We’re diving back into the bubly bounciverse today.
Apparently we are powerless before the inexplicably-beloved and irritatingly-subpar sparkling water brand bubly, which sprang into existence when PepsiCo decided that they needed to make more money.
We keep going back time and time again, trying to figure out what we’re missing, and enraging ourselves in the process.
But then, even more annoyingly, sometimes along the way, our haughty disgust melts into a shrug and a decent experience in spite of our better, more discerning taste angels. We give up, bubly. You win (our money).
We definitely hate-drink these, and there’s a strange satisfaction in that, if you’re a certain type of low key self-loathing person. To the point where we miiiight even be enjoying them.
It’s definitely demented, but we’re pretty sure bubly is the toxoplasmosis of sparkling waters, and it’s become our adorable shitting kitten we’ll do anything for.
Except write a positive review.
Once again we gaze upon the bubly bounce can in front of us, shaking our heads at the pixely, virus-like dots , and while we don’t understand the aesthetic choice there, we also kinda do. Bubly has been a shelf virus for a while now, so we’re glad they’re finally embracing it with this new lineup.
As always, the pop tab has something to say. This one says “wow!”, which we interpret as “wow, I can’t believe you’re about to drink me again, you relentless shit talkers. Joke’s on you.”
Indeed, bubly. Touché.
As we crack it open, unlike the thin stale Pez vibes of the BO&G, this aroma is fresh slices of mango right in front of your face. It smells like an actual fruit, and we are mildly encouraged.
Well, hello mango! Once again, we’re pleasantly surprised that we genuinely don’t mind the bubly mango flavor. It’s refreshing and hits the mark. We find bubly’s mango to be one of the more palatable of their line up, so we’re not surprised that this one doesn’t send us running for the hills.
It’s a ripe, sweet, juicy mango, and probably the most three-dimensional flavor that bubly makes. All too often, bubly picks one note of a flavor to hammer, but with the mango, there’s a fleshiness, a creaminess, even a little vegetal tang.
You could cut this up, sprinkle on some Tajín, and sell it from a little cart on the sidewalk.
Passion Fruit, where art thou?
Passion Fruit is nowhere to be found on the nose or on the palette, except possibly as a bitter afterthought. But is that what passion fruit is supposed to taste like?
No, we’re pretty sure it’s sweet, floral, a veritable tiki drink of a flavor. But this isn’t the first time an appealing fruit essence has been run through the bubly flavor mill and come out on the losing, indiscernible end.
Our passion fruit associations, when it comes to sparkling water, are pretty much inextricably linked to the lush LaCroix wonder (🤤), so if you’re looking for any of those vibes here, you’re going to be lost in the South American vines for a while.
We really don’t even understand why they bothered to tack on a “Passion Fruit” here, because it’s not expressed in any arc of the nose or the flavor profile.
Maybe, just maybe, we catch a lingering whiff of passion fruit at the very end, mixed in with the slight bitter aftertaste characteristic of all bublys, or maybe that’s just the passion placebo effect.
We’re pretty certain that all they did here was add some caffeine to their mango flavor and call it a day.
But ultimately, we’re kind of fine with that. We don’t trust bubly as masterful executors of flavor, so to quote the great TLC, “Don’t go chasing
waterfalls passionfruit, please stick to the rivers and the lakes mango that you’re used to.”
So, if you enjoy bubly mango and 35 mg of caffeine, you’ll totally enjoy this.
Carbonated Water, Natural Flavor, Caffeine
caffeine per can: