REVIEW: Burger King Fiery Strawberry Sprite

There’s usually nothing more refreshing than a cold soda on a hot day, but if that soda is Burger King’s new Fiery Strawberry Sprite, I’d suggest proceeding with caution. That’s right, the brand (in)famous for its unsettling gimmicks (a black Whopper, anyone?) will once again have you scratching your head all the way to BK for its newest novelty: spicy soda.

This hot (ha, ha) item comes courtesy of its limited-edition summer Fiery Menu, which includes five different products ranked in increasing order of heat. The only beverage on the list is ranked just Spice Level 1, but like a poisonous frog advertising danger with its unnatural color, this bright-red Sprite wears its heat on its sleeve. This is because it’s mixed with “Fiery strawberry puree.” What makes the strawberry puree so fiery, you ask? You’ll have to keep asking because Burger King isn’t telling, though popular guesses I’ve seen include tajin and ginger.

While I can’t actually tell you exactly what’s in this Sprite, I can tell you what it tastes like. The first sip reminded me of a regular strawberry soda, but everything changed when the aftertaste attacked. The fabled fieriness had merely waited a few seconds to make its grand appearance, spreading slowly but undeniably against the roof of my mouth. Sure, I didn’t leap into the air with smoke pouring from my ears like a cartoon character, but I certainly winced, coughed, and maybe slightly regretted my reviewing choice (important context: try as I might, I am a weakling when it comes to spice).

I understand that sweet-spicy, aka “swicy,” is trendy right now, but in soda form, I found the combination of sweet heat with carbonation to be particularly abrasive. In some ways, the bite of the spiciness is a natural companion for the sharpness of the bubbles, but the dual sensation is intense in a way that I think many would find jarring. But I powered through the initial discomfort, and as I did, something strange started to happen: this slightly painful soda started to grow on me (in admittedly small sips, as I found it way too potent to chug).

Or maybe it would be more accurate to say that, regardless of whether I was actually enjoying it, I felt compelled to keep drinking more. I think it’s because I was craving a cold liquid to quell the heat, but of course, said liquid was the source of the heat in the first place, so even though each sip was like throwing gasoline on the fire, I couldn’t stop. I took so long to finish that the ice melted and watered my drink down, and that actually made it a lot more pleasant.

Oh, and if you’re coming in expecting Sprite’s classic lemon-lime stylings beneath the heat, adjust your expectations; both the strawberry flavor and the spiciness were so overpowering that it didn’t read as Sprite at all, tasting more like a mutant Fanta to me.

Unfortunately, I can’t say that the Fiery Strawberry Sprite and I got along like a Sprite on fire. If you’re a spice connoisseur or just a thrill junkie, sure, give this one a shot, but just be warned that if you play with Fiery Strawberry Sprite, you’re gonna get burned.

Purchased Price: $4.34
Size: Medium
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 190 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 50 milligrams of sodium, 48 grams of carbohydrates, 47 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Sprite Chill

Have you ever enjoyed a nice cold soda and thought to yourself, “Wow, this is great, but if only there was a way to make it seem ever so slightly cooler?” I haven’t, or if I have, I probably just reached for some ice. If you lack access to anything frozen and are still searching for something to give you a cold boost, perhaps Sprite Chill is for you.

Billing itself as the “coldest-est” yet, this Cherry-Lime spin on Sprite claims to be the first soft drink to utilize a cooling sensation without also having a mint flavor (I guess this means Coca-Cola Starlight’s cooling trick used mint?) and the feeling is meant to intensify as you continue to drink it. The idea of a mint-less cooling effect sounds neat, I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t love a good food gimmick, but I was even more interested in the Cherry-Lime flavor. With visions of icy cool cherry limeade in mind, I dove into my fridge-cold bottle.

To fit the chill theme, the drink itself has been given a frosty appearance. More opaque than a typical Sprite, it looks the part of something glacial. The cherry is noticeable in the first sniff and sip, but it’s certainly subtle. I’m relieved not to get a medicinal vibe, but I wish there was more oomph. Sprite already starts with a lemon-lime flavor, so I expected the cherry-lime would boost the lime and also bring a stronger cherry taste. The cooling sensation wasn’t immediately obvious to me, and instead of being extra refreshing, I felt like I was drinking a somewhat muted Sprite with a few cherries sitting in it for a while. You would think that whatever provides the cooling sensation would be more immediately refreshing, but I think this rendition almost lacks some of the crispness of original Sprite.

