Zing! says the chipper lil’ pop tab on bubly’s latest offering to the bubbleverse: the bubly bounce.
Do you feel the spark between us? asks the frenetic, Lite-Brite inspired can, guaranteed to trigger trypophobia in the susceptible.
As anyone familiar with us here at The Bubbleverse will know, we have felt many things regarding bubly, but a spark is not one of them. Maybe some faint glimmers of light, when it comes to the bubly blackberry or mango.
But our relationship with bubly thus far is more like a lost wanderer bashing two rocks together in the pouring rain, desperately trying to create some semblance of a spark with which to ignite some sopping wet kindling to survive the howling night.
The flavors are often thin, bitter, one-note attempts at conjuring whatever fruit bandwagon that bubly is attempting to hitch a ride on, which primarily only succeed at capturing the sensation of sucking the fruity exhaust pipe of that wagon.
As of yesterday, Feb 12 2021, bubly has hopped on the bandwagon that AHA started driving earlier last year: the caffeine microdose.
AHA has long offered a caffeinated sparkling water that contains only 30mg of caffeine, about the same as 2.5 ounces of coffee. And we have to admit, we first scoffed at the idea. As proud Hiball addicts, we were kind of befuddled at the idea of drinking 30 paltry milligrams.
How wrong we were! The AHA Citrus + Green Tea has become a staple at Bubbleverse headquarters, providing a pleasant little late morning lift to our lives.
So yes, we’ve been wrong before. And we are always willing to drop our preconceptions and grab a case of whatever new sparkling water rains from the sparkling heavens into the bubbleverse.
So when we saw the big display of bubly bounces at Target yesterday, we bounced on over and tossed a box onto the already obscene pile of sparkling water in our cart, ready to give it another go on the bubly-go-round.
We’ll eventually work our way through all the new bubly bounce flavors: mango passionfruit, blueberry pomegranate, triple berry, and citrus cherry.
Today, however we’re beginning our explorations into the bounciverse with bubly’s Blood Orange Grapefruit.
AHA already has an Orange + Grapefruit (uncaffeinated), which has destroyed our lives: we perpetually stalk the shelves of every grocery store in a 50 mile radius, waiting for a new shipment to come in so we can pound a few cases in the parking lot and then drive on to the next store to do it all again.
Needless to say, then, the bar is high for this bubly bounce Blood Orange Grapefruit. If bubly can give us a caffeinated version of this unholy nectar, we might just let bygones be bygones and change the name of this site to the Bublyverse.
Let’s zing on in!
The nose on this is like a citrus pez: bright, candy-like, vaguely citrus but communicating neither Blood Orange nor Grapefruit.
It’s faint, signaling that we’re still dealing with classic bubly, whispy lil’ fruit ghosts whispering from beyond the veil. It has way more Pez-smell than anything else. Not super promising.
Perhaps bubly has decided they will start a new trend: flavor microdosing?
Seriously, bubes, would it ruin you to put one or two more drops of flavor in your sparkling waters? If you’re trying to save money, save some ink as well and don’t even bother labeling these as if they contain a flavor.
Blood Orange, as opposed to just “Orange”, conjures some exotic image in the mind’s eye of a deep red juicy citroid. You have to use “Blood Orange” very intentionally. But there’s nothing specifically blood-invoking here, let alone even orange-invoking.
It’s maybe a slightly different taste than the straight up grapefruit bubly, but it shares the same qualities as all bublys: thin-ass, watery, bitter, pointless.
There’s a difference between subtle and dilute, between restrained and bad, between blood orange grapefruit and licked a pez yesterday.
So we cracked open the AHA Orange + Grapefruit that always seems to be there on the edge of our peripheral vision, emanating from the dark wormhole that has followed us from our first sip, to do a side by side.
The difference is profound. The AHA smells like a fresh-cut orange with a little true zing of grapefruit. It tastes like a real, albeit neon, citrus from the earth. The bubly, on the other hand, tastes like a bizarre simulation of a Smarty, although “taste” is a strong word here. It’s like flavor gaslighting.
We know there are a lot of bubly fans out there, teeming legions of them. Maybe you’re one of them. We’re not here to judge: sparkling water preferences are extremely personal and hook deeply into our most intimate being.
So if you’re a bublyfan, go ahead and try this for yourself. If, on the other hand, you’re a normal person, who just wants some caffeine in your sparkling water, we’ll point you towards AHA’s Citrus + Green Tea, or Chirp’s Pink Grapefruit, or, of course, Hiball or Ugly’s Energy Waters.
Sorry bubly, we really wanted this to work out. We were so excited about a lightly-caffeinated Blood Orange. But we’ve decided we’ll be better off just sprinkling some no-doz into our Orange + Grapefruit AHA over here.
Carbonated Water, Natural Flavor, Caffeine
caffeine per can: