At this time of year we are often on the hunt for a refreshing cold drink that doesn't remind us of our alcoholic excesses over the holiday season and is not too sugar-laden.

This is a popular drink I've found everywhere I went on my holiday, so I thought I'd have a look at it.

Schweppes Soda with a twist of lemon. $3.69 for 1.5 litres.

Ingredients (in order of greatest quantity first):

Carbonated water
This is water which has been made fizzy by adding CO2.

Sugar
This isn't as high in sugar as a Coke, but you will get 12.5g or about three teaspoons of sugar per 250ml serve.

Lemon juice from concentrate (4.5%)
This tells us that there is 4.5 per cent natural lemon in this product which is about 11ml or just over two teaspoons per 250ml glass.

Flavour
Unfortunately this will be artificial flavour as it does not state "natural" anywhere on the label.

Preservative (202)
This is potassium sorbate (202) which is neutralised sorbic acid.

Colour (carthamus extract)
This is a colour I haven't seen before but at least it's natural. Carthamus is a type of thistle with a yellow flower and the colour is extracted from the petals.

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My recommendations:

I'm going to suggest that you buy a simple bottle of sparkling mineral water so that you get the nutritional benefits of the minerals (calcium, magnesium), then squeeze a lemon into it.

That way you cut out the sugar and you also get some pure vitamin C, potassium and B6.

And the average lemon gives you about five to six teaspoons of juice, so you'll get a lot of flavour with that.

This way you'll not only get a refreshing drink, but it will also be very low-calorie, sugar-free and good for you.

And if you really need a bit of alcohol, a splash of vodka goes very well at the last minute.

Highlights:

• Natural colour but not flavour
• Three teaspoons of sugar
• Two teaspoons of lemon juice per 250ml glass.