We Tried The New SunnyD Vodka Seltzer. It's A Grown-Up Version Of A Childhood Favorite

For many, SunnyD (originally known as Sunny Delight until its early 2000s rebranding) is the taste of childhood. The orange-flavored juice drink is tangy and instantly nostalgia-inducing. One of the most popular juice drinks on the market, especially among kids, the brand has been around since 1963. While the brand has added many flavors to its refreshing juice drink line, SunnyD recently unveiled something new. 

In March 2023, the brand announced that they were entering the canned cocktail market. The major draw to SunnyD Vodka Seltzer is that it's advertised to taste just like the nostalgic original. With added vodka and way less sugar than non-alcoholic SunnyD, we had to put it to the test. 

We got our hands on SunnyD's new vodka seltzers to try them for ourselves. We'll help you decide whether or not they're worth seeking out or if you can stick to your classic spiked seltzer bar order. 

What's in SunnyD Vodka Seltzer?

One might expect that SunnyD would just take its classic tangy orange juice drink and mix it with vodka for a ready-to-drink canned option, but that's not the case. SunnyD Vodka Seltzer is distinctly different because it is bubbly, unlike the original uncarbonated juice drink. Additionally, SunnyD is also marked by its almost overwhelming sweetness, which doesn't always translate well to a tasty canned cocktail. 

SunnyD created a vodka soda that uses fruit juice and real distilled vodka for a sparkling beverage that channels that original SunnyD flavor. It also is gluten-free and contains no added sugar. The brand opts for natural stevia to sweeten the flavor while keeping the calorie count low. Boozy and less sweet, the only way to describe it is as a grown-up version of classic SunnyD in every sense — but still a nice homage to the original's bright flavor.

How much does it cost?

SunnyD Vodka Seltzer might be a little tougher to get your hands on than the non-alcoholic version of the drink. It has to be sold at stores that are authorized to sell liquor. Aside from a typical liquor store, SunnyD also promotes that its canned vodka seltzers are sold at Walmart stores across the U.S., which is also a likely place to find them. 

SunnyD vodka seltzers are sold at a pretty reasonable price. An individual 12 oz. slim can has a suggested retail price of $1.99, while a 4-pack of 12 oz. cans of SunnyD Vodka Seltzer sells for about $10 as of March 2023. Since SunnyD only released one flavor for its introduction into the canned cocktail world, the vodka seltzers aren't available in larger cases or variety packs as of yet, but who knows if the brand will incorporate more of their tangy juice drink flavors into ready-to-drink alcoholic cans? 

Where is it available and for how long?

As previously mentioned, the best places to look for SunnyD Vodka Seltzer would be on the shelves at a run-of-the-mill liquor store or your local Walmart. As of March 2023, the seltzers are being sold in 33 states, so it's best to check out the full list of where they are sold on SunnyD Vodka Seltzer's official website to make sure you'll be able to find the boozy treat nearby. The drink isn't advertised as a limited-edition product, so it will likely be available all year long or as long as the brand can keep cans in stock. 

SunnyD Vodka Seltzer has a one-year shelf life, with manufacturing dates printed on the bottom of every can. With that kind of longevity, you can stock up on a few cases (if you can find them at the store) to keep on hand for all of your SunnyD drinking needs. 

How does it compare to other drinks from SunnyD?

SunnyD Vodka Seltzers are all about inducing nostalgia. However, the brand has gone to extra lengths to make sure that kids don't easily mistake the vodka seltzers for regular SunnyD. The packaging and marketing clearly indicate that the cans contain an alcoholic beverage and are not suitable for children. They're sold in cans rather than the brand's signature plastic jug, which also makes the new products stand out. Besides the alcohol, the other major difference between SunnyD and SunnyD Vodka Seltzer is the sugar content. SunnyD Vodka Seltzer has no added sugar, while a regular 8 oz. serving of SunnyD contains 14 grams.

Additionally, SunnyD Vodka Seltzer only comes in a signature orange flavor as of its release. SunnyD's non-alcoholic options include dozens of innovative flavors like orange pineapple and fruit punch. It might be a matter of time until some of the more unique flavors, like orange mango, get a SunnyD Vodka Seltzer counterpart. 

What are the nutrition facts?

SunnyD's vodka seltzer contains 95 calories per 12 oz. can and 0 grams of sugar thanks to that stevia sweetener. SunnyD keeps the alcohol content light at 4.5% ABV per serving, but that's still enough to stimulate a buzz after just one can. The SunnyD Vodka Seltzer recipe features real distilled vodka rather than alcohol derived from malt like some other spiked seltzers, which might be a plus for those who prefer to drink straight liquor. 

It's a light vodka seltzer with calories and alcohol content comparable to mainstream options like High Noon and White Claw, so there's nothing too unusual from that aspect. Both High Noon and SunnyD drinks each contain 4.5% ABV, but High Noon has just five more calories. White Claw also has just 100 calories per can, but the original flavors have slightly more alcohol at 5% ABV each than SunnyD's new version. 

How does SunnyD Vodka Seltzer taste?

SunnyD Vodka Seltzer succeeds in tasting like a grown-up version of the drink many of us knew and loved as children. The alcohol is so smooth that it blends seamlessly with the juicy citrus flavors. The alcohol content is light enough that it doesn't overpower the drink's familiar SunnyD taste. There is also a slight amount of carbonation, making it less crisp than White Claw. Yet, it's still refreshing and sparkling.

The SunnyD seltzers are not as acidic as the non-alcoholic juice drink, which is a good thing because you can drink more without the drink stinging the inside of your mouth. It was a bit jarring to pour the drink into a glass and see that it didn't resemble the signature bright orange color. If the hue is the only aspect lacking in the drink, then SunnyD has succeeded in creating an adult version of a childhood classic.