We remember when Voss came into the national consciousness.
Yes, we’re old enough to remember the late ‘90s/ early aughts when the tall glass cylinder telegraphed how cool and fancy you were. It was thee cool water. Trotted out at nightclubs with your vodka bottle service, Voss was eye-catching and glam. It said in all caps: “I can afford things”.
This wasn’t your cheap-ass Poland Spring which makes the Misophonic Crinkling of The Poors when you barely brush your fingertips across its plastic. This was glass: silence or the gentle tinkling of the angels the only sound.
But then somewhere along the way, Voss became dated, and even fancier bottled waters entered stage right, along with reusable Hydroflasks, etc. And Voss, while still singularly cylindrical, looked bulky and decidedly single-use. Heavy and cumbersome, left behind with trucker hats and absurdly low waisted jeans.
Which is a shame, because Voss is beautifully designed and has a magical provenance: hailing from a fey sounding realm called “Iveland”, located at the southern tip of Norway, where a remote aquifer still conjures the purest, freshest tasting water found in a bottle.
And here we just thought it looked cool when the cocktail waitresses brought it to our VIP banquette with sparklers.
Turns out it’s much more than that: Their special Scandinavian aquifer boasts water from deep within the earth, protected by the elements and serving as a natural filter, thus creating the hallowed water we now associate with Peak Aughts Fanciness. This genuine inimitable freshness is attributed to low levels of something called TDS (Total Dissolved Solids).
High levels of TDS can give water a brackish or bitter vibe. Low levels of TDS give water a great taste and an opulence almost veering into pretentiousness.
Why is no one talking about Voss Sparkling Water?
Now maybe we’re living under a rock, and Voss represents like LaCroix in some corner of the earth we haven’t been too, but we’ve kiiiinda noticed that Voss Artesian Sparkling water, with its tantalizing flavors and elegant presentation, gets no love.
We were first made aware of their sparkling waters one day a few years ago while walking by our local CVS and saw a sign advertising them as on sale. “Huh,” we mused and went on our merry way.
Voss anything just didn’t chart with us anymore. We’d moved onto “Purely Sedona Artisan Water” if we want to lug around some of the heavy glass pretentious shit.
But shame on us! Because as the world fawns over the Pamplemousses and Lesser Commodity Brands, Voss is low key peddling some of the best sparkling water flavormancy around.
Today, let’s look at their Lemon Cucumber.
Even just sniffing the nose, as you twist open the bottle with a satisfying hiss, is a sensory pleasure. It just smells… fancy. A perfect balance of both lemon and cucumber, the notes struck in equal measure, and with Goldilocks precision: not too much, not too little.
And this lithe precision is carried out in the flavor profile to great effect. While the overall impression is airy as a summer fjord day, the Lemon and the Cucumber are both tangy and alive, present in a vibrant way. The cucumber is almost dominant over the lemon, which is a hard trick to pull off. Lemon is a perennial alpha flavor.
The cucumber delivers a sharper, more vegetal creeping vine plant (yes, that’s what it’s called in Science) than most cucumbers that show up in sparkling waters. It’s not the gooey cucumber center of spa waters. It’s an earthy cucumber straight from the soil that protects those rarefied Norweigan aquifers.
The bubbles have the delicate, soft, bountiful quality that’s reminiscent of the San Pellegrino Essenza waters. It’s a rich mouthfeel, millions of tiny bubbles that carry the perfect Lemon and Cucumber flavors down your gullet. They flood your mouth like a delightful, Scandinavian dream, or drøm, as they say in Norweigan.
It’s possible that the one flaw you can find here is that the flavor is maybe a little too ephemeral. Too deep of a drøm?
But we love a subtle execution, and appreciate the light touch.
Also, we would like to note that we enjoy getting out and about in the world. But one of the biggest hurdles of leaving the boundaries of these United States is that it’s wildly hard to find flavored sparkling water. It’s a travesty and we need to be talking about this more as a planetary community.
During an extended stint south of the border, we couldn’t even find a Pamplemousse to save our lives. We were desperate. But lo and behold, Voss Sparkling Water arrived on the shelves of our local Chedraui to quench our parched American mouths. Voss Tangerine Lemongrass legit saved our lives back then.
Voss hadn’t even crossed our minds to look for, and yet it’s one of the premier international brands.
We think that if Voss jumped into the eight to twelve pack can world, they might start making some headway back into the mainstream US consciousness. The glass bottles are pretty, dare we say, iconic, but they are heavy and aren’t the easiest to cart around.
We want to drink these all the time. We grab one every now and again when we want to treat ourselves, but oh how we would love to pound these into oblivion like we inexplicably do with AHA’s Orange-Grapefruit.
But would a Voss by any other container still be a Voss? These are the questions that keep us up at night.
And if Voss is looking for some branding consultants, we’re fans with a plan. We just want to spread the good word.
Artesian Water, Carbon Dioxide, Natural Flavors, Sodium Bicarbonate