Welcome, once again, to another voyage into “the romance of French and Spanish cultures,” this time with one of the OG Cúrates: Cerise Limón.
Yes, along with Pomme Bayá, this was one of two flavor combinations that LaCroix picked in 2014 to launch their culturally appropriative blends of otherwise normal fruits, in an attempt to cloak their Pure Wisconsin sparkling water in an aura of exoticism.
We assume the multicultural reference here is supposed to be Sangria, even though Cherry Lime is more associated with Sonic Drive In’s Cherry Limeade than anything that may have emerged from the romance language bloc.
Either way, here’s what we’re really excited about with this one: according to LaCroix, at least, the literal translation of cúrate is “heal yourself,” and there’s nothing more healing and medicinal than the flavor of cherries.
And the syrupy, cough-syrup maraschino that awaits us on the first crack of the can, wafting through the nose, cut with only the slightest hint of lime, lets us know we are in for a curative journey par excellence. Right?
Right! The first sip ushers the Plague Doctor through the door, as we lay comatose on our straw-filled cot, in the serfdom of the lime fields. Our
small hut mouth fills with the most medicinal cherry since bubly’s cherry, so we know some powerful healing is about to take place.*
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
There are other, less profoundly analeptic cherries out there in the sparkling water cosmos, including Good & Gather’s Tropical Cherry and Waterloo’s Black Cherry. But we have to assume that there’s an inverse relationship between how good a cherry flavor tastes, and how curative the effects of that cherry flavor are. Otherwise, why would they make it taste like this?
As the “doctor” fills our orifices and sinuses with his cherry medicine, we notice, in our delirium, that the mattress we’re sprawled upon is not filled with straw afterall: in fact, it’s filled with wet cardboard.
There’s a deep and strange undercurrent of wet cardboard drifting through the Cerise Limón like a fever dream, constantly leaving us wondering if we’re hallucinating it, or if somehow the box these cans came in imparted their own flavor. But it’s consistent as we work our way through the case, only dissipating slightly towards the end of each can, as the aromatics fade away & we’re left confronting the essence of this Curaté.
It’s only during this phase of our treatment that we encounter the lime, as the beak-faced Cherry Charlatan removes the leeches, packing his bags to disappear into the French countryside, never lingering too long in any one village lest he be guillotined as the fraud he is.
As he departs, the fainted dregs of lime arise from the bottom of the can, mingling with the bitter cherry aftertaste, to create something that’s not refreshing exactly, but possibly relieving. It’s at least a cold comfort that we’re not eternally fated to be operated on by docteur cerise, and some succor is achieved in the last few sips of flat, citric acid tinged physic.
"Carbonated Water, Naturally Essenced"