Canada Dry Bitter Lemon

Canada Dry Bitter Lemon

With rumors abound that Canada Dry doesn’t make their bitter lemon anymore, imagine my excitement to find it in a Florida grocery store (specifically a Publix in Weston, Florida).

While bitter lemon is no longer as popular as it was twenty-five years ago it still has niche following. Among those who liked bitter lemon in the states, Canada Dry Bitter Lemon is the brand that they remember. For a long period of time, Canada Dry Bitter Lemon was the only mass market bitter lemon available.

Relatively high in calories (140/10 oz. Bottle), Canada Dry Bitter Lemon is also 3% concentrated lemon juice by volume.

Tasting Notes

The nose is slightly powdery and chalky, with a calcium note, along with lemon juice concentrate. Specifically the lemon reminds me of the lemon juice that comes in green bottles at the supermarket.

The palate is surprisingly less sweet than expected. Nice carbonation, with fairly tight bubbles on the top of the tongue; it has a well combined lemon and quinine accord. The two notes are nicely balanced. They rise and fall in unison.

Moderate length finish with a slightly metallic quinine after taste.

With gin, Canada Dry Bitter Lemon is a nicely balanced drink. The carbonation works well for elevation the early palate, while the finish is clean and generally gin- forward. I’d recommend it with a good classic style gin, though the sweetness serves well to round out the palate of even inexpensive gins.


While I often find tonics flavored with high fructose corn syrup to be a bit too sweet, Canada Dry Bitter Lemon uses it to its advantage. Nicely integrated in terms of flavor, it’s easy to see why Canada Dry Bitter Lemon became an endearing touchstone for fans of bitter lemon.

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16 thoughts on “Canada Dry Bitter Lemon”

  1. Very disappointed with in the last year-and-a-half that I cannot purchase Canada Dry bitter lemon in the Reading, Philadelphia area. They say that they don’t make it any longer but this past Christmas of 2018 one store in my sister’s area carried it. My sister was able to grab quite a few bottles so we could store them. I came home to my area and my store had none. Do not like tonic or soda water.

    This was my longtime summer drink of vodka and bitter lemon with either lemon or lime! Very, very disappointed we can’t find in our grocery stores.

    I guess I’ll just change over if I want to ginger ale I’ll switch over to Schweppes!

  2. I have been looking 4 it 4 years just last week I saw a lady drinking it so I ask her where she gets it & she told me in a little African grocery store in Canada so am going there 2 get a case

  3. I’m a retailer who STILL gets calls for bitter lemon ! Where in the Maryland market can I find
    this ?? Who else produces Bitter lemon sodas for the “geriatric ” crowd ?

  4. I found this December 14 2019 in a Florida Publix store. I’m sad to report that the formulation has changed, and not for the better. No little pieces of zest, very artificial lemon flavor. You can get Polar Bitter Lemon at Total Wines. I don’t know why Schweppes doesn’t make it like they do in Europe.

  5. I bought Polar Bitter Lemon in one liter bottles at Total Wine for years. All of a sudden I could not find it. I tried to order a case as they still carry Polar products, but that did not work either. Now all I can find is Canada Dry 10 ounce bottles at Publix. I even contacted Polar to ask if they discontinued it and never got a response. I liked the Polar better than the Canada Dry, but would take any brand at this point.

  6. I too was under the impression that CDBL was no longer made. In a trip to my local Giant Super market ,I discovered they had it. Bought all they had on the shelf (13). I called Canada Dry to see what’s up? The uninformed customer service confirmed that they stopped making it in 3rd quarter of 2019. I read her the bottled date stamp on the bottle. She confirmed that the bottled date was after the stop manufactured date! She said ” it is no longer made by Canada Dry” I said -how can that be? She stuck to her story. Jan 16 2020 on a hunch I went back to my Giant (Hatfield Penna.) and there it was. I bought all on the shelf (11). I think that Canada Dry was testing the commercial soft drink waters by putting out (Fake Info) just to see how much ruckus it caused.

  7. I to have been looking for the Bitter Lemon and not having much luck. They state lack of interest but thats not want Im seeing. I lucked out and found Polar Bitter Lemon here in Floirda for .99 per 1 liter bottle. Very good and worth giving it a shot. I just ordered 2 cases as this is what seemed to be the most refreshing in the summer months.

  8. I don’t get it…. my sister living in New Jersey (Camden area) just bought 2 bottles of Canada Dry Bitter Lemon from a liquor store!!! They obviously still make it…unless these bottles are from 10 years ago!!

  9. I have always gotten Bitter Lemon for a summertime drink in Maryland and Delaware. Is it still be distributed to stores in this region? If so which stores.

  10. Oh one of my favorites Been looking every where for it (N.Y. area) Can’t find. You are a lucky one to have it in your area. ENJOY!🤗