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Top Pick Of The Week

August 14, 2007

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Sparkling Juice
It may be considered a soft drink, but Fizzy Lizzy sparkling juices are juice, not “soda.” Shown, Raspberry Lemon. Photo by Torsten Schon| IST.

WHAT IT IS: A line of all-natural sparkling juices.
WHY IT’S DIFFERENT: Juice is mixed with sparkling water to create a beverage with a dry, elegant style.
WHY WE LOVE IT: We generally don’t drink soft drinks, preferring sparkling water. Fizzy Lizzy marries the purity of sparkling water with the flavor of fruit juice, to create a line of beverages that can be enjoyed as a refreshment or drunk with meals.
WHERE TO BUY IT: FizzyLizzy.com, supermarkets and specialty food stores nationwide. See the store locator on the website.
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Fizzy Lizzy Sparkling Juices:
Fruitalicious

In the beginning there was fruit juice—healthy, tasty, but usually a breakfast beverage, not something to be taken with other meals. Then came sparkling water—for many people, the universal beverage. One day, the two were joined to create sparkling juice—the non-alcoholic version of the spritzer (which is wine mixed with club soda).

The idea of creating a line of sparkling juices came to Fizzy Lizzy founder Liz Morrill 12 years ago. For some time she had been mixing juice and club soda at home, and wondered why no such beverages were available for purchase. Ultimately, she brought her sparkling juices to market. Today, the line has eight all-natural flavors that average 67% fruit juice, with no added sugar or other sweetener.

The Fizzy Lizzy flavor profile is sophisticated and “dry”—not sweet and sugary. As a result, most of the flavors pair well with food. Sommeliers at top restaurants serve Fizzy Lizzy and other sparkling juices to guests who don’t drink alcohol, and want alternatives to mineral water. Smart hosts have Fizzy Lizzy on hand for guests who don’t want alcohol (or who shouldn’t be having another). Parents give Fizzy Lizzy to their kids instead of soda. As for us, we love the refreshment and the elegance of the flavors: sparkling Apple, Cranberry, Grape, Grapefruit, Pineapple, Pomegranate, Tangerine and Raspberry Lemon. Read more about them—plus food pairings and cocktail recipes—in the full review below. It’s easy to go dizzy for Lizzy.

  • Read reviews of more of our favorite beverages in THE NIBBLE online magazine.
  • See the Table of Contents of the August issue of THE NIBBLE, plus the prior issues archive and our most popular articles.
  • All of the Top Pick Of The Week newsletters are permanently archived on TheNibble.com, in chronological order and by product category.
THE NIBBLE does not sell the foods we review
or receive fees from manufacturers for recommending them.

Our recommendations are based purely on our opinion, after tasting thousands of products each year, that they represent the best in their respective categories.

 

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Fizzy Lizzy: Sparkling Juice

INDEX OF REVIEW

MORE TO DISCOVER

Carbonated soft drinks used to mean colas, ginger ales, root beer and the like. If you developed a palate to appreciate fine food, when you reached adulthood, you abandoned them for beer, wine, mineral water, iced tea or other libations that were complementary to food.

In recent years, “adult sodas”—gourmet versions using all-natural ingredients and much lower sugar levels—appeared on the scene and have coaxed people who hadn’t touched a soft drink in 20 years back into the fold. We’re one of them—we’ve enjoyed drinking soda again, thanks to the real (non-artificial, non-chemical) flavors of brands like Boylan’s, GuS, Steaz and others (see our soft drink reviews).

Yet, even among all-natural soda lines, flavors like grapefruit or cranberry are still likely to use just 5% juice in their formulations. After all, it’s still soda—flavored carbonated water—so most of the bottle is filled with water. That left the field wide open for a new category of soft drinks, sparkling juices, where the majority of the bottle was filled with fruit juice.

Fizzy Lizzy - Tangerine and Cranberry
Let the others drink Cabernet Sauvignon: You’ve
got Fizzy Lizzy. Photo by Skip O’Donnell | IST.

But who knew that the category was waiting to be invented?

Liz Morrill got the idea for Fizzy Lizzy in the summer of 1996, while on a bicycle trip. She had packed a half-gallon carton of grapefruit juice and a liter bottle of seltzer, which she’d mix together along the way to create her favorite, refreshing “juice spritzer.” Pedaling along with the two heavy mixers, she wondered why something like her spritzer didn’t exist commercially: It would be so much easier to simply stop and purchase cold ones along the way. Ultimately, she retained a food scientist and developed her own line. She found along the way that what worked in her kitchen—simple juice and carbonated water—wasn’t translatable to the commercial market; a small amount of natural flavorings and “filler” juices were needed to round out the formulation. But, the result satisfied her purist approach to the beverage—and satisfied the many customers who soon became Fizzy Lizzy fans.

