Review: Sierra Mist Ruby Splash / Diet Sierra Mist Ruby Splash


Over the years, Pepsi has experimented quite a bit with adding limited-time flavor extensions to their basic lemon-lime Sierra Mist brand. We've seen the likes of Sierra Mist Cranberry Splash (Holiday 2006-8), Sierra Mist Lemon Squeeze (Summer 2007), and Sierra Mist Undercover Orange (Summer 2008). This time around, however, we have a permanent line extension with a grapefruit-infused taste: Sierra Mist Ruby Splash.

Sierra Mist Ruby Splash

Heavily showcased during March's South by Southwest (SXSW) music/film/interactive festival in Austin, TX, Sierra Mist Ruby Splash was officially released in April.

With a tagline proclaiming it as "Liquid Sunshine", Pepsi describes the drink as "a delicious and refreshing blend of the lemon-lime taste that consumers love with a splash of ruby grapefruit." This quote comes from Kristina Mangelsdorf, who believe it or not, has the title of "Director of Marketing, Flavors" for Pepsi-Cola North America Beverages. I bet you didn't know you could have a "Flavor" position, did ya?

Unlike Cranberry Splash, Lemon Squeeze, and Undercover Orange, Ruby Splash is here to stay long-term — something I'd personally love to see happen to Pepsi Throwback and Mountain Dew Throwback, but what do I know… I just review drinks!

Sierra Mist Ruby Splash

Now, I have to admit my bias here. I don't like Sierra Mist. Frankly, I've never felt it was a very good lemon-lime, especially considering that the drink it replaced — Slice — had a much better taste. That said, I've really enjoyed the flavor extensions, probably because they don't taste much like Sierra Mist. The popularity of Cranberry Splash is great every holiday season, but you have to wonder if Pepsi just thinks it's not strong enough to work year-round. I'd love to see that move to full-time. Lemon Squeeze was VERY lemon-y, but not bad. And last summer's Undercover Orange was a bit odd being clear, yet the orange was refreshing, even though it tasted rather fake and syrupy.

The idea of taking a lemon-lime flagship and adding flavors to it is nothing new. 7Up has long offered a cherry flavor (Cherry 7Up), along with a holiday Pomegranate 7Up entry. They tried some ill-fated spinoffs including 7Up Plus Mixed Berry, 7Up Plus Island Fruit, and 7Up Plus Cherry. Coke experimented with extensions of Sprite years ago as well. Do you remember Sprite Remix Tropical, Sprite Remix Berryclear, and Sprite Remix Aruba Jam?

Sierra Mist is the first flavor extension to roll out with the new Sierra Mist logo that Pepsi introduced when they basically did a redesign of their entire portfolio. The new Mist logo features a rather clever "misty" fade on the phrase "Mist", complimented by yellow, green, and white. With the rollout of Ruby Splash, that logo has been enhanced with the addition of pink to the color scheme. On the 20 oz. bottle, this is emphasized by a red/pink translucent cap that really pulls out the colors in the label design. It's not as evident in the 12 oz. can, and in some ways, might easily be confused on the store shelf (granted, the cans are packaged in a larger cardboard box, thus it might be a mute point).

Diet Sierra Mist Ruby Splash

The diet version of the packaging uses yellow lettering in the "Mist" logo vs. the white lettering for the regular offering. Are you confused yet? Also, isn't it odd that the diet version of this drink is called "Diet Sierra Mist Ruby Splash"? What happened to the big push of using the phrase "Free" instead of "Diet", i.e. Sierra Mist Free and Sierra Mist Free Cranberry Splash?

Something I observed with the cans for Sierra Mist Ruby Splash, which were sent to me from Pepsi… Rather than have the artwork and labeling printed right on the can, they seemed to be shrinkwrapped instead, sort of like you see ads that cover entire public transit buses. However, looking at the cans available at the local store (which is here in Chicago), they were printed right on the metal. Thus I have to assume that this is a bottler issue, with different methods being used around the country. But how long has this shrinkwrap approach been used elsewhere? Anyway, I digress…


Sierra Mist Ruby Splash commercial
(Source: YouTube)

When you open a bottle or can of Sierra Mist Ruby Splash, the grapefruit scent is very obvious. It doesn't smell much like Sierra Mist. The drink itself is clear, just like Undercover Orange was last summer. Let's talk about taste, shall we? The flavor is sweet, with a nice blend of the grapefruit influence. You can still taste the Sierra Mist lemon-lime base, which depending on your preferences, could be good or bad. This drink isn't as bitter or biting as Ruby Red Squirt, which is probably the drink I'd compare it to, though you could probably also pull Canfield's 50/50 into the mix as well. Overall, it's a nice flavor extension that is light, but adds a good bit of variety to a rather dull lemon-lime experience. Plus, it's caffeine free!

The diet version of this drink, Diet Sierra Mist Ruby Splash, didn't have as great of a grapefruit flavor, in my opinion. It felt muted compared to the full-calorie edition. The sweeteners of choice are a combination of aspartame and Ace-K (acesulfame potassium), which, yes, give it that horrid aftertaste typically associated with diet beverages. That's the tradeoff you get for no sugar.

Ingredients:

Sierra Mist Ruby Splash
Carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, citric acid, natural flavor, potassium benzoate (preserves freshness), potassium citrate, calcium disodium EDTA (to protect flavor

A 20 oz. bottle packs 240 calories, while a 12 oz. can will provide 150 calories. You'll get 55 mg of sodium with the bottle, 35 with the can. 65 g of sugars can be found in the plastic bottle option, while it's just 39 g in the can.

