Taste testing diet sodas

With the variety of chic diet sodas expanding faster than the contents of a CO2 canister, we asked a few Times staffers to sample a dozen brands in a variety of flavors, such as cola, grape soda and root beer. Here are their thoroughly unscientific reviews:

Clear winners

Cascade Ice Acai Blueberry Pomegranate (sweetened with sucralose): “I enjoy this as a less sugary option to fruit juice. It’s light but still has the berry taste.”

Hank’s Diet Root Beer (sweetened with aspartame): “Good root beer flavor but lighter.”


Jones Zero Calorie Vanilla Bean Soda (sucralose): “Doesn’t taste too sweet. Very nice vanilla flavor.”

Lorina Sparkling Lemonade (sucralose): “I could drink this all day.”

Squamscot Diet Grape (sucralose): “Yum! Doesn’t taste like diet.”


Boylan (sucralose and Ace-K): “Bad flavor, extra sweet finish.” “Sweeter than Diet Coke with a genuine cola flavor.”

Dr. Brown’s Diet Cream Soda (aspartame): “All sweet, no flavor.” “Wow. Love it.”

Fitz’s Diet Cream Soda (sucralose and Ace-K): “Strong vanilla flavor, a little too sweet.” “Tastes like vanilla ice cream.”

Zevia Mountain Zevia (stevia): “Too sweet.” “tastes less like diet and closer to traditional 7-Up.”


Less than loved

Blenheim Ginger Ale (aspartame): “The ginger is so strong that it burns.”

Manhattan Special Espresso Coffee Soda (aspartame): “Tastes like carbonated burnt coffee. Very bitter but too sweet at the same time.”

Taylor’s Tonics Chai Cola Light (erythritol): “Exotic in a bad way.”