Being a person who is greatly affected by one’s caffeine intake (i.e. it will keep me up all night if I’m not careful), I find joy with caffeine-free products that offer a unique flavor beyond the traditional Sprite, Sierra Mist, and 7Up varieties. Such can be found with Canada Dry Cranberry Ginger Ale.
This product is actually made by Dr Pepper/Seven Up, which was purchased by Cadbury Schweppes along with Mott’s and Snapple, to become Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages, which was merged with the larger conglomerate a few years ago, only to be demerged this year while the parent company focuses on their confectionery business without the distraction of soft drinks. Thus, it will now belong to the new Dr Pepper Snapple group of the company, going public as a standalone unit in 2008. Confused yet? It gets worse. My 2-liter of Canada Dry Cranberry Ginger Ale was actually bottled by Coke. Crazy!
While this flavor is available year-round in some sections of the country, it tends to make seasonal appearances around the holidays, predating other “light” Christmas flavors like Sierra Mist Cranberry Splash and Pomegranate 7Up. I had read that this particular flavor was rather good and was fortunate to find it stocked here in the Chicago area.
I must confess that my personal favorite as far as flavored ginger ales is Schweppes Raspberry Ginger Ale, so I was curious how this cranberry version would stack up. The packaging is attractive, dominated by Canada Dry’s green color scheme, complete with their famed shield. There’s a pink tint to the graphics to denote the cranberry color.
Speaking of color, the drink itself is far more red than pink, especially when compared to other competitors in this area. I found this to be rather enticing. I mean, who really wants to drink a pink beverage? The scent that emanates from the bottle is distinctly ginger ale, with just a hint of berryness. So far, so good.
As for the flavor, there’s no mistaking the ginger ale roots here, but then you are pleasantly greeted by a distinctive influx of cranberry. It really does taste like someone mixed ginger ale and cranberry juice. Unlike the rather sweet tastes found with Sierra Mist Cranberry Splash, Pomegranate 7Up, and even Schweppes Raspberry Ginger Ale, there’s a muted flavor here. It’s uniquely different, which we liked quite a bit. Something that stands on its own quite well, but could also be easily partaken with a meal or as part of a mixer. There’s a very good base drink here.
The bottle notes that it contains less than 1% juice (which based on the ingredients, consists of “concentrated cranberry juice”). That same listing also notes that this drink is sweetened by your friend and mine (not!), high fructose corn syrup.
Overall, we liked Canada Dry Cranberry Ginger Ale quite a bit. It’s a light, caffeine-free soda that distinctly separates itself from similar products. Highly recommended!