This is probably the most outrageous watermelon flavor out there in the bubbleverse. It’s like drinking a Jolly Rancher. It’s like you’ve been cordially invited to attend the christening of Princess Bubblegum’s Skittle love child.
While most sparkling water brands try to achieve #nofilter flavors, hewing as close as possible to the real fruit (or herb) in question, AHA is unafraid to go extreme. Their waters taste like their graphic design: bold, saturated, high-contrast cartoon fruits, in ALL CAPS.
Despite the fact that we like to think we have delicate palates here at the bubbleverse, AHA never fails to hook us somehow. Not terribly surprising though, because these are made by the flavor sorcerers at Coca-Cola, highly skilled in the dark arts of compulsive quaffing.
From the first crack of the can, the nose tells you you’re about to taste the rainbow, and the rainbow is going to taste you, ready or not.
The candymelon is the first to arrive on the tongue, a tsunami of childhood flashbacks. There really is some kind of strong bubblegum note here. It’s not overt, but when you’re really trying to pay attention to the watermelon flavor, it morphs into bubblegum unexpectedly.
Which got us thinking, what flavor is bubblegum exactly anyway? Bubblegum is, of course, the quintessential chimera of the 20th century better-living-through-chemistry modernist dystopia, so fittingly, it’s not a flavor per se, it’s more of a complex of flavor-invoking molecules like methyl salicylate, ethyl butyrate, benzyl acetate, etc. Given the intentional artificiality of AHA’s watermelon, it’s not surprising it veers into this venn diagram of flavors.
So anyway, we’re here, awash in nostalgia, lost in the candyverse, when something unexpected happens: the lime arrives. And this is a true lime flavor, sour and pithy. It cuts through the haze of artifice, somehow pulling the watermelon with it into reality. All of a sudden everything tastes real again, and you’re left wondering if you somehow hallucinated everything before this moment.
This movement results in a really beautiful afterglow: this bubbler lingers in your mouth in a subtle, complex, and delicious way.
While (for us at least) this might be a little too wild of a ride to make into a daily go-to, it is compelling and we still kind of want another one, even while we’re still feeling relief that we finally finished the can.
And of course, we have delicate sensibilities here. If you’re looking for a stronger flavor, whether because you’re trying to find the best sparkling water to replace soda, or you just prefer to get punched in the mouth by fruit and living on the edge in general, this could quickly become a favorite of yours.
Carbonated Water, Natural Flavors