Last Updated on August 15, 2019
- Updated June 2019 with new soft drinks.
- Aldi also sells a craft soda line. We have a review of that here.
Soda (or pop*) is not good for you. Most people know this. It’s high in sugar and mostly nonexistent in nutritional value. Nevertheless, it’s tasty, and there are occasions when soda (in moderation, of course), can be a special treat, such as during a summer cookout or a birthday party.
It’s also true that generic sodas can have a hard time living up to the brand name stuff. This is especially true, for example, when it comes to generic substitutes for cola. Coca-Cola and Pepsi are the most recognizable colas, and generic copies of these seem even less successful than generic Cheerios. Nevertheless, almost every grocery store tries to do generic cola, along with a few other sodas.
Summit is the Aldi house brand name for the various generic sodas Aldi carries. At the time of this post, Aldi carries a few different soda varieties, including cola, lemon-lime, root beer, a Dr. Pepper-style soda, and orange. This post (which may be expanded over time), will look at the first three of these.
Of note: Aldi sells all of its sodas in 12-packs of cans. At my local Aldi stores, Aldi also sells cola in a 2-liter bottle. I also spotted a lemon-lime soda in a 2-liter bottle in another state. The 2-liter bottles I’ve purchased from Aldi range from 67 to 79 cents, while the 12-packs run $2-3, depending on which stores I buy them at.
On paper, Summit Cola is similar to name brand colas. Like Coca-Cola and Pepsi, Summit Cola is mostly carbonated water and high fructose corn syrup, with a few other ingredients to add a little color and flavor. The nutrition information per serving is also pretty similar:
In practice, though, Summit doesn’t taste as good. My daughter and I both consider Coca-Cola a personal favorite, and we both felt like Summit Cola is more bland than either Coke or Pepsi, despite having about the same amount of sugar. It’s anyone’s guess why. Some of it may be the fact that there’s no sodium in the Summit, while some of it may be due to whatever secret ingredients Cola-Cola and Pepsi put in their beverages. Either way, this stuff isn’t the same.
Summit Citrus Twist
Like its cola counterpart, Summit Citrus Twist has a lot in common with other lemon-lime sodas: carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, and citric acid, among other ingredients.
|Summit Citrus Twist||7 Up||Sprite|
Unlike Summit Cola, we feel like Summit Citrus Twist is a better imitation of name brands. My daughter and I both thought it was a solid soda. We thought it was maybe a little closer to 7 Up than Sprite, although we also think the lemon-lime sodas are pretty similar to each other. As a lemon-lime substitute, we think this is a respectable one. As an added benefit, the Aldi soda has slightly less sugar and significantly less sodium than its brand-name counterparts.
Summit Sudz Root Beer
Like the previous sodas, Summit Sudz, the Aldi root beer, has ingredients common to other root beers, most notably high fructose corn syrup and caramel. Nutritionally, here’s how Sudz stacks up to A&W, Barq’s (distributed by Coca-Cola), and PepsiCo’s Mug:
|Summit Sudz Root Beer||A&W Root Beer||Barq’s Root Beer||Mug Root Beer|
As you can see, Sudz has a slightly higher calorie content, a significantly lower sodium content, and, like most root beer variations, no caffeine.
Taste-wise, I liked this one. A&W is still my favorite large-brand root beer, but I think Sudz is not far off that pace, and I actually think I like it better than Barq’s or Mug.
Summit Dr. Dazzle
Dr. Dazzle is about the most shameless example of product imitation you’ll ever see, with a name and color scheme that scream Dr. Pepper. The ingredients are also similar, from high fructose corn syrup to the vague artificial flavors.
|Summit Dr. Dazzle||Dr. Pepper||Mr. Pibb (Pibb Xtra Original)|
Like the earlier sodas, Dr. Dazzle has a lot less sodium than its name-brand counterparts. It has just a slightly higher calorie content, but is otherwise pretty similar.
We thought Dr. Dazzle was a strong imitation of Dr. Pepper. Dr. Pepper has a unique flavor and we thought Dr. Dazzle captured it. It is, in our view, one of the closest of the Aldi imitations.
Summit Mountain Frost
Aldi’s can imitation of Mountain Dew is arguably even more shameless than its imitation of Dr. Pepper, if that’s even possible. It’s pretty much impossible to miss what Mountain Frost’s can is trying to copy.
|Summit Mountain Frost||Mountain Dew||Mello Yello|
Nutritionally, Mountain Frost has slightly more calories than Mountain Dew and Mello Yello, about the same amount of sugar, a lot less sodium, and similar levels of caffeine. All of them contain, among other things, high fructose corn syrup.
In terms of taste, though, Mountain Frost isn’t even close. Our tasters unanimously agreed that Mountain Frost tastes nothing like Mountain Dew. Mountain Frost tastes more like garden-variety Sprite, which is fine if you like Sprite, but we’re guessing that’s not why you’d buy this stuff.
One possible reason: Mountain Dew and Mello Yello both contain concentrated orange juice as a key ingredient. That ingredient is absent from the Mountain Frost ingredients list. The impact means that the Aldi imitation here is a dud.
Aldi makes an interesting line of soft drinks. We couldn’t help but notice that all of them have a lot less sodium than their name brand equivalents. How good the taste is varies.
Aldi has a few winners. We think Summit Citrus Twist is a favorable replacement for Sprite or 7 Up and is even slightly better for you. We wouldn’t be opposed to serving this to our friends. We also think Summit Sudz is a solid root beer compared to the name brands and is perfectly fine for use at parties. And we think Summit Dr. Dazzle is an excellent substitute for Dr. Pepper.
