We are always on the hunt for great flavor combos and new sparkling water brands in the Bubbleverse, so we were elated to discover Nixie Sparkling Water. An 2019 offshoot from organic powerhouse Late July, this sparkling water is new, innovative, and totally organic and non-GMO.
And splashy, too! The hot pop pink retro trainwreck aesthetic on the can is a metaphor for what’s about to go down inside. It’s bright, wild, the pinks clash, but it all still kind of works, right?
We love a good watermelon mint here in the Bubbleverse. We could hardly contain our excitement when Hiball launched Watermelon Mint, their first new flavor in years. And if you haven’t yet tried the ineffable magic that is Aura Bora, their Peppermint Watermelon is next to godliness. We even just pile up watermelon and mint in a bowl all summer long (pro tip: add a little sprinkle of Himalayan salt. Or if you’re feeling extra frisky, some Tajin).
So, new brand + new watermelon mint?? Let’s crack it open.
The nose gives us total bubblegum. Like the full spectrum from Bazooka Joe to the bubblegum medicine we took as a child. This is, um, not what we were expecting?
Well, the bubblegum persists. There’s a lot going on in here, but let’s start with the obvious: why does this taste so much like bubblegum?
Here’s our guess, and it’s one that we spent many many sips on. Bubblegum is no single flavor, instead it’s an alchemical melange of the various molecules that give different fruits their quintessence: your methyl salicylate, ethyl butyrate, benzyl acetate, etc.
So we have to assume that the flavor scientists at Nixie attempted their own watermelon alchemy, and it’s probably going to always be the case that when you mix enough fruit esters together, you can’t avoid the bubblegum black hole.
But here’s something interesting: according to the “head flavorist” at candyflavor.com, “the key is really in the wintergreen.” That’s it! The mystery is solved. While there are strong bubblegum undercurrents in AHA’s Watermelon + Lime offering, the mint here is what tips this over the edge into the heart of the bubblegum kingdom.
But the mint also really shines as the sip disappears: it asserts itself, cutting through the gumminess to arrive as a fresh, herbal, refreshing twist that lingers in your mouth.
The bubble structure of Nixie is interesting. The individual bubbles are tight, dare we say, smol. But the water quality is loose, and the tightness of the bubbles fades into something softer. It goes down easy and refreshing. No Topo Chico or Good & Gather throat burns here.
All in all, we find this fascinating and whimsical. Yes, it’s not at all what we’re expecting, and there’s barely a watermelon flavor to be found, but what the heck, bubblegum deserves to be seen in the sparkling water world. And we’re way more down for it than we would have thought.
Nixie Sparkling Water is good summertime fun, and we keep coming back for more and more, even though it’s utterly confusing how they got “watermelon mint” from this. Nixie claims to be a “vacation” in a can, and we agree. Delicious, fun, relaxing, but also a little disorienting, like where are we and what is happening?
We look forward to getting some more Nixie stamps in our bubbleverse passport 🚀
Carbonated Water, Organic Flavors