No longer married to gum and toothpaste, this “cooling” has recently shown up in several products and the consensus seems to be that it isn’t a very strong effect. I can notice it in Sprite Chill, but much like the cherry flavor, it’s subtle. If the press release is to be believed, the sensation should build as I keep drinking, but I don’t think it ever truly reaches a level beyond “I guess this is kind of tingly.” There’s a bit of that feeling you’d get from a menthol cough drop, minus the taste, but I don’t know if I’d even have this observation if I wasn’t actively looking for it. I like this soda, but I find it so unremarkable that I’m not sure why anyone bothered to make it. There isn’t enough cherry or lime to really make it stand out, and the chilling gimmick it relies on isn’t especially detectable. This Sprite isn’t bad, but it just doesn’t thrill or really chill me.

Purchased Price: $2.00
Size: 20 fl oz
Purchased at: Jewel-Osco
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 bottle regular) 240 calories, 0 grams of total fat, 105 milligrams of sodium, 64 grams of total carbs, 64 grams of total sugars (incl. 64 grams of added sugars), and 0 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Sprite Lymonade Legacy

The Coca-Cola Company has released Sprite Lymonade Legacy, a strawberry-lemonade-flavored take on the classic lemon-lime soda. Released with the tagline “Celebrating 50 Years of Hip-Hop”, will this soda do justice to the legacy of one the most influential musical movements of recent memory?

Here’s the bad news: the only music I listen to are Broadway show tunes and movie/videogame soundtracks. So, unless Hamilton counts, I’m completely unqualified to judge whether a strawberry-lemonade soda adequately represents hip-hop from a musical perspective. But I do know my way around a soda fountain, so I feel up to the task of reviewing this soda.

I open the lovely pink can, pour the soda into a glass, and am surprised at the lack of red or pink coloring in the liquid. It instead appears as ordinary, vaguely cloudy yellow lemonade. No doubt the cloudiness is from the modified food starch in the ingredient list and not the clarified lemon juice listed, but I appreciate how much like real lemonade it appears.

The scent is very strawberry-forward, and the flavor really brings the berry. It’s certainly artificial; you won’t mistake this for a freshly squeezed lemonade with crushed strawberries from the county fair. Think more of those old-fashioned strawberry candies. Underneath all that berry is a distinct lemon flavor, separate from the lemon-lime of classic Sprite, but there’s no mistaking this for regular Sprite Lymonade.

A strawberry flavor is a natural addition to the existing Sprite Lymonade. If you’re one to get excited about new sodas (And I am! And I suspect readers of this site are too), this may seem like an underwhelming brand extension. I, however, have come to appreciate this simple soda. At a time when Coca-Cola is releasing Coke varieties like “Pixel,” “Dreamworld,” and the upcoming “Sound Of A Lover’s Step As They Approach,” I can appreciate how much a touch of strawberry can add to a soft drink. The others all end up tasting like fruity bubblegum to me anyway.

Sprite Lymonade Legacy is a soda that does exactly what it promises. Some red coloring would have added to the strawberry experience, but the flavor is on point.

Purchased Price: $ 7.29
Size: 12 fl oz cans/12 pack
Purchased at: Woodman’s Market
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 can) 130 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 mg milligrams of cholesterol, 65 milligrams of sodium, 35 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 35 grams of sugar (including 35 grams of added sugars), and 0 gram of protein.

REVIEW: Sprite Zero Sugar Winter Spiced Cranberry

Sprite Zero Sugar Winter Spiced Cranberry Bottle

What is Sprite Zero Sugar Winter Spiced Cranberry?

To the delight of those who are already sweet enough on their own, Sprite has released a zero-sugar version of its Winter Spiced Cranberry soda! An admirable effort, considering the original contains 109% of your daily added sugars in one 20 oz bottle.

How is it?

