Monday, June 23, 2008
REVIEW: Zevia Diet Soda
Artificial sweeteners seem to be both a blessing and a curse. As it helps some people break their sugar addiction, others report using things like Equal and Splenda cause headaches, nausea, joint pain, monsterism and the condition known as 'hotdog fingers'.
Alternatives to mad scientist inspired sweetener products are sought after by low carbers, diabetics, and parents who don't want to pay a plastic surgeon to remove their child's chemically induced 3rd ear or finance a dentist's vacation home. They all want to avoid the evils of sugar and high fructose corn syrup without accidentally turning themselves into a newt. One natural sweetening option is Stevia.
Stevia is an herb known as "sweet leaf", and, while it is sweet, it also can be bitter and has a bit of a licorice aftertaste. Stevia products I have tried in the past have been hit or miss. One of the most vile being a Kool-aid type powder (who's name escapes me at the moment) that tasted like a combination of ground anise seed, pixie stix and shredded bicycle tire.
With that previous experience, I was a bit nervous about trying the can of "Zevia - Sweetened with Stevia" I saw on my last trip to Vitamin Cottage. However, I did promise my son a soda if he would quietly stay in the car dismantling my dashboard instead of coming in to the store with me and dismantling all of the store displays. Plus a single can was only 85¢. Well worth the 2 minutes of peace and quite it would buy me as a rummaged for Greek yogurt in the dairy section.
They had the orange and twist flavor cold and I picked the orange. Once I got back to the car and redid the headlight wiring, I popped open the can and cautiously took a sip. It reminded me a bit of a flavored seltzer more than, say, a diet Orange Crush, but it was good.
My son Max, who is a bit picky when it comes to soda, also didn't seem to mind it. He didn't inhale it like he would a can of Diet Pepsi, but he did finish the can and didn't tell me it was yucky, so I guess we can count him as approving too.
I want to give the other flavors a try, and based on the orange, I can say they are definitely worth a shot. The flavor was crisp and clean with a nice amount of sweetness and no bicycle tire after taste. The Orange was closer to a tangerine flavor than what you would expect from an orange flavored drink, but that isn't a bad thing. It was rather nice actually.
I give Zevia a thumbs up. I think it is a good alternative for those who want to avoid chemical sweeteners, but are bored to tears by just plain water. Stop by their website to see if they carry it near you, or check out their online order option.