Cascade Ice Review: Let the Low-Cal Fruity Drinks Flow

When you get a package like this in the mail, you know it’s going to be a good day.
I mean, low-calorie cocktail mixers and naturally flavored sparkling waters to play with? Yes, yes, YES. And so I did. First, I mixed up some of the Cascade Ice Margarita with tequila, for what was a pretty standard tasting skinny margarita. Good, with a slight hint of that fake sugar aftertaste (but not too bad—the tequila tends to dull that). Next, I tried the Cosmopolitan, both on its own and with a little vodka and Cointreau. And it was pretty darn good. Not sure it’s better than a real Cosmo, but solid for a low-cal mixer.
But what I really had fun with was playing with the other non-cocktail mixer flavors—which I, of course, turned into cocktails. (I mean…why not?!) And they were really dang refreshing!
My experiment began with Pink Grapefruit with a big ol’ ice cube. (I’m smitten with the big cubes lately.)
Sweet but not too sweet—and with that slight aftertaste of sucralose (man, how I wish it was Stevia, monk fruit or just real sugar instead)—it wasn’t bad. Not great, but bubbly and light. And then I poured in a little of the Lemonade. And a splash of the Coconut. And then I realized that clearly mint was needed. So I went out to my herb garden, picked two mint leaves, rubbed them slightly to release the essential oils, and placed them in the drink.
Now we were talking! A little minty, this mildly fruit concoction was super refreshing. And I’d wager that it will go amazing with the vodka I’m infusing with pineapple and strawberries (that post is coming up soon—promise!).
Now, for the real health foodies in the house, these sparking waters and low-cal cocktail mixers aren’t totally clean. With 1 percent fruit juice (the 1 percent seems funny to me), they are sugar-, sodium-, gluten- and caffeine-free. But, they also include—as I mentioned before—sucralose (Splenda) and some of the colored ones have yellow #5 and other food dyes in them, which isn’t ideal, in my opinion. But, again, as long as you’re aware of what you’re sipping on and don’t have a ton, I’ll default to our usual tagline: all good things in moderation! And, in moderation, these are certainly fun to play with!
You can find them at most of your major grocery stores, and there are fun recipes online in case you need a little help getting your creative fruity juices flowing. I think the next way I’ll try them is as a tonic water replacement in gin and tonics…yum.
When it comes to cocktails and fruity drinks, do you go for low-cal mixers? Or go for the full-calorie version? —Jenn

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