In case you hadn’t noticed, sparkling water (and not just the hard stuff, either) is having a moment. And for damn good reason: The stuff is delicious and refreshing. Call it what you will — sparkling water, seltzer water, carbonated water — it delivers its flavor and refreshment without the calories, sugars, sodium, and preservatives found in most other carbonated beverages (here’s looking at you, soda and beer). There’s also the added benefit of being alcohol-free, should you see such as a benefit — I know I do when I’m parched in the middle of the work day or when I crave tasty refreshment but also need to drive a car filled with two kids and a wife around town.
Whether you’re looking to replace sugar-filled sodas with something lower in calories, trying to find a great substitute for your post=workout or lawnmower beer, or you’re already a fan of flavored fizzy water, you’re in the right place. I was slurping back cans of club soda long before sparkling water worked its way into the zeitgeist, and I’ve thrilled to see the this section of the grocery store beverage aisle grow. By my quick estimation, I’ve probably tried 20 or more different kinds of flavored, carbonated waters in recent years, so you can trust me when I say these are the five best sparkling water brands you simply must sip this spring and summer. (And hey, why not kick ’em back in the cooler months of autumn and winter too? I know I do.)
Waterloo sparkling waters hail from Austin, Texas, and they are Texas-sized in flavor. Whether you’re sipping watermelon, grapefruit, black cherry, or any of their other flavors, you’ll probably find yourself checking the Nutrition Facts label with incredulity, surprised to find that this stuff is indeed free of sugars, calories, sodium, and … well, everything. The company states that the huge flavor profiles are created thanks to a three “class” system: Class A ingredients are aromatic extracts captured from steam boiled off fruits, Class B ingredients consist of concentrated fruit oils extracted using high pressures, and Class C ingredients are “all-natural botanical elements” that help “bond Class A and Class B ingredients together.” I’m not 100 percent (or even 43 percent) sure what they mean by Class C, but I am 100 percent sure that these are the most flavorful seltzer waters I’ve ever tasted. (In fact, they taste too much like soda for my soda-averse wife to even drink. Yeah, seltzer water with too much flavor. Whodathunkit?)
If you’re a fan of fizzy water, then you already know La Croix. This brand is “sweeping the nation” as my friend Tom so aptly put it, and they’re doing so for one reason above all (in my opinion): There does not seem to be a single fruit La Croix has not yet used to create a seltzer water flavor. (OK, maybe the breadfruit.) In fact, the brand is even running out of blends of fruit at this point! There’s coconut, passionfruit, key lime, apricot, mango, and oh so many more. Blends include peach-pear, pineapple-strawberry, sweet and sour blackberry-cucumber, and so forth. At the time of this writing, La Croix offers more than 2o differentflavors, but by the time you read this, I’ll be they’ve added jackfruit-huckleberry and kiwi-fig. (Full disclosure: There are several empty cans of La Croix Passionfruit sitting on my desk right now. For real. I should probably recycle them at some point.)
People have been drinking Schweppes for what historians term a long-ass time. The brand was founded back in 1783, so that means a 235-year history as of 2018. Me? I’ve only been drinking Schweppes for about three decades, but that’s only because I didn’t drink sodas or seltzers or anything of that ilk until my elementary school years. While perhaps best known for their tonic waters, ginger ales, and classic club soda, today Schweppes offers seven flavored sparkling waters that are refreshing, tasty, and priced to sell. My personal favorites are black cherry and cranberry lime, but who knows, you may be a pink grapefruit or pomegranate fan. Side bar If you mix some Schweppes seltzer water with a fine booze (bourbon and orange FTW, or a good vodka with any of ’em), you’re doing it right.
If you love soda but realize that drinking more than a couple of sodas a week is really not best practice, then you owe it to yourself to try Polar Beverages. Sure, this company makes a lime flavor, a lemon, and an original just like everyone else, but Polar also offers some blends that are tasty enough to curb your desire for cola or root beer. Try orange vanilla, triple berry, granny smith apple, or strawberry watermelon if you want something sweet, and don’t miss cranberry lime or ruby red grapefruit for pure refreshment. Ah, what the hell … just try all 17 flavors they offer.
You’ve drank plenty of Perrier in your day, no? You’ve sipped it on airplanes, in hotel rooms, at the house of that one friend whose mom always had lots of Perrier around, and so on. So you know what this stuff is, then: sparkling water with minimal mineral flavoring. Right? Wrong! Oh, you’re so wrong. In recent years, this staid water purveyor has added numerous fine flavors to the lineup. Perrier now offers flavored seltzers like peach, watermelon, strawberry, green apple, and more. Now look, Perrier waters don’t pack as much flavor punch as most other brands, and they sparkle with less vigor too. But that’s kind of the point here — sometimes you don’t want to be overwhelmed with taste and effervescence, you just want a bit of mild refreshment. When that happens, grab these new twists from a classic brand.
And remember, if you love sparkling water but always wished it came with booze already in it, there’s plenty of hard seltzer out there too.
- Armchair Amazon-ing: Check Out these Amazing Amazon Digital Coupons
- Our Favorite Camping Flasks for the Trail and Beyond
- 18 Books By Female Authors Every Man Should Read (or Re-Read) in 2018
- The Benefits of Foam Rolling and Why You Need to Roll on this Trend
- Spring Running Gear: Must-Haves for Running in Rain and Mild Temperatures