Bienvenue! Welcome to another round of Lime Time!
Now, we feel a little guilty throwing a heavyweight like Perrier into the Lime Time ring like this.
Putting the perennial sparkling water roi, the pinnacle of class and sparkles, the ‘80’s scarf wearing, loafers-in-a-smoking-jacket Perrier Lime against punier contenders, like LaCroix Lime?
Talk about an underdog. How is the Wisconsin yokel going to hold its own against the upper-crust French GOAT? It’s like Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous going up against your one-bedroom efficiency full of Ikea furniture. It just feels a little unfair.
But then, a question entered into our simple, one-track, sparkling water obsessed minds: Does this even count as a contender? Perrier is mineral water!
We discovered (while pondering the finer points of Polar’s Ruby Red) that brands like Topo Chico and Gerolsteiner fall under different classifications than LaCroix, in that they are naturally carbonated. Most of what we consider “Sparkling Waters” get their carbonation later in the process (“artificially”).
It occurred to us we weren’t entirely sure: Is Perrier one of those aquifer-born, naturally carbonated Seltzers? Or is it a Sparkling Water? Given their continual boasting about being from a “mineral” source, we assumed the former.
And if there’s one reason the Bubbleverse exists, it’s to unravel the enduring mysteries of sparkling water conundrums, the. intriguing befuddlements that keep us pouring every last penny into case after case of these effervescent liquids.
We’re like Inspector Clouseau, but instead of bumbling around Europe, we bumble around the Internet trying to research sparkling water, strung out on Coconut LaCroix.
Is Perrier naturally carbonated?
Sadly, the answer is no. Here we’ve been running around with fantasies of a magical spring a la campagne, the French goddess Manon des Sources flitting about, filling elegantly forged clay jars with the bubbling nectar, squeezing a freshly cut lime into her straight-from-the-spring Perrier. (That’s how we always imagine Perrier Lime originated anyway.)
But here’s what we found, from an Associated Press article from 1990. (We’re not afraid to do the research around here. Old, outdated research. Haul out the microfiche.) The FDA forced Perrier to remove their “Naturally Sparkling Water” claim on their bottles.
Don’t mess with the FDA, that’s our first takeaway.
But here’s the fun part: The water and the carbon dioxide both come from the spring, but are separated at the source. The carbonation we enjoy gets added later in the factory process, once all the impurities are removed. Sure it’s splitting hairs, but this is the kind of nerding out we like to do around here.
And, sure, we’ll agree they should take the “sparkling water” label off, since it is an artificial carbonation at the end of the day. But we also kind of give them a pass since they did get the gas from a natural sparkly source. They just separate it, filter it beyond recognition and have to put it back together like a Lime Frankensteinier.
So. That is how they wound up with the current label “Natural Mineral Water”.
And yes, we acknowledge this isn’t breaking news, but we also acknowledge that the magique persists around this water. Somehow Perrier slinks by with the enduring “natural carbonation” allure, letting us naively imagine that it’s all just gurgling up from some spring in Provence. When really they just add the bubbles in the factory, like all the other Waterloos and bublys out there.
But that’s kind of the French in a nutshell. Pretending to be fancier than everyone else, when really, French People: they’re just like us.
But the good news is, we’re letting this Perrier Lime join the ranks of the other artificially carbonated competitors. Sure, it takes a little of the je ne sais quoi away, but you are not disqualified, monsieur! Step into the ring.
Upon le première sniff, the lime on the nose is parfait. It’s tart, it’s fresh. Some limes are for desserts, some lime are for garnishing cocktails. The aroma on this lime is exactly the lime you want in your sparkling water. That’s not to say it’s precisely accurate to a lime occurring in nature, but this is why we show up for these flavored sparklers. Who doesn’t love a lime surprise? (Well, actually, turns out we don’t on occasion.)
Despite the dubious carbonation practices discussed above, there is a deep minerality to Perrier, a salty, geological flavor that, of course, has elevated this legendary water to the pinnacles of the Mineral Water Alps. This minerality is at the forefront of each sip, the lime exquisitely cradling the dissolved solids, a bright citrus at the edges of your mouth. It’s heaven.
The lime on the tongue is delicious, even if it is decidedly a one-note lime. It doesn’t take you on a deep lime journey. There’s no arc here, no surprise developments at the end. The flavor of Perrier Lime stays consistent throughout. This is a fresh lime squeezed just the right amount to flavor a salty mineral water. What more can we ask for?
Sometimes, in sparkling waters, as the aromatics dissipate, you can get like three distinct flavor profiles in one can, as the stronger notes fade and other ones come forward. Sometimes it’s fun, sometimes it’s disappointing, and sometimes it’s downright confusing.
But the Perrier Lime remains pretty steady and consistent throughout the entire drinking experience. What you sign up for is what you get.
There’s something about the “naturally essenced” label that all sparkling waters get that really runs the gamut from rarified to comical. Let’s be honest: sometimes we like the weird, lab-conjured flavor profiles we get. There’s something satisfying about an ode to a bygone Jolly Rancher or the Absurd Taste the Rainbow vibes we can get.
But ultimately, at the root of it all, we are trying to recreate the experience of a fresh fruit or herb, spritzed or expressed into our bubbly water.
And that’s the essence, nay quintessence, of what we love most about this Perrier Lime. This feels like what was intended when Humans first decided to mix Citrus with Bubbles. (Arguably the height of humanity’s achievements.)
And speaking of Bubbles, the bubble structure here is perfection. These bubbles are small and tight, but they don’t give you that throat burn we associate with other mineral waters. They’re pretty magically easy going down. And, what’s even more magical is that they persist a long time after opening. Without naming names, some brands lose that piquant bubble structure pretty quickly after cracking, if you’re not drinking with diligence. These Perrier bubbles stay perky.
The overall experience is gazing up the Mediterranean from your Monte Carlo veranda. This is satisfying to the very last drops.
We have our Lime Time champion in this Perrier Lime.
But we’ll be accepting any and all contenders, as la competicion existe sans fin.
If you have any lime recs, send ‘em our way!
Natural spring water, carbon dioxide, natural flavour