I should let you all know that while I’ll chow or gulp down any food or beverage in the eggnog, gingerbread, or even Christmas tree (if you haven’t tried spruce beer, try spruce beer) family come holiday time, the combination of fruit and spice has my heart.

This Sprite does not have my heart.

Sprite Zero Sugar Winter Spiced Cranberry Clear Side

Upon first pour, I smelled a burst of sweetness that was not easily identifiable as lemon, lime, cranberry, or spice. The scent was more like an orange or melon soda than something you’d reach for as you’re hanging up the holly.

The taste is equally indistinguishable. If you handed a mug of it to Santa, no explanation, well, he’d be cranky it’s not milk, but he also wouldn’t be able to tell you what flavor it’s supposed to be. Where the original Sprite Winter Spiced Cranberry has defined flavors of fruit and spice, the notes feel muddled and thin in the zero-sugar version.

Also, I know you can’t make a sugar-free soda taste like it’s corn syrupy brother, but Sprite Zero Sugar Winter Spiced Cranberry really tastes like a diet soda. The cranberry flavoring that is so pleasant in the original version only heightens the unnatural sweetness of aspartame.

Anything else you need to know?

Sprite Zero Sugar Winter Spiced Cranberry Decoration

This soda was the pine needle in the haystack of holiday flavors, and it took me a very long time to hunt it down. I finally found it in a liquor superstore, which may be because the only way to enjoy this Sprite is to mix it with something else. If you’ve figured out the best beverage to add, please let me know in the comments; I was only able to find a 2-liter bottle and want to find a good use for the rest.


Sprite Zero Sugar Winter Spiced Cranberry Clear Top

As a two-time maker of a mulled wine pecan pie, I can’t sign off on this supposed spiced fruit item. If you want to try a Sprite winter soda, I can only recommend buying the original sugar-full (seriously, it has almost a quarter more added sugar than regular Sprite) version. Otherwise, let’s all hope Mtn Dew figures out a sugar-free version of Gingerbread Snap’d soon.

Purchased Price: $1.89
Size: 2 liter bottle
Purchased at: Total Wine & More
Rating: 3 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (12 fl oz) 0 calories, 0 grams of fat, 35 milligrams of sodium, 0 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Sprite Ginger

Sprite Ginger

Sprite has always marketed itself to teenagers, so this Sprite Ginger seems a little off-brand. Maybe it’s only me, but I’m not sure if ginger appeals to the younger crowd.

Of course, as someone who will be admitting for the 2020 Census that he is in a much higher age bracket than teens and has never spelled the word “thick” with two c’s, I don’t know what kiddos like nowadays.

But my adult palate does know what it likes when it comes to caffeine-free, non-alcoholic carbonated sugary beverages to help me relax after a long day of adulting — lemon-lime soda and ginger ale.

Deciding which one to drink is never a difficult decision, but with this new beverage, I have another option that combines the two.

Visually, it looks like an original Sprite. But when the cap is twisted off, a noticeable ginger aroma comes out of the bottle. An equally prominent ginger flavor comes through with every sip. That flavor drives the beverage, while the lemon-lime takes a backseat, making it taste more like a ginger ale than a Sprite.

I can understand why the lymon soda brand decided to add the spice to its classic, clear, and citrusy beverage. It’s because the combination is delicious. Before this, the only proof I had to back up that statement was Canada Dry’s Ginger Ale and Lemonade that’s been around for a couple of years.

Sprite Ginger with Canada Dry

When comparing Sprite Ginger with Canada Dry’s Ginger Ale and Lemonade, the former tastes more ginger-forward, while the latter is more lemon-forward. While their flavors are on different sides of the ginger spectrum, both are equally refreshing and satisfying to my taste buds.

Sprite Ginger is an excellent beverage. But if you’re not a fan of ginger ale, you probably won’t feel the same way.

Purchased Price: More than any human should pay*
Size: 20 fl. oz. bottle
Purchased at: eBay
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 bottle) 210 calories, 0 grams of fat, 110 milligrams of sodium, 57 grams of carbohydrates, 56 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.

*Sometimes it takes awhile for products to end up on this rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, so I purchase some of them on eBay so I get them in a timely manner.