Soon, Fizzy Lizzy sparkling juices were more than just the beverage of choice for folks who wanted something healthy to drink, designated drivers, non-drinkers and moms-to-be. Sommeliers at fine restaurants began to pair the sparkling juices with the cuisine, for guests who wanted more than mineral water. The sweetness in most of the flavors can compare to Beaujolais or Riesling on the fruit-o-meter (some are sweeter, as one would expect of a soft drink). While the beverages are made with carbonated water, they are only lightly carbonated—a soft fizzy lilt ever-so-gently touches the palate.

From a family point of view, when you read that the average teenage boy consumes 868 cans of soda per year, the desire to convert the entire household to Fizzy Lizzy becomes quite strong. While diet drinks don’t have tooth-decaying sugar or waist-enhancing calories (or any nutrition), from a taste point of view, our goal is to develop palates that appreciate flavor. The shock to the average palate is that, Fizzy Lizzy beverages are so dry—low in the perception of sugar—that the average teenager (or adult, for that matter) may taste them and not know what to make of them. You, sophisticated reader, will know what to do: Load up the car!

FIZZY LIZZY HAS NO ADDED SWEETENERS.
BUT WHAT SWEETENS ALL THOSE OTHER SOFT DRINKS?
READ ALL ABOUT SWEETENERS, REAL AND ARTIFICIAL.

Flavors & Serving Suggestions

Fizzy Lizzy is made from natural fruit juice (some flavors have more juice than others—the average is 67% per bottle) and triple-filtered carbonated water. There is no added sugar, corn syrup or other sweetener; no added color or preservatives; and no caffeine. The flavor profile of the line is very dry. One is so accustomed to tasting sugar in soft drinks. Here, it is as it should be: The sugar is in the background, and you don’t taste it at all. You just taste “refreshing.”

Filler Juice. While the line is pure juice, there is white grape juice added to the “character” juice—which is how all juice drinks are formulated. Let’s take a moment to discuss “filler juices,” which is what apple juice, pear juice and white grape juice are called when they are used to “fill in” a formula for a juice drink. If you read labels, you’ll start to notice them a lot. Filler juices are generally required to some extent in a formulation. They are used as natural sweeteners because they have lots of inherent sugar; however, overuse them and the drink has too many carbs and calories (and they also mask the flavor of the characterizing juice—the juice you think you’re drinking, so that in some brands, more “natural flavor” has to be added to make the beverage taste like whatever it should taste like). Fizzy Lizzy uses filler juices sparingly, as needed to round out the sweetness; and in large proportions only when necessary—for example in Cranberry Fizzy Lizzy, since cranberries are so tart.

Pulp. The eight flavors range from crystal-clear, to clear with a few crystal-like bits of pulp at the bottom, to the opaque citrus flavors that have microscopic bits of pulp suspended in the juice—nothing you feel on the palate.

Fizzy Lizzy Grapefruit

Fizzy Lizzy sparkling juices are pure fruit juice and sparkling water. Above, Cranberry Fizzy Lizzy. Photo by Gustaf Brundin | IST.

Vitamin C. Added vitamin C as a preservative means that each 12-ounce bottle provides 100% of the daily value of Vitamin C.

All the Fizzy Lizzy flavors work great as mixers, too, and there are cocktail recipes below. In addition, we’ve put on our sommelier hat (or tastevin, the tasting cup often worn on a chain by restaurant wine stewards or sommeliers), and have provided food pairings for each flavor.

Fizzy Lizzy Cranberry Sparkling Juice
Fizzy Lizzy Northern Lights Cranberry: so elegant, you can serve it with almost any food course. Bottle photos by Michael Steele.

Classic American Sparklers

  • Mount Fuji Apple Sparkling Juice. This sophisticated sparkler isn’t “sparkling apple juice,” but it isn’t cider either. We think of it as a virgin Appletini. The Fuji apple was bred in Japan as a cross between two American apple varieties, the Red Delicious and the Virginia Ralls Genet (and is now grown extensively in Washington state and elsewhere in the U.S.—they are fourth in popularity after the Delicious, Golden Delicious and Gala). While the Fuji apple is sweeter than many other apple varieties, Fizzy Lizzy’s liquid version is a lovely, “dry” soft drink. [70% fruit juice, 30% fizzy water, negligible pulp]
    Serve It With: Fuji Apple works with anything you would serve with white wine, with cheese in general and as an alcohol-free apéritif.
  • Northern Lights Cranberry Sparkling Juice. You don’t have to wait for Thanksgiving and Christmas to serve Cranberry Fizzy Lizzy—cranberry juice cocktails like the Cape Cod and the Cosmopolitan are popular year-round. We might have preferred more cran flavor in this—the fruit flavor pops most on the finish. But it is a very elegant beverage. [75% fruit juice, 25% fizzy water, no pulp]
 
