We are a nation obsessed with LaCroix. LaCroix is so hot that the New York Times published this Letter of Recommendation for the brand, describing the phenomenon of leaving your 20’s and drowning your desire for carcinogens in carbonated water (aka growing up). I get this completely, and to the Atlantic’s inquiry into carbonation being bad for your teeth I say, “I don’t smoke. Isn’t that enough for you people!?”
In my years as a carbonation lover, I have also enjoyed LaCroix’s older, European cousins San Pellegrino and Perrier for years. I even have a SodaStream if we’re going to be totally transparent here. I like fizzy water, but not until now have I loved it.
That’s because I had not been introduced to the haute culinary fizz experience that is Spindrift Seltzer. I found a pack of these, where else, at the yuppy grocery store (Kowalski’s) and was intrigued by how much less ugly they are than LaCroix (whose packaging is, to be fair, loveably ugly). Spindrift uses too many different fonts, but let’s admit it, that packaging is drinkable as heck.
I first tried the grapefruit (in LaCroix parlance, pomplemousse). This stuff has little bits of “fresh squeezed grapefruits” inside, and it shows. When you pour it into a glass, it is cloudy and pink. It’s a bit like pouring sparkling water into some really pulpy grapefruit juice. This variety isn’t a TOTAL ZERO! product. It quietly contains 15 calories.
I honestly didn’t know if I could enjoy a drink that had 15 calories after Dr. Pepper Ten tried so hard to establish that the low-calorie (but not zero-calorie) beverage category was NOT FOR WOMEN!!!! But I’m over that now, thanks to this stuff. Their 10-15-calorie counts pack a lot of sweetness, making them a less subtle drinking experience than LaCroix.
I quickly discovered they had other flavors I needed in my life immediately, including lemon, watermelon, cucumber and blackberry. To get some of these, you have to go to Trader Joe’s or Costco. As I was buying the cucumber variety, the cashier at Trader Joe’s told me it was perfect with Hendrick’s gin. (I’ve found most of these sodas to be great healthy mixers for clear boozes in general.)
The cucumber flavor is mellow and simple, and the lemon is bright and tart. The watermelon flavor is perfection. I haven’t found the Blackberry yet. I hope for their next set of beverages they create more tea or herbal flavors. A honey ginger would be delicious, or strawberry basil.
So should you try these sodas? If you like the price point and simplicity of LaCroix, they may not be for you. Spindrift seltzers are pricey (a little over $4 for 4 of them). They’re also super fruity and flavorful. Think of them as a treat and not a mainstay for putting something in your mouth all day. I will be drinking them all summer (but like 1 every other day. I’m not made of money).