Hard seltzer is hot, but some of us are still cool with LaCroix
Hard seltzer is hot hot hot, but some of us are still smitten with plain ol' LaCroix.
Recently, my coworkers and I had a friendly-but-polarizing 10-minute conversation about LaCroix. Turns out, we're quite passionate about our fizzy water. Jeff loved the lime best, but recently converted to tangerine. Caroline likes the coconut flavor, particularly in cocktails. Nick digs the peach-pear, and I am recovering from a recent pamplemousse problem. We all agreed the plain sucks.
Later in the day, I posted about LaCroix on Facebook, and my social media pals were just as fervent about their favorite flavors. Katie wrote, "Oh, god, the apricot. I wish I had one of those beer hats with the straws so I could pound two at a time."
In the past few years, LaCroix introduced some new-ish flavors – buh-bye boring berry – including mango and passionfruit, and taller, skinnier cans called LaCroix Cúrate that are available in exotic blends loaded with diacritical punctuation marks like cerise lémon, piña fraise, kiwi sandía and muré pepino. Not bad for a beverage that was originally made in Wisconsin's very own LaCrosse and is pronounced "La-KROY" instead of the proper French "La-KRAH."
Somehow, this particular bubbly libation has found its way into millions of fridges, leaving the fancier and French-ier Perrier lonely on the store shelf with the other less-popular seltzers and flash-in-the-pan vitamin waters.
According to The Washington Post, LaCroix sales have tripled since 2009. How did the proper noun LaCroix join the ranks of Kleenex and Frisbees and become interchangeable with the common noun "seltzer water?" Why do we love LaCroix so much?
Perhaps it's because it's a healthy yet still-fun beverage – a reward in a can – that isn't full of sugar, sodium and chemicals like soda and diet soda.
LaCroix – as printed on the obnoxious, straight outta the 1980s cans – has "natural flavors." This means, according to the web site, "the flavors are derived from the natural essence oils extracted from the named fruit."
Many of us bought home-carbonating systems like SodaStream in the past few years, and yet, there's something even more satisfying – as well as, of course, convenient – about downing seltzer straight from a can. Plus, cans keep the water colder and, consequently, more refreshing.
I've also gleaned LaCroix is not only a popular cocktail mixer, but also a cocktail nixer. One friend told me he now drinks a LaCroix or two every night instead of whiskey.
So is LaCroix the perfect beverage? Is it here in packs of eight and 12 to save us from tooth rot, obesity, diabetes and certain cancers – or is it just a product deemed almighty through marketing and flashy packaging? Could it be that in a world where we're uber-opinionated we're conditioned to rally around all of the things that we like?
On second thought, it really doesn't matter. Just don't drink my last pamplemousse.
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