Under The Influencer: The Best and Worst Low-Sugar Summer Sippables (Part 2)

Low-Calories Summer Alcoholic Coolers laid on a picnic blanket with fresh fruit. Low-Calorie 2021 Summer Alcoholic Drink Review: The best low-sugar alcoholic coolers available in stores now at the LCBO.
Pour some sugar on me, it’s time for sunshine and sippables – but hold the sugar.

With the arrival of summer just around the corner, the under the influencer herself (*ahem, me) is back with part two of my low-sugar alcoholic cooler break-down.

We’ve all been in lockdown for far too long, and have probably been consuming more alcohol than usual, but with hot girl summer rearing its ugly head, the LCBO is already freshly stocked with all the latest in low-sugar, low-calorie summer alcoholic cooler options. There are probably more guilt-free options than ever before, and even beer companies have jumped into the basic bitch cooler pool, just to get a piece of the action.

As mentioned in my last post, I’m not a beer drinker, so given the choice, I’d always opt for sweet and fruity beverages, containing copious amounts of sugar. But, I’ve been on a mission to find a low-sugar option that won’t give me total gut rut while still actually tasting good (you know, “tastes like another?”)

There’s a reason they don’t put a nutritional label on the side of most cooler cans, it’s because the first ingredient is almost always sugar.

FACT: Most countries, including Canada don’t require nutritional labels to be placed on alcohol. If you don’t see a label on your booze, then it’s safe to assume that the sugar content is through the roof.

You’ve probably noticed that a lot of beverage companies have been more proactive lately about providing low-sugar, low-carb cooler options for people following specialized diets, such as keto, or for those who just don’t want to be in a sugar-induced coma all summer long.

Since there are so many NEW calorie-conscious cooler options available now, I knew I had to do a part two of this series. What can I say, I’m a self-proclaimed under the influencer.

(*Insert shameless self promotion* Grab your own “under the influencer” t-shirt HERE.)

So, does removing the sugar from your summer cooler also mean removing the taste? In some cases, yes, but I have found some really great tasting options this year, with little to NO sugar.

Here’s a breakdown of some of the most popular low-calorie summer drink options available at your local LCBO right now:

Low-Calorie 2021 Summer Alcoholic Drink Review: The best low-sugar alcoholic coolers available in stores now at the LCBO.

White Claw Watermelon

Calories 140

Sugar 1 gram

Carbs 1 gram

(473 ml)

Yes, the drink of hot girl summer 2020, is back with a new flavour. These were in every girl’s hand last year, and honestly, I think it was only for the photo opt. These were not rated high on my list this year, so I was very hesitant to even give the watermelon a try. Turns out, I was right to be hesitant because these were also a major disappointment. The seltzer is so overpowering in these, that you only end up getting a hint of actual watermelon flavour, and even then, it’s very artificial tasting. I think I’m officially done with these, and probably won’t be trying any new flavours (I say that now, but if they all of a sudden pop up with something coconut, I might reconsider.) Worth a try if you really love seltzer but don’t set your expectations high.

Rating : 1.5 pineapple out of 5

Summer Drink Reviews, the best and worst low calorie drinks on shelves right now

Bud Light Mango Seltzer

Calories 100

Sugar 1 gram

Carbs 2 grams

(473 ml)

Low-Carb 2021 Summer Alcoholic Drink Review: The best low-sugar alcoholic coolers available in stores now at the LCBO.
Under the Influencer

As mentioned above, I loathe beer. So, naturally, I skipped right past the new Bud Light Seltzers because I fully assumed they were just going to be flavoured beer. Well, take note of this very rare moment, because boy, was I wrong. These are going to be the drink of the summer. THERE. I. SAID. IT. These are absolutely delightful. The flavour is great, (I also tried the Strawberry, but the mango was by far the best), and the best part about these, is they are very lightly carbonated and only 1 gram of sugar. They almost taste like a very refreshing flavoured water.

I can absolutely see myself enjoying a few of these on a hot summer day, and not feeling guilty or super bloated like I normally do when I drink overly-carbonated beverages. Go stock up on these, before they’re sold out everywhere!

