Monday, May 20, 2019

Bougie Aldi Sparkling Water Breakdown

Sparkling Water Party!  - Aldi
We're cutting back on soda, as a household, and we've been looking to bubbly water to curb our cravings, and you know what? It's kind of working.
Although all the sugar and citric acid in soda isn't great, our real reason from cutting back is the amount of caffeine we've been ingesting. Between coffee, tea, and was just too much and it wasn't helping with our already erratic sleep schedules. (Well rested who? We don't know her.) 
Thankfully, Aldi has a lot of sparkling water/seltzer varieties to choose from including the bougie mainstream brand La Croix. It's been two weeks of bubbly water, so, here are a few of the items I picked up and what we think!
$2.69 Aldi Brand - Belle Vie Lime (La Croix Knock-off)  
Aldi offers their Belle Vie line of sparkling water year round, but there isn't much variety. These come in plain, lime, lemon and grapefruit and are sold in packs of 12. (22¢ each.) Not a bad price, but if you're not a fan of citrus flavors, you're out of luck. 
Lime  - Since my fiance's soda-of-choice is Mountain Dew, I thought these might be the most logical replacement. The lime flavoring is quite bold and zesty, which I really enjoyed, but these didn't fix my fiance's cravings. I think these taste like Sprite without any sugar, just bubbles and citrus zest, and I found myself reaching for these quite a bit. They were bold enough to satisfy my soda craving, but my fiance wasn't as keen. He still missed his Mountain Dew, but he drank the first 12 pack of these in less than a week so they were more successful than he realized. We've since bought two more cases. I'd say these are a definite win, and although I haven't tried the La Croix version, I can't imagine it being different enough to warrant the price hike.  
$4.29 La Croix Cran-Raspberry
The obvious thing La Croix has that Aldi doesn't is variety. There are tons of flavors ranging from Apricot to Tangerine, and Aldi's line only scratches the surface. Our Aldi had a bunch of tropical flavors for the upcoming summer season, like mango and passion-fruit, but it was the Cran-Raspberry that caught my eye and made it's way into my cart.
Cran-Raspberry  -As much as I want to say, "this one sucked and wasn't worth the money...," it was the absolute first item to be decimated by our family. This case of 12 cans (35¢ each), only lasted us 4 days. The combination of tart cranberry with sweet raspberry and tangy carbonation made this satisfying, refreshing, and interesting enough to make us forget about soda for a little while. When opened, the aroma leans more rasp-berry than cran, and I felt like the carbonation was a little less bold and in-your-face than the Aldi offerings. It wasn't a huge night-and-day difference between the two quality wise, but this flavor in particular was a big hit with everyone in our household, and there just isn't any Aldi equivalent. If Aldi DID make a version of this, I'm sure we'd love that just as much, but they don't. So I'll just suck it up and spend slightly more to give my family the variety they crave...for now. 
$2.99 Aldi Brand - PurAqua Belle Vie Bold (La Croix Curate Knock-off)
This flavor is an exact dupe for the La Croix Curate Tall-cans and they came in the exact same flavor varieties, only the name brand cost $4.39 for an 8 Pack (.54¢ each), while Aldi's version only cost me $2.99 (.37¢ each). I opted for the Aldi brand. 
I grabbed Cherry Lime and Strawberry Pineapple. (Blackberry Cucumber was also available but I wasn't interested)
Cherry Lime  - This one smells like lime Skittles and generic cherry lollipops, which might not appeal to everyone, but I am 100% into it. It's clear, but if I could define this by smell alone, I'd say it smells "red." Like, freezer popsicle-red. Tastew-wise, this is really successful. It starts out zesty, dry, and a little tar, thanks to the lime, and then there is a cherry finish which is bold enough to be noticed without being overwhelming and medicinal. I actually feel like I am drinking some kind of sweetened soda, a light soda, but a soda none-the-less, and the flavoring is both satisfying on it's own, but versatile enough to be used as a mixer in other drinks. This one was a huge win with my fiance too.
Strawberry Pineapple  - when opened, the liquid inside has a tropically vague fruit punch aroma that is both appealing and slightly off putting. Upon first sip I wasn't immediately blown away, but I ended up enjoying it more than I thought I would. Thanks to the scent, this has some very light, and bubbly Hawaiian Punch vibes, but the flavoring is pretty weak. I don't have the illusion that I am drinking something flavorful and full-bodied. This ended up being my least favorite of the bunch, but even so, I'd likely buy it again and keep it in rotation because it is vastly different than the others and offers some variety. 
So my ranking is as follows:
  1. Aldi - Belle Vie Lime 
  2. La Croix - Cran-Raspberry 
  3. Aldi - Belle Vie Bold Cherry Lime
  4. Aldi - Belle Vie Bold Strawberry Pineapple
I'd recommend everything except for the Strawberry Pineapple, unless you're really into fruit punch. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'll be burping my brains out for the rest of the night Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory-style. (Note to self, don't review 4 fizzy waters in a row.)
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