Bubbl’r is antioxidant sparkling water, boasting natural caffeine and no artificial sweeteners (though they rely on erythritol to create sweetness without adding sugar; IMHO erythritol, which is a sugar alcohol, could possibly be considered an artificial sweetener, but I’m not a nutritionist). Unlike many other sparkling waters, there are some carbs and vitamins, but only 5 calories per 12 ounce can. For those who find sparkling water brands like Waterloo or AHA! too alkaline, Bubbl’r is a fun option if you need to get your “sugar” fix. And with nine flavors to choose from, you’re bound to find at least one flavor that suits you.
A Note on Erythritol and Flavor
Bubbl’r uses erythritol to achieve sweet-tasting beverages without adding sugar. This is fantastic for people (like me) who aren’t a fan of sugary drinks or of drinking their calories. I’m no expert on sugar alcohols, but I’ve read that how they taste can vary by individual. Erythritol leaves a bubble gum aftertaste for me; I find this flavor present in nearly all flavors but to varying degrees. The flavors where it’s too dominant are ones I tend not to like as much.
A Note on Marketing
Bubbl’r sparkling water is hip, with its clever abbreviations, font choices, and vibrant packaging. The shape of the can itself is unique, tall and slender. The target audience is undoubtedly younger – Millennials and Gen Z – who also tend to be somewhat health-conscious and/or looking for alternatives to sugary pop.
On to the review ALREADY! So, how did each flavor of Bubbl’r sparkling water do?
Note: This is not a sponsored post, I purchased each of these products. Links are affiliate; as an Amazon Associate, I may earn a commission from qualifying purchases.
Cherry Guava is a fun flavor. It’s got this whimsical cherry popsicle vibe about it. While I’ve never eaten a guava fruit, I hear the flavor is like a cross between a strawberry and a pear. Cherry is definitely the dominant fruit flavor, but I swear there’s strawberry cartwheeling in the background and I like it. It’s sweet and fruity, a little tart, full-on playful. I know there’s no sugar, but if I’m jonesing for a handful of Skittles I do myself a favor and reach for this instead. (Well, not all the time, but I’m only human and Skittles are delicious okay). Overall, a fun flavor to drink that helps satisfy those sugar cravings (if your will is strong and there isn’t a pile of Skittles sitting in front of you).
Pitaya Berry Nectar sure is a fancy way of saying “tastes like bubblegum.” The flavor starts out promising, like some tropical berry mix I can’t quite place, but finishes like a piece of Double Bubble. It’s not a bad flavor, per se. It’s a nostalgic flavor, one that brings me back to chasing down candy tossed at small-town parades. But it also reminds me of Bazooka Joe shots (Bacardi Limon and Red Bull) and I’m too old for that sh!t. My stomach gurgles with dissatisfaction at the thought. Depending on which memory lane the flavor takes me down, it’s either a fun nostalgic sip or one I can’t wait to move past. Pitaya Berry Nectar isn’t a flavor I will be indulging in on the regular.
I have mixed feelings about this mixed flavor duo. On the one hand, it’s got this juicy mango-forward flavor with hints of citrus that make it a bold and tasty beverage. But on the other hand, it sort of feels like the flavors are trying to tolerate each other rather than harmonize. Like that fun couple who occasionally takes mean cheap shots at one another out of nowhere, creating awkwardness. The awkwardness doesn’t necessarily ruin the fun, just hints at something being a bit off. Blood Orange Mango Mingl’r may be a bit awkward in the flavor harmonization department, but it’s still fun and fruity and worth a sip.
This is one of my favs, how twisted is that? My money was on Blood Orange Mango. I honestly don’t get much raspberry flavor; what little I do detect is sweet, watered-down raspberry absent any tart notes. Kind of like drinking raspberry Kool-Aid. What makes Twisted Elix’r for me is that it’s punctuated with refreshing citrus flavors, which provide a necessary reprieve from the sweet raspberry. This has hints of Double Bubble to it, the same pitfall Pitaya Berry Nect’r falls victim to; fortunately, it’s more subtle here. The fact that I can easily down one of these and am cracking the next open before I even realize it must mean my taste buds approve.
Tastes like happy! I enjoy the hell out of this flavor. A sweet fruitiness dominates, but it also has this alluring tartness, with subtle bursts of citrus on the back end. The flavor is difficult to put into words because like the actual fruit, it has an unusual complexity to it; so I’ll just say that it’s quite pleasing. I wish the tartness envelope would have been pushed a little further, but I don’t really have much negative to say about this flavor. It’s fruity and sweet, the bubble gum notes aren’t as prominent as they are in other Bubbl’r offerings, and the hints of tart citrus add a welcome complexity.
Cranberry and grapefruit are like those outspoken acquaintances that you either love or hate. Both have very distinct tart flavors that are so puckery they bring bitterness. I appreciate the uniqueness of both fruits and conceptually love the idea of combining them. But I’m not convinced they are better together as I find the flavors to be muted rather than celebrated. I actually quite enjoy the Cranberry Grapefruit Sparkl’r but it just falls a little flat. I want to be punched in the tastebuds by tartness, but the drink reads more subdued. An interesting and still sip-worthy take, but it feels like Bubbl’r tried to make cranberry and grapefruit more sweet (read: approachable) than tart, perhaps at the risk of alienating true fans of the fruits.
This flavor is just delightful. While actual pomegranate fruit is both sweet and tart, this beverage plays up the sweet side without going overboard. The flavor is bold yet light and refreshing. I wish there was a touch of tart to add complexity, but after trying all of the Bubbl’r flavors it’s clear that tart just isn’t on the flavor menu. I have no clue what acai tastes like but I’ve heard it’s bitter; since I don’t detect any bitter notes I’m guessing its presence is for nutritional value. Does the Pomegranate Acai Refresh’r taste like a pomegranate? Kinda, sorta, not really; regardless, it’s one of my favorites, one that I’ll happily purchase again.
Who doesn’t love a good lemon-lime beverage, amIright!? Lemon-lime beverages just scream “Drink me damnit, I’m refreshing!” Lemon Lime Twist’r is one of my favorites of the lot because I appreciate its simplicity. Sometimes you just want to sip something with a flavor that’s uncomplicated. This is unique from other lemon-lime flavored drinks I’ve had because the puckery tartness that these citrus beauties are known for is absent. Instead what you have is a beverage that captures the citrus essence but turns it sweet instead of sour.
When Bubbl’r recently revealed their newest flavor addition – Triple Berry Breez’r – I wasn’t surprised. Triple berry fever is everywhere. This flavor straight-up tastes like every terrible blue raspberry candy out there. The first sip is fun, nostalgic even. But it quickly turns sour (or should I say sickly sweet). The sweetness is too much, and I swear I can taste blue dye # whatever they use to make blue raspberry possible. I picture an 11-year-old enjoying the hell out of this, but it’s a hard no for this 30-something.
The best Bubbl’r sparkling water flavors are (in no particular order):
- Lemon Lime Twist’r
- Passion Fruit Wond’r
- Twisted Elix’r
- Pomegranate Acai Refresh’r
These are the four Bubbl’r sparkling water flavors I can see myself buying repeatedly. Sure, there are some silver medals in the bunch (looking at you Cherry Guava Blend’r), but the four above are the stand-outs, IMHO.
Crazy for sparkling water?
Check out my other sparkling water reviews.