Rating: 5 out of 5 pineapples

Summer Drink Reviews, the best and worst low calorie drinks on shelves right now

Sway Vodka Soda Raspberry Shimmy

Calories 130

Sugar 2 grams

Carbs 3 grams

(355 ml)

I won’t lie, it was the gorgeous design of the can that lured me into trying this one, and also the fact that the can is smaller than most of the others on this list (355 ml), but this was definitely not my favourite. In fact, I couldn’t even get through an entire can. If you enjoy a really tart raspberry taste and enjoy heavy carbonation, you may want to give this a try, but the flavour was so aggressive, and although only had 2 gms of sugar, I think they would still end up being headache-inducing.

I’m going to give this drink the benefit of the doubt and say that maybe if you cut this with some diet 7UP, and added some actual muddled raspberries, this could be a yummy cocktail, but definitely not good enough to be a stand-alone summer bevvy.

Rating: 1.5 out of 5 pineapples

Summer Drink Reviews, the best and worst low calorie drinks on shelves right now

Palm Bay Zero Key Lime Cherry

Calories 130

Sugar 0 grams

Carbs 0 grams

(473 ml)

Oh, Palm Bay, how I wish I could consume your full sugar options on the regular, especially since you just released a banana strawberry flavour this year (like, WHAAAT?!) But, I have to say, their zero sugar options are definitely still top of my list. Palm Bay just gets it right every time. The Palm Bay Zero Key Lime Cherry is such an amazing combination of flavours. It’s sweet, but not overwhelmingly so, and is so refreshing. Plus, if you’re looking for your summer drink to match your outfit, there’s just something so pretty about the subtle pastel colours on the white can, that makes this cooler so Instagram-able! (Follow me for more fashion tips.)

Funny enough, I’m not a huge fan of either of these flavours separately in any other drink I’ve tried but together they taste like a rocket popsicle and provide the perfect summer sip. The aftertaste of key lime and sweetness of the cherry is going to make these my go-to all summer long.

Rating: 5 out of 5 pineapples

Summer Drink Reviews, the best and worst low calorie drinks on shelves right now

Landshark Pineapple Mango Seltzer

Calories 120

Sugar 4 grams

Carbs 4 grams

(473 ml)

I was pretty excited about this one, especially after seeing how Bud Light nailed their attempt at a low-sugar seltzer, but unfortunately, this shark didn’t quite make it out of the water for me. These definitely have some teeth and will quench your thirst on a hot day, but I can’t help but wonder how two of my favourite flavours (mango and pineapple) paired together wouldn’t be that great, meanwhile, two flavours that I usually despite (lime and cherry) could be so delicious? What kind of backward sorcery is this?

Low-Calorie 2021 Summer Alcoholic Drink Review: The best low-sugar alcoholic coolers available in stores now at the LCBO. Palm Bay Zero Key Lime Cherry and Bud Light Mango Seltzer

Landshark did manage to make a light and refreshing summer seltzer, made with real fruit juice for only 120 calories a can (473ml), which is quite impressive. I’d be really interested in trying their other flavours, which include cherry peach and lemon-lime, but haven’t come across them yet at my local LCBO. The Landshark Pineapple Mango Seltzer is definitely worth a try, especially if you like a more carbonated drink, with just the right amount of sweetness. The fact is, the low-calorie competition is fierce, and this just wasn’t my favourite. I’m not saying I would turn one of these down if offered to me though, and I definitely tasted more mango than pineapple.

Rating: 4 pineapples out of 5


Nutrl Juic’D Blood Orange

Calories 150

Sugar 4 grams

Carbs 5 grams

(473 ml)

Orange you glad you didn’t completely write off Nutrl?! I have to say, I loathed Nutrl vodka soda’s in previous years, even with their introduction of different flavours like pineapple and black cherry, I still couldn’t choke them down. Since I’m a sugar-aholic, these were far too bland for me and tasted like straight seltzer (yuck!). But Nutrl just peeled their way back into my heart with their new Juic’d Blood Orange (and honourable mention, Juic’d Fruit Punch) flavour.

These are a different recipe and have a bit more sugar than their previous offerings, but they’re made with real fruit juice and have expanded their can size from 355ml to 473ml (thanks to COVID, my can has also expanded this year ๐Ÿ˜’). You can really taste the fresh orange flavour in these, which really helps disguise the sodium in the seltzer. Because it’s real fruit juice, you avoid that artificial taste that most coolers have. Super refreshing, and totally delicious, I will be reaching for these all summer long.

