world’s bestselling brands without good reason!

Sprite ticks all the boxes for many fans of citrus soda drinks, so don’t rule it out if you’re looking for a new drink to try.

Related Questions

Now we’ve got all your citrus soda drink questions all wrapped up, let’s take a look at some other common questions on this topic!

How do you make homemade lemon-lime soda?

OK, so you’re a big fan of Sprite or 7UP, but you want to try making a healthier alternative at home.

Luckily, it is really simple to make a batch of lemon-lime soda that tastes just as good as the most famous store-bought brands!

  1. Pour 2 cups of sparkling water into a large jug, then add ½ cup of simple syrup and the juice of 1 lemon and 1 lime (or to taste).
  2. Stir the ingredients together and serve chilled over ice, or as a cocktail mixer.
  3. A garnish of frozen lemon and lime slices is a great way to add a splash of color to this refreshing summer drink!

The great thing about making lemon-lime soda is that you can alter it to suit your own personal taste. If you like your lemon-lime soda more or less sweet or citrusy, simply adjust the amounts of simple syrup and citrus juice accordingly!

What can I use instead of lemon-lime soda?

The best substitutes for lemon-lime soda are those that replicate the sweet, zingy, citrusy flavor of this popular carbonated drink.

You can easily make a similar drink using lemon or lime juice added to club soda, or use homemade lemonade instead. You can also add sparkling water and sugar to any juice to recreate the fizzy sweetness of lemon-lime soda.

If you’re looking for an alternative (but similar) flavor to lemon-lime soda, look for drinks flavored with other citrus fruits, such as grapefruit or orange.

Another good substitute for lemon-lime soda is other carbonated drinks like ginger ale. For lower sugar alternatives, switch to tonic water, seltzer water, or mineral water.

Why is Sprite used as a marinade?

You may be surprised to come across recipes that use Sprite or 7UP as a marinade for meat, but there is some clever science behind this!

Carbonated drinks actually tenderize meat, helping to create a sublime, melt-in-the-mouth texture. This, combined with the sweetness of most lemon-lime soda drinks, makes them an unusual but very effective marinade for meats and poultry.

You can also use soda drinks to create deliciously rich and intense meat glazes or even to make your cake batters even lighter and fluffier than normal.

Who would have thought that our favorite canned drinks were so versatile?

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