It’s been a while since we last reviewed Aura Bora, purveyors of the most mystical and exquisite sparkling waters known to humankind.
Since blowing the minds of bubblenauts everywhere last year, Aura Bora has remained quietly dedicated to slowly expanding and solidifying their presence in retail stores across the land (with a little appearance on Shark Tank for good measure). We recently found them in the far reaches of The Northwoods, which re-blew our minds a little.
But it’s been pretty quiet on the Aura Bora flavor front, their stable of five flavors unchanged except for a Basil Berry update. Meanwhile, here at The Bubbleverse, we’ve been underwater with reviews just trying to keep up with Ugly’s monthly limited edition drops.
So imagine our delight and consternation when Aura Bora announced their first-ever limited edition flavor: Ginger Meyer Lemon.
Delight because new Aura Bora, consternation because are we going to have to chain ourselves to our keyboards in the bubblebasement just to keep up with the never-ending flow of new limited edition sparkling waters? It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
Actually, it’s really just kind of the best of times, at least if you only pay attention to sparkling water news and don’t look out the window/go outside. We’ll stay in the bubblebasement happily, if it means we don’t have to confront the heat domes and burning oil leaks currently dominating the only known existent ecosystem in the universe. At least it’s cool down here.
Ginger sparkling waters are (strangely) few and far between: Nixie has a Lime Ginger, there’s a Whole Foods/365 Ginger sparkling water which we have yet to review but is pretty decent, along with AHA’s now-defunct Apple + Ginger (RIP), Good & Gather’s Ginger Peach, Langer’s has a ginger flavor, and bubly’s got their Ginger White Peach.
Meyer Lemon sparkling water is even rarer, with apparently only Langer’s and Poland Spring representing this elusive citroid. Oh, and also a brand called Dr. Priestley’s Fizzy Water, who has a “Meyer Lemon Ginger” (not to be confused with Aura Bora’s “Ginger Meyer Lemon”).
We’re sure there’s more out there that we’re not thinking of, but give us enough time in the basement and we’ll get to them all.
What is a Meyer Lemon? Thanks for asking!
A Meyer Lemon is a hybrid fruit, sort of a citrus fractal: the offspring of a citron (the original ur-citrus fruit) and a mandarin/pomelo hybrid. It’s not, like we had always assumed, some kind of variety of a regular lemon (which is itself a bitter orange/citron hybrid). We’ll stop ourselves before we get too deep into the twisting labyrinth of hybrids and chimeras that is the citrus family tree.
But speaking of twisting labyrinths of hybrids and chimeras, Aura Bora graces us once again with their psychedelic dreamscapes of a can. Unlike Ugly, who for their limited editions just slaps a tongue on the cartoon du jour and ships it out, Aura Bora has apparently committed to a complete bespoke artwork for even their limited flavors.
A winking tiger in the foreground laps at a white river as a sentient lemon floats by, while another tiger takes a sensory-deprivation bath in a lemon peel full of milk, all watched over by the all-seeing eyes of Aura Bora’s animate landforms. The poem on the can reads:
I bathe in lemons
And climb spicy ginger trees
They have stripes like me
The nose on this is bright, lemony, clean and fresh. It doesn’t have that slight hint of cleaning product that some lemon sparkling waters have. Aura Bora is masterful at extracting essences.
We don’t smell much ginger in here; the aroma is almost all Meyer.
This equation reverses on first sip: the ginger is dominant, while the Meyer Lemon is present mostly as a citrus haze in the background.
There’s maybe a fleeting lemon moment at the moment the sip touches your tongue, but there’s a reason that Ginger comes first in the name of this sparkling water. Which makes sense, considering Aura Bora’s propensity to get a little heavy-handed with the Lemongrass. They like their spicy stalks!
It is a sharp, spicy ginger in here, fresh, raw. Without a ton of Meyer Lemon to balance it, the ginger spices its way through your mouth and down your throat, leaving a trail of tingling in its wake. It’s potent stuff! And combined with Aura Bora’s tiny effervescent bubbles, the overall experience is crisp, refreshing, and kind of intense.
The lemon is there if you look for it, but it mostly provides a vaguely citrus mood, the Aura of the ginger’s Bora.
We’re honestly not quite sure why this one is specifically “Meyer Lemon.” While lemons and Meyer Lemons might not technically be from the same branch of citrus hybridization, they do have a similar taste, except Meyer Lemons are sweeter and have a richer…lemon-yness?
But the Meyer Lemon here isn’t pronounced enough to really allow us to explore the full dimensionality, remaining a faint whisper of citrus behind the full-throated scream of the ginger. For a fruit with such fractal genetics, we’re not quite taken into the citrus labyrinth in the way we’d expect Aura Bora to take us.
Don’t get us wrong, we do really like this! But compared to how fully each other Aura Bora flavor expresses the fullness of their particular herb-fruit yin yang, the ginger just kind of gets out of hand in this one.
Overall, though, Aura Bora’s Ginger Meyer Lemon is damn refreshing. Perfectly timed for the heat dome.
Stick one in your freezer for half an hour and sip it while the world burns. The Anthropocene never tasted so spicy.
Carbonated Water, Meyer Lemon Extract, Ginger Extract
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