Today is Day 16 of social distancing for me, and the cabin fever is starting to get to me. It seems I forgot how to take a proper photo, since I was so excited to run into my backyard on Sunday with a beverage, and I forgot to actually turn the can towards the camera for a proper shot. I only noticed this today, long after the can was crushed. This is Triple Berry Vodka Soda by Social Lite Craft Cocktails the newest offering from Whitby’s craft canned vodka soda producer. So new, in fact, that it hasn’t quite hit the LCBO shelves yet, although it is listed at $9.95 for a 4 pack of 355 mL cans on their website. You can expect it to be available through the LCBO in 1-2 weeks – although the pandemic may impact when they release new products that were already approved.

Social distancing at its finest in the backyard with a Social Lite.

An early player in the pre-packaged mixed drink market, Social Lite already has a wide range of flavours available at the LCBO, with the Lemon Cucumber Mint being my personal favourite. We received a no-contact safely delivered quarantini kit from co-founder Dan Beach with a sneak-peak at some of their new flavours, along with two books of puzzles to keeps me occupied since I’ve been laid off thanks to the plague.

Like their earlier releases, Triple Berry is easier on the belly than my beloved beer with 80 calories and 0 grams of sugar, and 4% ABV. It got a semi-approving nod from my nutritionist, who has endless patience with my carb addiction. This year, they face stiffer competition as the unsweetened craft alcoholic soda market keeps expanding, with major competitor White Claw recently launching in the Ontario market. Since we’re all stuck at home right now and struggling to get our 10,000 steps in, a lower-calorie adult beverage is a good option amid the calories we are ingesting in our daily second breakfast.

Instructions advise drinking straight out of the can, but I’m squeamish about cans in the best of situations and I wanted to see what the beverage looked like, so I enjoyed it on ice with a metal straw, and threw in a slice of lime after I tried it.

Appearance: Faint lavender hue, highly carbonated.

Aroma: Very strong berry aroma as soon as the can is open, you could smell it from a socially acceptable distance away. Berry bubble gum, more of a confected aroma compared to their other products.

Taste: Fresh blackberries, blueberries. Reminded me of a mixed berry frozen yoghurt made with frozen berries. The aroma was more confected than the palate.

Aftertaste: Lingering blackberry.

Food pairing: Picnic food once we’re allowed outside again. Whatever you’re snacking on for elevensies.

Overall: I appreciate another lower calorie, no carb option in my quarantini tool kit, and if we’re allowed out into the great wide world this summer to go camping, I’m sure it will find its way into my cooler.

Shawna O'Flaherty

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