Seltzer and soda lovers will agree on this refreshing soda. It's low-cal, but brings a subtle sweetness in a delicious, effervescent form.
The product: Vermont Sweetwater Bottling Company Maple Seltzer. ($6.95 for a six-pack; available online)
The taste factor: I was worried that one sip of this bubbly beverage would give me a toothache. However, this drink has the perfect amount of maple flavor. What's more impressive is that it's made with 100% maple sap—nothing added! There are so many tart and tangy blends of seltzer, that this sweet taste is a welcome alternative.
The health factor: With a little more than 50 calories, this drink is a better calorie bargain than sodas, but it doesn't leave you with the aspartame taste of most flavored seltzers. And maple sap is not as sugary as maple syrup. It takes about 40 gallons of maple sap to make 1 gallon of maple syrup, so you get a little sweetness without the extra calories. One bottle contains 12 grams of sugar but satisfies you as much as a regular soda.
Why we love it: Perfect for sipping at an outdoor barbecue, we love the wholesome, sweet taste of this soda. But the best part is that we can sip it for one-third the calories and sugars of canned sodas.