2 years ago (holy shit have I been doing this for that long?), I wrote a piece about how La Croix was rapidly losing its share of the market (or, as those nasty thotties in the beverage industry call it, “share of throat”…. No really, that’s what they call it) thanks to the rise of Spindrift and White Claw.  But, much as society had gotten bored with ordinary seltzers, it seems like we have now grown bored of the drinks that had promised to break up the monotony.  Will beverage enthusiasts (read: people) ever know peace, or will they be forever cursed to never be satisfied, constantly searching for the next big thing? 

If the beverage companies have anything to say about it, it’s the latter.   And, perhaps in a move inspired by Spindrft’s ideology of “adding juice into seltzer to make it taste not like seltzer,” the latest generation of sparkling beverages seems to be almost completely forgoing the term “seltzer” to avoid La Croix’s memetic reputation of tasting like water that was in a room with some fruit.

Caffeinated Seltzers

The main exception to this rule, however, is caffeinated seltzers, an attempt to convert soda drinkers who had yet to switch to seltzer because they still wanted that caffeine.  The most prolific brand of these (at least in terms of advertising) seems to be Bubly Bounce, which, while supposedly also having Citrus Cherry and Blood Orange Grapefruit flavors, I’ve only seen the Triple Berry in stores.  Ultimately, I found the berry flavor was pretty lackluster (I considered doing an official review of each flavor for each of the drinks mentioned here, but honestly, these all more or less taste either exactly like you’d expect or kinda weak, so that would’ve gotten pretty repetitive, pretty fast.), which isn’t a problem with the other brand of caffeinated seltzers I’ve had, AHA.  Currently available in Mango and Black Tea and Citrus with Green Tea (they originally had a Black Cherry and Coffee one, which the mango seems to have replaced), which all, while not tasting much like their caffeinated additive (except for the coffee, which added an almost chocolatey note that went very well with the cherry, RIP), their fruit flavors were all very present and are some of the strongest tasting seltzers out there.  Speaking of strength, all of these seltzers have 30 mg of caffeine, which is a little less than the average can of cola.  I’ve found that typically, while there’s no noticeable buzz, it’s just enough to get me through the rest of my work day.  

Sparkling Teas

The next logical conclusion after seltzers with tea in them would, naturally, be tea with seltzer in it.  Apparently, brands of sparkling teas like Minna Organic, Rishi Sparkling Botanicals, and Sound Sparkling Teas have been sweeping larger cities by storm.  They haven’t moved into my hometown yet, though, so I had to settle for Trader Joe’s Sparkling Peach Tea to see what all the fuss is about.  Maybe it’s because I was expecting it to taste much stronger than the seltzers, but much like the Mango and Black Tea seltzer, this didn’t taste much like tea.  Maybe the other brands are a little stronger? Who knows. Still pretty refreshing regardless.

Sparkling Wine Cocktails

Lastly, to offset the obnoxious bro culture of White Claw, we have sparkling wine cocktails.  Honestly, having canned sparkling wine makes a lot of sense to me, since you can have one portion and not have to worry about recorking the bottle of Champagne (something I have a history of struggling with). And while brands like Babe and Pop + Fizz may be a little more recognizable, my first experience with these drinks has been Ohza.  They had a display of them out at my work, and, despite their slogan of “Not Just For Brunch,” I grabbed a case of the Peach Bellini ones for Mother’s Day  Brunch, since my mom loves peach things.  And then the next day I noticed they had a variety pack, so I got that too, so hopefully these things are good, because I’ve got a lot of them now.  

Right off the bat, I can say that all of these are a much smoother drinking experience than White Claw.  The Classic Mimosa was very Champagne-forward, with just a slight aftertaste of orange juice.  Meanwhile, the Peach Bellini and the Mango and Cranberry Mimosas were much more fruit-forward, with the Peach barely having any alcohol taste to it at all.  And at 5% ABV, they’re not too heavy to ruin the rest of your day.

Unfortunately, blending them all together (gotta do something with all those half-finished cans) didn’t make the bourgie fruit punch I was hoping for, rather all the fruits cancelled out and it just tasted like cheap wine.  So don’t do that.

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