Cranberry Sprite!

Originally something I wanted to include in the 2013 Christmas Countdown, Cranberry Sprite's time to shine as perhaps already come and gone.

Christmas is over. New Years has past. And chances are the last thing on anyone's mind is Santa Claus and the limited edition sights and sounds that accompany his arrival. Still, it doesn't seem right to let this one slip through the cracks and not give it some sort of attention.

Sprite Cranberry
2013 Cranberry Sprite!
For years now I've sang the praises of Siera Mist: Cranberry Splash. Who sort of stands as the undisputed king of Christmas beverages. It's arrival (and subsequent departure) is one of my personal 'road markers' for when the Christmas Season has officially arrived and when its closure is finally here.

I find ways to fit Cranberry Splash into every Christmas Countdown despite the fact that it has remained largely unchanged for years now. I do so for a number of reasons but chief among them is the fact that Cranberry Splash is just flat out a darn good flavor of soda!

Which is why it has always sort of surprised me that no other company has attempted to dethrone Siera Mist from its self proclaimed title of Christmas Kingdom. That is until now.

Cranberry Sprite is an admirable first effort into the seasonal beverage market... but man oh man does this one fall far off from the intended target.

She tastes not really like cranberries nor like traditional Sprite either. It has this sort of a vaguely undefined quality about it that's kind of hard to pinpoint.

Upon the first sip you'll almost immediately "get" what Cranberry Sprite is all about. The deeper you dive into the bottle the higher the risk becomes that you'll burn out on this beverage. It's good but perhaps not 20 ounces worth of good. I ended up tossing a little under half of mine.

Perhaps my biggest point of contention is the fact that the soda is clear. Look, I fully understand that is Sprite's overall gimmick... being a crystal clear beverage in a sea of colored soft-drinks. But this is one of those times that rules should be tossed aside and the colored dye tossed deep into the mix!

I mean if you are going to create a Christmas themed soda. And if said soda is supposed to taste like cranberries, then that sucker better be red beyond repair! If not at least give us the holly-jolliest label this side of the North Pole.

Cranberry Sprite did a whopping... neither. For a soda apparently poised to take on king Cranberry Splash, it really feels like Cranberry Sprite stumbled and fell flat on its face.

It was a drink that I wanted to love. I wanted to gush about, yet seemed destined to do everything within its power make me shun it. Perhaps that is why I'm writing about it at the end of January as opposed to the middle of December, back when it was still readily available in stores.

The chances of anyone finding a bottle now are slim and quickly approaching the ever illusive "none". Just like the actual Christmas Season of 2013, its time has all but come and gone.

Though I do look forward to seeing if Sprite will attempt to revamp its flavor for the '14 festivities. It's a long, long way off (335 days but who is counting?) but when we get there... it'll be interesting to see if Cranberry Sprite will be along for the ride!