I’ll confess something to you all…caffeine scares me. I just never got into coffee and now every time some caffeine sneaks its way into my diet, I’m left wide awake and alone with my thoughts as the world goes to sleep around me. It’s just not pleasant and I really will do what I can to avoid it, so I’ve learned through astute observation (combined with devastating error) what items at the grocery store I should avoid. Naturally, the soda aisle is one of the hardest spaces to navigate in this fearsome endeavor, but there are some bright spots to be found if you are like me and are looking for the best caffeine-free sodas.
We’re not saving the best for last here; 7UP is the ultimate weapon in the war against caffeine. It’s a crisp, refreshing soda that you can enjoy on a hot summer day and not have to worry about missing your critical post-pool nap. 7UP delivers a classic lime flavor “that lingers on your palate and a burst of sweetness on the back,” according to managing editor Gwynedd Stuart. When I’m in need of a caffeine-free soda for a mixer that won’t keep me up, 7UP is there to deliciously accompany any liquor it’s added to.
Read the full ranking of the best lemon lime soda
- Crush Orange
There is no soda that is more quintessentially “kid” than Crush Orange—but you shouldn’t let kids have all the fun. Crush Orange soda is so sensationally fragrant that Sporked senior writer Jordan Myrick wants it in candle form for their apartment (and with over 1,000 hits for “Crush Orange Candle” on Etsy, I have a white elephant gift locked away in the back of my head). Crush Orange translates that smell into a vibrant flavor that would be perfect on its own, in a cocktail, or served with vanilla ice cream to make a Dreamsicle float. Any child, parent, or individual adult who is deeply afraid of caffeine can rejoice!
Read the full ranking of the best orange soda
- Boylan Creme Soda
Boylan Creme Soda has a lot going for it. It’s made with real cane sugar, it comes in a glass bottle for an added cool factor, and, as Gwynedd said, it really nails the “delicate alchemy of vanilla flavor and fizz.” Crack a few of these open while you’re hanging out with your grandparents to help them take a trip down memory lane with each sip. There’s not much you have to do, or really can do, to spice up a creme soda, but that’s what makes it an eternal classic caffeine-free soda to bring the generations together.
Read the full ranking of the best cream soda
- Dr. Brown’s Root Beer
There is no soda that is more closely associated with dads than root beer. Root beer is famously caffeine free so it can be passed your dad’s way without ruining his dad nap (you know, the kind of nap that’s so deep you worry for your life if you were to wake him from it). There’s even a root beer called Dad’s. But for our purposes, Dr. Brown’s is the way to go. This root beer dethroned our previous favorite root beer “thanks to an added layer of spice and intrigue,” which Sporked editor-in-chief Justine Sterling attributed to its celery seed earthiness.
Read the full ranking of the best root beer
- Tamarind Jarritos
We’ve covered classic caffeine-free soda flavors up until this point—lemon lime, orange, creme soda, root beer. There’s nothing wrong with a little shakeup to the soda world and no one does that better than Jarritos. Tamarind soda is less common than, say, orange soda or cola in the U.S., so this may be new to you. Jordan helpfully compared Jarritos’ Tamarind soda to pear “but 1,000 times better.” In fact, it topped Sporked‘s list of the best Jarritos flavors. Caffeine free doesn’t have to mean sticking to the same old options, and Jarritos is here to deliver on that promise.
Read the full ranking of the best Jarritos flavors