Cranberry Soda battle: which is best this holiday season?

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As the holiday season approaches and December begins, cranberry sodas make their way into grocery store aisles. Since the two most popular cranberry sodas, Cranberry Sprite and Cranberry Ginger Ale, are hitting the shelves at this time of year, The Classic has decided to review the two to determine the best cranberry beverage for this holiday season.

Cranberry Sprite

Although one of the most well-known seasonal cranberry drinks of all time, one wouldn’t be able to distinguish Cranberry Sprite from the original Sprite at first taste, as both are clear and effervescent. Both cranberry and original Sprite have sweet aromas, but the cranberry soda is far less citrusy than the default flavor. As for taste, the cranberry was a weaker and much sweeter carbonated cranberry juice, instead of the standard lemony flavor of original Sprite. 

Most noticeable is the after-taste; as those who’ve had cranberry juice might be aware, it usually leaves a residual bitterness in your mouth. The soda has that same effect, but the incompatibility of the bitterness and sweetness coming from the Sprite was not pleasant. 

Cranberry Ginger Ale

The soda has a deep red hue and looks very different from the classic yellow-gold ginger ale color. It smells fruity, redolent of cranberry sauce. The scent was definitely reflected in the flavor of the drink. The taste resembled that of traditional ginger ale, but it had a berry-like aftertaste. Unlike the Cranberry Sprite, the aftertaste wasn’t too distasteful; One way to describe it is a mixture of cranberry and apple juice that blended nicely with the standard ginger-ale taste. The drink tasted surprisingly good and was significantly better than the Cranberry Sprite. 

Between these two sparkling holiday drinks, the better beverage is definitely Cranberry Ginger Ale. The drink was more delectable, especially because it lacked the pungent aftertaste of the Cranberry Sprite. Even the color improved the drinking experience— the Sprite was just clear and bland, whereas the deep redness of the Cranberry Ginger Ale made it more fitting for the holiday season.