Purple is the color of royalty, and the robust shade of the highest of chakras. It’s also the color of Tinky-Winky, the goofy Teletubby with a disconcertingly low voice.
Purple is polarizing, a mixed bag of opinions and hues, and while some of those tints work, others inspire a visceral repulsion.
The color of the Waterloo Grape can hovers somewhere in the middle, an uncanny valley filled with plums. It’s a statement of Crayola boldness on the shelves, and catches the eye amongst the sea of pastel.
Then you ask yourself, why did someone make this ugly purple can? Is that grape flavor? Why would someone do this?
Much like cherry, grape is a strange flavor. More often than not, people use the term “purple” to describe grape flavoring, not “red grape” or “white grape” or “wow, this tastes so much like an actual grape.” And yet, as a culture, we seem to love it, and have persisted in churning out so much grape-flavored stuff that it’s all become a purple-hazed Teletubby of Kabuki-flavored theater.
(Side note: We were deep, abiding Teletubby fans in the ‘90s, so it makes sense we would grow up to create a brightly-colored website devoted to unpacking the ridiculous flavors of sparkling water. Our families should have seen this coming. Uh-ohhh!)
So let’s wade into the violet waters of Waterloo Grape. Waterloo is pretty good at sophisticated flavors, and we were very curious to see what they’d do with this one.
Upon cracking open the can, the nose is aggressively artificial. This is Laffy Taffy, not some whiff of a Tuscan vineyard. This is not a grape created in nature. This is the smell from the Nerds factory circa 1988.
Taste the Willy Wonka ridiculousness. It’s not just the can’s vibes, or the smell, the taste is also just silly. A liquified lollipop. The first sip is maybe fun, if drinking a fizzy, sugar-free Grapehead is your thing.
But then you start to think about how many of these silly sips you’re going to have to endure to get through the whole thing, and suddenly you’re like, how did all of my life choices lead to this moment? Who am I and why is this happening?
Sometimes the artificial leads to the existential. Think about it.
To be fair, confusion often arises in grape flavored things because the flavor that’s being reproduced is a Concord grape, not the everyday grocery store grapes. Once you eat a Concord, you’re like ohhh, that’s “grape.”
But this is in another realm altogether. Waterloo has created a grape so far removed from an actual fruit that they may have actually perfected the taste of purple. But this is not the strong 7th chakra purple of nobility and supreme spirituality. This is Tinky-Winky in a can.
Now, generally we think Waterloo is tops. Honestly. We hold their Grapefruit on high in the Bubbleverse. Their Blueberry is a dream. And their Coconut is one of our daily quaffs. But what happened here?
We don’t understand why this exists, but does anyone know why Teletubbies exist either? Sometimes the world just needs some bizarre, rainbow weirdness.
Maybe you just don’t need a full can. But pass it along to your kids in lieu of the grape soda, and perhaps it will all be worth it.
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