Nothing wrong with plain-old fizzy H2O. But when flavor calls, you are duty-bound to answer with any of these three non-alcoholic sparkling waters. Here variety is the spice of life, imbued into every can of of clear, fruity, subtly savory, low- or no-sugar fizz bev.
Paraphrasing its website, Sanzo is an Asian-inspired sparkling water using real fruit and containing no added sugar. I bought the variety pack, which is def the way to go with almost everything. Like underwear, fun-sized cereal, and Post-it Notes. Your VP/sampler comes with three flavors:
First, I love the packaging. The colors and fruit illos. Kinda a shame to slip a can of Sanzo into a koozie/cosy, but in the heat of the day one must prioritize function over form. Anyway, the calamansi is a tart, citrusy delight, splashed with fruit puree and without calories/sugar. The lychee and mango’s outsize verve belie their scant caloric and sugar content* (all from actual fruit puree…not HFCS). In other words, you don’t feel like you drank a damn sandwich** after finishing a can. Nothing cloying here, just a lively, broad fruitiness.
Anyway, each flavor is great and if I was feeling crazy I’d dump all three into a giant goblet, sit under a shady tree, and contemplate a thirst-slaked fizzy landscape. Huzzah!
*For comparison’s sake, a 12 oz can of Coke has 10x the sugar, which is nuts.
**I love sandwiches and bread, but prefer in solid form.
Slender cans festooned with cartoon animals, anyone? Aura Bora non-alcoholic sparkling waters are built on a two-tone flavor combo, with one component decidedly savory. Thus the “Herbal Sparkling Water” text atop each can. For your consideration: lemongrass, peppermint, lavender, basil, rose (not rosé). Lots of extracts rather than Frankenflavors***. Regarding the variety pack’s cast of characters, however, I can’t recall the 2 “surprises ;-)” included. At least I won’t have spoiled it for you.
All this herbalizing reminds me of how much I like desserts with savory notes. Berries with black pepper. Chocolate and cayenne. Anyway, a can of Aura Bora recalls this predilection in fizzy water form. The only knock I have, and to get back to can koozys/cozys, is the shape of the can does not conform to my standard issue sleeve. Do they make them for cans of this size? Again, I feel like I’m covering up fun when I do so. Which is sad. Don’t cover up fun, folks.
***No offense to Frankenstein, which is my second-favorite book of all time.
DayPack Seltzer (Infused With Hops)
I approached DayPack Seltzer with trepidation. Hops in a non-beer beverage? My feeling is this would be either unbearable or unassailable and thankfully it was the latter.
Do you know what my favorite fruit is? The blood orange. I’d buy/try blood orange anything. Blood orange sandpaper? I’d eat it. Surprisingly, black cherry was my #1.
But you’re here for my hop take. Delivered via hop oil, there’s a subtle grassy/pine thing going on. Not a full-on mega-resiny hop monster extreme bro beer situation. Aesthetics: I like the two-tone colors.
My Targeted Ads Are Now 85% Non-Alcoholic Sparkling Waters
Look, I know how the internet works with its snooping and serving up ads for every permutation of a product once you graze the orbit of its associated world. But I’m not mad to eye-feast on ads for fizzy water and fizzy water-adjacent booze-free beverages. I’m here for it.
NEXT: Amaro-inspired soda(s)