When Pomegranate 7Up was first announced back in November, I got pretty excited, hoping that it was something in the same vein as Sierra Mist Cranberry Splash… a light holiday drink with a little bit of berry flavoring. After trying it, I’m pleased.
Overall, it’s very similar to its inspiration, obviously last season’s Cranberry Splash. The flavoring of pomegranate is rather weak. Actually, to be honest, I’m not sure I really tasted a unique pomegranate flavor. It tasted berry-ish to me. Not as strong as a Cherry 7Up, more muted in tone.
I don’t see this as a negative, however. It makes for a great compliment with food, not overpowering other flavors, but still providing something festively tasty on the side. I would also imagine that Pomegranate 7Up has a lot of possibilities to be used as a base for mixer drinks.
The drink is sweetened with high fructose corn syrup (thus the “100% natural flavors” claim vs. the original “100% natural” claim). With this mix, it has 120 calories per cup (vs. 100 calories per cup for standard 7Up). The biggest difference you’ll find with this flavored version is the amount of “sugars” packed in the drink. 31g, to be exact (original 7Up has 25g). That doesn’t mean it’s really sweet, however. It’s subtle overall. And of course, there’s no caffeine.
It should also be noted that there does not seem to be any real pomegranate in the drink itself, just the aforementioned “100% natural flavors” of pomegranate, whatever that means. The folks at Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages don’t seem to mind, however:
“With its natural Pomegranate flavor and deep burgundy color, Pomegranate 7UP is a festive addition to the holiday season,” said Matt Smith, 7UP brand director for Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages. “Pomegranate is one of the fastest growing flavors in beverages today, and Pomegranate 7UP makes a perfect primer for any holiday party.” (Emphasis mine)
Curiously, at the time of this review, Cadbury Schweppes doesn’t seem to have any online tie-in to Pomegranate 7Up. There’s nothing on the official 7Up website about it, and other than a press release on the corporate website about the product’s release, there’s been very little info available online to build word of mouth. Contrast this with last year’s Cranberry Splash mini-website, complete with recipes. CSAB really dropped the ball here. (For those looking for mixer options, the folks over at Amazon’s Al Dente blog did share a couple of recipes that were provided by Cadbury Schweppes for Pomegranate 7Up. You’ll find those at the end of this review. Why they aren’t online via 7Up.com is beyond me!)
Taking a look at this drink as a whole, I liked it quite a bit. It’s not a “knock it out of the park home run” so to speak, but it’s a good direction for 7Up. I’m still not a fan of the reformulated “100% natural flavors” version of the drink we have today, but the pomegranate overlay negates that bitterness somewhat. It adds a soft new dimension to the Uncola, while also providing CSAB a counteroffensive to Sierra Mist Cranberry Splash (and its “new for 2007″ diet version). You’ll only find Pomegranate 7Up in its full-calorie implementation this season… though if it does well, I wouldn’t be surprised to see it return with a low-cal option.
If you get an opportunity to try this drink, go ahead and sample it. It’s going to be available until January 31, 2008, exclusively in 2-liter bottles.
Pomegranate 7Up Recipes (via Al Dente)
1 ounce fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon superfine sugar
8 fresh mint leaves
2 ounces white rum
2 teaspoons pomegranate seeds
4 ounces Pomegranate 7Up
1 mint sprig
1 lime wedge
- In a highball glass, muddle lime juice, sugar, and mint leaves until sugar is dissolved.
- Add rum and pomegranate seeds. Fill glass with ice and top with Pomegranate 7Up.
- Garnish with mint sprig and lime wedge.
Triple Scoop Pomegranate 7Up Soda
1/4-cup scoop raspberry sorbet
1/4-cup scoop tropical fruit sorbet
1/4-cup scoop vanilla ice cream
6 to 8 fresh raspberries
6 ounces Pomegranate 7Up
- Layer ice cream scoops in a tall soda glass and top with raspberries.
- Slowly pour in Pomegranate 7Up. Serve with soda straws and a long spoon.