This popular lemon-lime soda, Sprite, was produced by Coca-Cola in 1961. It has a clear appearance, no caffeine, and a refreshing, crisp taste.
The History of Sprite
Before the 1960’s, around 1950, Coca-Cola sold “Sprite” as a variety of different fruit flavored sodas, but then officially settled on bottling and selling only the electrically-satisfying lemon flavor we know today.
Coca-Cola had to compete with the ever growing 7up which was also lemon-lime flavored and caffeine free. 7up was around since the 1920’s, and was the leader for this flavored beverage by the time the 60’s came around, so Sprite needed a new brand of ingenuity behind it.
They developed a brand mascot named Sprite Boy to attract more young people to purchase the soda, and it worked. Eventually in 1994 they started working with NBA stars to show the benefit of the refreshing, non-caffeinated drink.
This kickstarted its popularity, as it came to be the fourth most bought soda today.
In this case coffee has more caffeine than soda, because Sprite is caffeine free, and always has been. The brand, like many other lemon-lime tasting sodas like Mountain Dew, are not thinking about adding caffeine. This difference is what makes it unique.
In 8 fl oz of coffee there’s about 95 mg of caffeine, so Sprite could make a satisfying energy-alternative.
Having 0 mg of caffeine in a soda is extremely low, because soda is known for its energy-spiking levels of caffeine. In a drink like cola there is about 39 mg in 21 fl oz (a fast food-size medium), and 21 mg in 12 fl oz (a childs small).
Sprite may be free of caffeine but it’s filled with sugar. There’s as much as 44 g of sugar in 21 fl oz of Sprite, making it a drink to stay away from if avoiding sugar.
One of the main ingredients is high fructose corn syrup, which is why the content of sugar is so high.
The American Heart Association recommends 36 g of added sugar for men and 25 g for women, so only one serving of Sprite would go way above daily recommendations.
Among Sprite’s many other flavors in all 190 countries sold, it has a zero sugar version, which is flavored with a sugar replacement called aspartame, which is often used in gums and other drinks and snacks.
In one can of Sprite, 12 fl oz, there are 140 calories, 0 g of fat, 65 mg of sodium, and 38 mg of carbs. There is 0 g of protein.
Sprite has such a bright taste from its strong lemon flavor with a hint of lime. It’s different from other non-cola beverages, like ginger ale, because it’s reminiscent of the lemon fruit, with a balanced nuance of a lime wedge.
Of course, Sprite has other varietals, such as ginger, cherry, tropical mix, “lymonade”, and much more that are seen in more countries. All of which have the crisp carbonated feel.
It’s mostly flavored with additives like citric acid and natural flavors, which give it that slight, sour pucker taste, but the lemon and lime taste is so smooth that the sourness fades away.
How to Store
Soda doesn’t last forever, and after opening that bubbly feeling will disappear and taste stale and flat. It’s best to consume a can immediately, if not the same day, and to follow the sell-by or best-before date posted on the container or packaging.
This date is to measure the quality of the beverage or product, and isn’t a means for a safety date. If an unopened can is past its best-before date, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s unsafe to drink, just that it won’t taste as good.
Store unopened carbonated drinks like Sprite in a dark, cool location to last for up to 6-9 months. This is generally the same when stored in the fridge also.
An opened Sprite will last around 2-4 hours in the fridge. In either instance, keep away from heat and warm temperatures.
To tell if it’s gone bad check for the fizz sound when opened. Heat could cause the soda to go flatter faster. Also, look for a flavor or color change that could signify that the soda is no longer safe to drink.
Quick Tips for Sprite to Last Longer
Some of these tips could help store Sprite for a little bit more than it’s intended. Like storing upside down or in smaller containers.
Sealing opened Sprite will most likely help save its carbonation and flavor once in the fridge. Putting the contents of Sprite in small containers with little air space could help maximize its freshness. Exposure to air or heat is what makes the fizz and carbonation disappear.
In this case, squeezing the bottle could help minimize the air and space in there, which could help with keeping that fizz.
Resealable opened bottles could be placed upside down in the fridge, because gas rushes to the top of the bottle once turned and reopened. This is why the “fizz” sound happens. The more gas that’s kept in the bottle, the better Sprite will feel and taste.
To Be Caffeinated or Not to Be
Those looking for a caffeine replacement could possibly give Sprite a try, but perhaps in moderation considering all of the sugar additives and preservatives it includes. It’s a fun, punchy, and vibrant drink that has been around for over 50 years, and has no plans yet to change its formula.
It was made to compete with other non-caffeinated, fruit flavored sodas, and has dominated the market since then.
Once opening that sweet, lemon burst of fizzy soda, it’s best to down it while you can, because soda freshness just isn’t the same once the seal is cracked. There are basic ways to get the best out of Sprite while it lasts, and also some unique techniques to keep in the fridge for a little while longer.