Serve It With: Cranberry can substitute for red wine, and pairs well with almost any food course. Serve it with desserts, especially chocolate.
  • Yakima Valley Grape Sparkling Juice. Oregon’s Yakima Valley is a top grape-growing center for wine and juice grapes. We love grapes and wine, but have never cottoned much to grape soda or grape juice (perhaps bad associations with school and camp). This grape soda is delicious—it tastes like Lizzy put the fizz into Concord grapes right off the vine (we know, we grew up with a Concord grape arbor in our backyard). Lizzy’s Grape Sparkling Juice proves that no matter how much someone thinks they don’t like a particular food, they probably just haven’t found one good enough for them. [51% fruit juice, 49% fizzy water, no pulp]
    Serve It With: This falls squarely into the soft drink category—pair it with any food that you’d drink soda with.

Citrus Sparklers

  • Gulf Coast Tangerine Sparkling Juice. Did you know that the tangerine was crossed with the orange to create the grapefruit (that’s not pulp fiction but the prevailing botanical theory). This sweet tangerine beverage is opaque with pulp, but it isn’t “pulpy.” The pieces of pulp are so fine as to be in microscopic suspension—those who shy away from pulp in orange juice need not worry about anything offensive. The flavor is profoundly orange (or profoundly tangerine, but most of us don’t have that frame of reference). [50% fruit juice, 50% fizzy water, micro-pulp]
    Serve It With: Any dish made with citrus, including salad with a citrus vinaigrette, seafood appetizers, as you might find in duck à l’orange and other orange-flavored dishes, Asian dishes (except Japanese), steamed vegetables.
  • Lone Star Grapefruit Sparkling Juice. Here, the natural tartness of grapefruit plays well against the sweetness of the Ruby Red grapefruit from Texas.
    Serve It With: Grapefruit is more subtle a flavor than the out-there tangerine, and it has more acid, so it’s perfect with all kinds of seafood. The acid can cut through cream sauces as well. [70% fruit juice, 50% fizzy water, micro-pulp]

Fizzy Lizzy Grapefruit
Grapefruit Fizzy Lizzy—the flavor inspiration for the entire line—is made from Texas Ruby Reds.

Fizzy Lizzy Pineapple
Pineapple Fizzy Lizzy doesn’t pair well with most foods, but it sure makes for great sipping!

The Exotic Sparklers Sauces

  • Costa Rican Pineapple Sparkling Juice. This flavor tastes exactly like sweet, fizzy pineapple juice. From our first sip, we wanted to add Coco Lopez and make a virgin colada. Pineapple Fizzy Lizzy is wonderful for sipping poolside, for festive parties or whenever you want to feel a bit tropical. [63% fruit juice, 37% fizzy water, micro-pulp]
    Try It With: Tropical and Asian dishes (except Japanese), chicken salad with pineapple, apple or mandarin orange.
  • Pacific Raspberry Lemon Sparkling Juice. You might expect big flavor from this dual-fruit blend, the newest flavor in the line. But perhaps this is the most elegant and dry of all the flavors: If you aren’t having alcohol, this could do a good job masquerading for rosé Champagne, which can have very subtle berry and lemony notes. Or, add a sprig of mint and call it a julep. [70% fruit juice, 30% fizzy water, no pulp]
    Serve It With: Anything you’d serve with white wine. The slight sweetness makes it a good match with shellfish, either raw or cooked.
  • Red Hill Pomegranate Sparkling Juice. Pomegranate is one of the hottest foods trends: You can walk into any specialty food store and find pomegranate-flavored products in every aisle, from tea to mustard to vinegar. Even in the beverage section, though, where pom juices and drinks abound, there’s nothing like Fizzy Lizzy’s Pomegranate. This flavor is the most wine-like of the Lizzies, after the bubbles subside, no one would realize you aren’t drinking a glass of Burgundy. It may be the most sophisticated soft drink on the market. [50% fruit juice, 50% fizzy water, no pulp]
    Serve It With: Anything you’d serve with red wine. We may well start drinking Fizzy Lizzy Pomegranate after we’ve reached our wine limit.

You can substitute the “white” Fizzy Lizzy flavors, Fuji Apple or Raspberry Lemon, in any recipe that calls for Moscato d’Asti or Champagne.

Fruit Soup Recipes

We love this easy soup as a light and festive summer dessert, or a first course dessert anytime:

Fizzy Fruit Soup Recipe

Ingredients

  • Fuji Apple, Cranberry, Pomegranate or Raspberry Lemon Fizzy Lizzy for soup
  • Another flavor of Fizzy Lizzy for fizz (you can use a flavor you didn’t choose for the
    soup, or another favorite flavor)
  • Diced fresh seasonal fruit (melon, stone fruit in summer, apples and pears in autumn;
    and whole berries)
  • Any clear fruit juice*
  • Lemon or lime sorbet
  • Mint for garnish (optional—we like to snip the mint with scissors)
  • Extra sorbet (optional)

*Look for the Elite Naturel brand in specialty markets, with delicious flavors like Black Mulberry, Honeydew Melon, Pear and Quince. The juices are organic and OU kosher, too.

