Starry Lemon Lime Soda [A Complete Review]

Updated: Jan. 18, 2024

Is Starry soda that much different from Sierra Mist, Sprite and other lemon-lime drinks?

What is Starry soda?

Ready to reach for the stars? Starry soda arrived in January 2023. The caffeine-free lemon-lime drink is Pepsi’s replacement for Sierra Mist. Pepsi hasn’t been resting on its reputation lately, with Pepsi S’mores, Pepsi Nutmeg, Peeps Pepsi and Nitro Pepsi all shaking up the cola world—it’s only natural that the company’s getting jiggy with its lemon-lime offerings, too.

Don’t cry for Sierra Mist—it had a good run. That particular lemon-lime beverage came out way back in 1999—ancient history for a soda. Maybe the clunky, two-word moniker didn’t help matters, nor did a brief two-year name change to Mist Twist. Starry is starting with a clean slate and a pretty bright name.

Starry soda vs Sierra Mist: What’s different?

Starry Lemon Lime Soda Bottles and CansCourtesy PepsiCo

How is Starry different from Sierra Mist, other than the name? Sierra Mist was made with real sugar, while Starry is sweetened with high fructose corn syrup. Shouldn’t Pepsi be switching the other way around, replacing HFCS with real sugar? One would think so, but one would, for whatever reason, be wrong.

It’s not exactly clear why Pepsi decided to replace Sierra Mist with Starry, but Gen Z, they’re gunning for you with this one. A statement from the company said the drink is made “for a generation of irreverent optimists,” and that sounds like they’re going after the young ‘uns among us.

Sure, some of us are cola people, endlessly arguing the merits of Pepsi vs. Coke. But others love citrusy sodas, whether lemon-lime, grapefruit or some variation. It feels like an overcrowded market to me, what with 7-Up, Sprite, Bubble Up, Mountain Dew, Fresca and Squirt, but here’s one more thrown into the mix. Of course, I had to try it.

Starry Soda vs Sprite: Here’s What I Thought

I tried regular Starry, zero sugar Starry, and for comparison, I also sampled some Sprite. Sprite, of course, is Coca-Cola’s clear, lemon-lime soda, a huge competitor of the new Starry.

Not to space out, but regular Starry was just OK. It’s almost a bit spicy for a lemon-lime drink and not as sweet as its competitor, Sprite. Pepsi says Starry has a crisp taste, and I’ll agree.

Sprite not only tasted sweeter than Starry, but has a smoother finish. Maybe because Coke’s been working on it longer—Sprite came out in the United States in 1961, so they’ve had plenty of time to get the taste down pat.

Zero sugar Starry actually tasted a bit smoother than its full-sweetened version, but with a definite diet aftertaste. When I pitted the three directly against each other, regular Sprite came out on top. Sorry, Starry, blame it on the fact that I’m Gen X, not Gen Z.

Where can I get Starry?

Starry is available in stores nationwide, and I’m already seeing it shining everywhere in my local markets. So, if you see the stars come out in your own soda pop section, go ahead and give it a try.

FAQs About Starry Soda

What soda is Starry replacing?

Starry is replacing PepsiCo’s Sierra Mist.

Is Starry different than Sierra Mist?

Yes, while both are lemon-lime sodas, they differ in their sweeteners and flavor profiles. Sierra Mist was known for its intense sweetness due to the use of cane sugar. In contrast, Starry uses high-fructose corn syrup, which lends a cleaner, more neutral sweetness.

Does Starry still taste like Sierra Mist?

While some consumers feel that Starry tastes similar to Sierra Mist, others note a distinct difference due to the change in sweeteners and a more prominent citrus flavor.

Is Starry the same as 7Up?

No, Starry is not the same as 7Up. While both are lemon-lime sodas, they are produced by different companies and have different flavor profiles.

Is Starry soda just Sprite?

No, Starry is not just Sprite. While both are lemon-lime sodas, they are produced by different companies and have distinct flavors.

Is Starry sweeter than Sprite?

No, Sprite has been found to be sweeter than Starry.

Is Starry cheaper than Sprite?

The price of Starry may vary depending on the location and retailer, but generally, it is competitively priced with Sprite.

Recipes That Use Soda Pop
1 / 41