Rating: 5 out of 5 pineapples

Summer Drink Reviews, the best and worst low calorie drinks on shelves right now

Social Lite Orchard Apple

Calories 80

Sugar 0 grams

Carbs 1 gram

(355 ml)

As mentioned in last year’s post, I discovered Social Lite at a Niagara Food & Wine show. I was happy to support a beverage brand local to Ontario, but was also pleasantly surprised that they managed to make WW-friendly alcoholic drink options (only 3 smart points) that were actually drinkable. Social Lite comes in an array of different flavours to appeal to any palate, their Triple Berry is still one of my go-to summer drinks to this day. I was thrilled to see they had added a new flavour to the mix in 2021, Orchard Apple.

Being a fan of ciders (which are loaded with sugar, calories and carbs), I had wondered how an apple flavoured vodka soda would measure up against my sugary apple-y favourites, like Somersby. If you’re expecting this to taste like a cider, it definitely doesn’t, this light and refreshing green apple soda tastes more like a Jolly Rancher. It’s so unique and unexpected, but I really enjoyed it. I’m giving this a 4.5, only because I still prefer the triple berry.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 pineapples

pineapple rating

Peller Wine Spritzer Strawberry Rose

Calories 120

Sugar 5 grams

Carbs 5 grams

(355 ml)

I won’t lie, the first sip of this wine spritzer is a little jarring, but the second, (third, fourth, tenth…you get the idea) is delicious and refreshing. A little higher on the sugar scale than the others, but it is wine, after all, so you wouldn’t really binge drink these anyway (well, maybe you would, no judgment LOL). These are definitely a drink you would enjoy with dinner on the back deck, or with a wine and cheese picnic at the beach. A light, crisp rose flavour, with just the right amount of sparkly bubbles.

Low-Calorie 2021 Summer Alcoholic Drink Review: The best low-sugar alcoholic coolers available in stores now at the LCBO. Peller Wine Spritzer Strawberry Rose

Don’t let them get too warm though, the Peller Wine Spritzer definitely tastes better chilled. These aren’t available at the LCBO, and can only be found at The Wine Shop, so I’m knocking off a half pineapple just for the inconvenience factor of acquiring these. Although, The Wine Shop does offer free delivery.

Rating: 4.5 pineapples out of 5

pineapple rating

Bask Wine – Crisp Rose

Calories 140

Sugar 0 grams

Carbs 4 grams

(6 oz glass)

Ok. Hold the phone (in case you were wondering, I’m “still uses this phrase” years old), there’s officially a sugar-free WINE. I stumbled across this wine at my local grocery store, and like all of you probably reading this right now, was super skeptical. There’s no way that a $12 bottle of grocery store wine with zero sugar could be drinkable. So naturally, I loaded up my cart with thier Rose, a Pinot Noir and a Sauvignon Blanc for good measure.

If you’re expecting this to be comparable to a vintage 2013 California Malbec, then don’t even bother trying this wine, because you’ll be disappointed. This is not a grape fruit juice for wine snobs or connoisseurs, but if you’re looking for a lighter calorie, no sugar option for a girls night in or a good “during the week” wine, this one is quite delicious. The Rose and the Pinot were my personal favourite as I’m not usually a fan of Sauvignon anyway. (Note: the Pinot was slightly higher in calories, at 160, and contains 7 grams of carbs) The Rose was crisp and tart, perfect for a summer of rose all daying, and the Pinot is a medium-bodied wine with subtle notes of black cherry. Definitely worth picking up a bottle on your next milk run, you won’t regret it.

Rating: 4 out of 5 pineapples


Low-Calorie 2021 Summer Alcoholic Drink Review: The best low-sugar alcoholic coolers available in stores now at the LCBO.

There you have it, the best (and worst) low-sugar alcoholic cooler options at the LCBO. I will say that if I wasn’t trying to be mindful of my sugar consumption, I’d probably still opt for my full-sugar favourites, like a good ole Malibu Rum and Diet, but some of these low cal options are a really good substitute. It’s nice to see so many healthier (umm, maybe that’s a stretch) options on store shelves, and that more and more beverage companies are joining the low-sugar, low-cal popularity train. I tried a few others that didn’t quite make this particular list, so feel free to send me a message if you find yourself glazed over in the aisles during your next liquor store run!

Also, check out last year’s list, in case you missed it (HERE).

xo

Barrie Lifestyle Blog - Shesallnat - Natasha Halikas

Follow me!ย ย Instagramย @shesallnat1ย ย  Twitterย @shesallnat

Leave a Reply