 

Directions

  1. To create the soup, mix equal parts of juice and sorbet. Pour into bowls and add the fruit and optional mint garnish.
  2. At the table, pour ¼ cup of Fizzy Lizzy over each serving. Shake the bottle gently before opening to maximize the bubbles.
  3. While the fruit soup is delicious as is, for a more festive dessert you can add an extra scoop of sorbet on top.

 

Yogurt Fruit Soup Recipe

Ingredients

Dessert Soup
Make a dessert soup with Fizzy Lizzy.
  • Pineapple Fizzy Lizzy
  • Nonfat plain yogurt, preferably FAGE Total Yogurt (less tang, more creaminess)
  • Diced fresh seasonal fruit (melon, stone fruit in summer, apples and pears in autumn;
    and whole berries)
  • Mint leaves for garnish (optional)

Directions

  1. Blend Pineapple Fizzy Lizzy with yogurt. Find the proportions you prefer: You can have a mostly Pineapple Fizzy Lizzy soup with a bit of creaminess, or a largely yogurt soup with a bit of pineapple fizz.
  2. Add the fruit, garnish with mint and serve.
START WITH THE COCKTAILS BELOW, THEN SEE
MORE COCKTAIL RECIPES IN OUR “COCKTAILS” SECTION

Lizzy’s Cocktails

Since we’ve whetted your appetite about Fizzy Lizzy as cocktail mixer, it’s only proper that we give you all the makings of a Dizzy Lizzy cocktail party.

Dizzy Fizzy Mamacita

  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 1 ounce Cointreau (or other orange liqueur)
  • Splash of fresh lime juice
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • 4 ounces Costa Rican Pineapple Fizzy Lizzy
  • Combine vodka, Cointreau, lime juice and cinnamon in shaker. Strain into a martini glass and top with Fizzy Lizzy. Garnish with a slice of pineapple, a cinnamon stick or orange slices.

Dizzy Gin ‘n Juice

  • 2 ounces gin
  • 4 ounces Lone Star Grapefruit Fizzy Lizzy
  • Combine ingredients in a highball glass over
    ice.

Dizzy Granddaddy

  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 2 ounces Costa Rican Pineapple Fizzy Lizzy
  • 2 ounces Northern Lights Cranberry Fizzy Lizzy
  • Combine all ingredients in a highball glass over ice. Garnish with a slice of pineapple.
Dizzy Fizzy Mamacita
Go tropical with a Dizzy Fizzy Mamacita. Photo by BVDC | CST.

Dizzy Lizzy In Mexico City

  • 2 ounces tequila
  • 1 ounce Cointreau
  • ½ ounce fresh lime juice
  • 3 ounces Northern Lights Cranberry Fizzy Lizzy
  • Combine ingredients in a shaker. Strain into a martini glass with a salted rim. Garnish with a wedge of lime.

Dizzy Madras

  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 2 ounces Northern Lights Fizzy Lizzy
  • 2 ounces Gulf Coast Tangerine Fizzy Lizzy
  • Combine ingredients in a highball glass over ice.

Dizzy On The Cape

  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 4 ounces Northern Lights Cranberry Fizzy
    Lizzy
  • Combine ingredients in a highball glass over ice. Garnish with a twist of lime.

Smooth Lizzy (Non-Alcoholic)

  • 2 parts Costa Rican Pineapple or Gulf Coast Tangerine Fizzy Lizzy
  • 1 part yogurt, blended until liquid
  • Combine ingredients and garnish with a wedge of pineapple.
Fizzy Lizzy Tangerine

 

Anytime refreshment, sophisticated dinner beverage or cocktail mixer: You certainly can go dizzy, choosing among your options with Fizzy Lizzy.

—Karen Hochman

FORWARD THIS NIBBLE to everyone, including people who don’t drink carbonated beverages. This may change their minds.

FIZZY LIZZY Sparkling juice
Costa Rican Pineapple, Gulf Coast Tangerine, Lone Star Grapefruit, Mount Fuji Apple, Northern Lights Cranberry, Pacific Raspberry Lemon, Red Hill Pomegranate and Yakima Valley Grape

  • 12-Ounce Bottles
    $1.49 to $1.99
    Suggested Retail Price

Purchase online at FreshDirect.com.

Visit FizzyLizzy.com for a retail store locator.

Price and flavor availability are verified at publication but are subject to change.

 

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Fizzy Lizzy


Read more about our favorite
soft drinks and related products in
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