It’s all downhill from there. On the cola front, we’ve yet to meet generic cola that’s better than Coke or Pepsi, and Summit Cola is no different. It’s adequate enough if you don’t compare it to anything else, but it’s more bland than major brands despite having plenty of calories and sugar. The upside is that it’s cheap, which might make it attractive for large gatherings, but for our money we’d probably spring for a name brand soda in most circumstances, especially when you consider that name brand colas aren’t all that expensive either.
As for Mountain Frost? In our opinion, it’s a certified bust. We don’t think it tastes anything like Mountain Dew, possibly because of the absence of concentrated orange juice. Whatever the reason, it may look like the name brand on the can, but what’s inside is anything but. Unless you want a Sprite knockoff with more caffeine we can’t recommend this.
* We know there are regional differences in what to call the stuff, because our staff has lived in those different places. We’ll call it soda here, but we do know it’s called “pop” or “cola” or “coke” or “Coca-Cola” in other places.
I buy a pack of Summit Diet Cola every now and then. I try to limit that sort of stuff, but I do love one occasionally. Tastes very similar to Haribo Happy Cola gummy snacks, as odd as that sounds.
I find Summit Diet Cola to close to Diet Coke to tell the difference. It costs about 1/2 as much so I’m in for the long haul.
Don’t know what you’re talking about. Summit Cola has the best cola flavor I have tasted.
My sister and I agree:the Summit cola is really great! About the only soda (I don’t do diet at ALLLL!) that I don’t get a horrid “sugar buzz” from! I’m hypoglycemic and have to be so careful! Aldi’s Summit has been a great find!
I’ve read someone’s opinion recently and have to agree …Aldi’s Summit Cola is not a Coke or Pepsi copy. It’s an RC clone. So, for those of us that prefer RC to the big two, but can’t easily find it, Summit Cola is the perfect answer!
Having grown up on 16oz returnable bottles of RC, I concur. This stuff is like a flashback to Kanawha County, circa 1977. I like it.
I don’t drink regular soda but I can comment on the Diet Cola. I tried the Summit Diet Cola and found it better than Diet Coke! I find the taste to be a better blend of flavors.
Did Aldi change the diet cola flavor as of June 2019? The most recent case I bought tastes completely different- not in a good way 🥺
That is one of the few Aldi sodas we haven’t tried, mostly because none of us like diet soda to begin with. Good to know, though.
This goes to Joshua, why doesn’t Aldi carry Dr Dazzle any more? I don’t care for any diet soda
Not sure. It might be a supply issue. I’ll look for it in my area the next time I’m in the store.
The diet cola has a completely different taste from the old version. It is nowhere near Diet Coke. It now has a spice type flavor with a bite. It tastes like Trident cinnamon gum that has been chewed too long. It has a lingering aftertaste too. I can drink it if I’m eating someone to mask the flavor. By itself the diet cola is absolutely terrible.
Sudz is an excellent root beer, I wish they made a diet version. Same with Dr. Dazzle. I am a weird connoisseur of the knock off Dr Pepper sodas.
*eating something, not someone. Autocorrect for bad typing. Or is it…. anyone have a good recipe for uh, nevermind.
I actually prefer it to Diet Coke. I like that it doesn’t try to copy the Coke flavor.
I got a 12 pack of orange for our camping trip. 4 cans had clear soda not really orange flavor more like the lemon lime. So I won’t buy the orange soda in cans again, unless we putting bets on what you get!
I could be wrong, but I wonder if the clear color was because Aldi has gotten rid of artificial colors in its house-brand products.
This is actually my favorite Aldi soda, seconded by the Sudz. Since CORONA, we haven’t had either available in the store since March. I went 2 weeks ago and there were 2 12 packs of orange on the shelf and I bought them both! I think Aldi sodas are crisper and somehow more effervescent than the name brands. I also like how the orange soda doesn’t taste like orange candies. JMHO…
Aldi Summit Diet Cola… in the new can is just plain terrible. Here it is 30 minutes after the first sip and I still have that metallic Stevia taste in the back of my mouth. Gag.
Why don’t Aldi carry a diet lemon lime canned soda.
Aldi is a small-inventory store so they can be picky about what they carry. They don’t carry much diet soda overall.
I LOVE Mt Dew but O can’t take the salt. I’m sorry I really like Mt. Frost. Not just like the dew but very good none the less.
I enjoy Mt Frost. Now especially as it has no food due. I am sorry that the stores dont have any coming in any more.
I do wish they had some coming in. Hope it won’t be discontinued…
I agree! Mt frost does not taste like mt dew, but I like it regardless. As a mt dew flavor replacement, nope. As a decent soda in its own right, I say yes!
Is always going to do away with their citrus lime pop and the root beer my local Olive is in Canton Ohio hasn’t had it for the last 2 weeks I think the last time it did away with something it was the black cherry and that was one of the best pops around thanks have a good day
I started drinking Summit Citrus Twist Lemon Lime Soda by the12 pack a year ago or more and I discovered if I mix it about 7 to 1 with Orange Juice it was fantastic and I could drink it all the time with out getting tired of it.
It made it taste like really good orange juice.
About a month ago (11/2020) they stopped having it in stock.
Maybe I’m wrong (I hope so) but my guess is it won’t be coming back.
Nothing else I have tried tastes quite the same.
Sprite isn’t too bad but not as good as the Citrus Twist was.
I hope they do bring it back. It seems they are the only place that has (or had) it.