Diet Sierra Mist Ruby Splash
Carbonated water, citric acid, natural flavor, potassium citrate, aspartame, potassium benzoate (preserves freshness), acesulfame potassium, calcium disodium EDTA (to protect flavor

Being a diet version, there are 0 calories, carbs, or sugars. A 12 oz. can provides 35 mg of sodium.

Sierra Mist Ruby Splash is a welcomed addition, if only to provide variety for those who prefer caffeine free beverages beyond the lemon-lime flavor. The grapefruit flavoring is light, but creates a good experience overall. Meanwhile, Diet Sierra Mist Ruby Splash with aspartame and Ace-K had a less potent flavor.

Full Disclosure: Canned beverages were provided compliments of PepsiCo

Comments

  1. XAlliedYouthX says:

    In 2009 Slice (Orange, Diet Orange, Grape, Strawberry, Peach) will be sold only in Wal-Mart Stores.

    Found that on the Slice wikipedia page.

  2. I have never been a huge fan of sierra mist preferring sprite or 7 up also i never truly liked grapefruit but i love this new sierra mist ruby splash a lot. It tastes like a citrus cough drop which are my favorite. Thanks

  3. We just did a review of Diet Sierra Mist Ruby Splash for our sugar free drinks category. We really liked the fact that the grapefruit taste covers up the aspartame. Overall, it was a pretty good drink. We suspect that those who are really crazy about grapefruit will enjoy it the most.

  4. I like to take a 12 oz. Sierra Mist Ruby Mist, squeeze in 1/2 of a fresh grapefruit, and it is the bomb! (I got the idea from Mimosas, but I don't drink alcohol, and I love grapefruits)

  5. TRUEDREAMS says:

    I totally love Sierra Mist Ruby. It is the best drink I have in my frig. I only have 3 left and cannot find them anywhere in my area. I am so sad, because I love this drink, HELP, please!

  6. I LOVE THIS SODA! I am going crazy trying to find the diet ruby splash. Its the most refreshing grapefruit soda ever.

  7. Barbara Begley says:

    I love the diet ruby red sierra mist, but having a hard time finding it on the shelves in my area. Can you help me out. Zip code 33463, Greenacres, FL. I found it once in Publix and was told they were not supposed to sell it yet, but the manager sold it to me anyway under a different pepsi product bar code. WHERE THE HECK DO I FIND IT IN MY AREA.
    THANKS.
    BARBARA

  8. Sandyincove says:

    I too can't find Diet Sierra mist ruby grapfruit in my eastern oregon state or in my surrounding Washington state or Idaho . Can someone tell us why.

  9. BonnieSue says:

    Sounds like a lot of folks want this item back, as well as myself. I reckon Pepsi isn't reading the postings of what their loyal fans want. WE WANT RUBY SPLASH BACK ON THE SHELVES.

    I've posted before, but I don't see my post listed, PEPSI, what are you doing. WHY FIX SOMETHING THAT ISN'T BROKEN.

    We love the product, I'm in zip code 27410, please let us know where/when it can be found. This time I'll fill up my closet with nothing but RUBY SPLASH!!! To heck with the clothing!

  10. I agree with all these folk's tenfold. Diet Sierra Mist Ruby Splash has got to be the best diet soda I have ever tasted. And this comes from someone who refused to drink diet soda till well into my 4o's. I am now 53.
    Why am I having such a hard time finding it?
    I just savored my very last can, that was given to me by a friend.
    Going back to diet coke just depresses me.

  11. Guess again – the Diet version is available in June 2010, but the regular version is no where to be found – so much for "PERMANENT"

  12. deborah steele says:

    Yes! Where is sierra mist regular ruby splash???? Between this disappearance and the disappearance of regular lipton sparkling kiwi/strawberry green tea, pepsi is batting a big fat zero! What gives with you people???

  13. ATTENTION, people beware!!!!!!!!!! Sierra mist 'natural' DOES contain aspartame/sucralose too! It is part of their alleged 'natural' ingrediant!! there is NOTHING natural about ASPARTAME, period!!!!

  14. I am having a really hard time finding the Diet Seirra Mist Ruby Red Splash. Please let me know where I can buy it in the Ft. Myers, Florida area………ANYWHERE in several counties.I'll drive to it.

  15. EMMITT EDWARDS says:

    I AM HAVING AHARD TIME FINDING DIET SIERRA MIST RUBY RED SPLASH IN THE LITHONIA,GA 30058 AREA,PLEASE TELL ME WHERE I CAN FIND IT,THANK YOU

  16. D Clark says:

    Help…….BRING BACK SIERRA MIST DIET RUBY SPLASH!!!
    Please and thank you. It is my favorite and the best.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] here in the U.S. they try to do that with niche drinks like Pepsi Throwback, Pepsi Natural, and Sierra Mist Ruby Splash, in Japan the tastes seem to be a little crazier. Pepsi Ice Cucumber(Source: [...]

  2. [...] Sierra Mist Cranberry Splash, Sierra Mist Lemon Squeeze, Sierra Mist Undercover Orange, and Sierra Mist Ruby Splash. We won't even go into all the name changes (Diet Sierra Mist to Sierra Mist Free back to Diet [...]

  3. [...] Contrast the new look with the design we've seen from 2006-2008. You'll also note a name change on the diet installment from "Sierra Mist Free Cranberry Splash" to the more normal "Diet Sierra Mist Cranberry Splash" — apparently, "Free" is dead. [...]

Speak Your Mind

*