It’s been a while since we’ve slid down the kaleidoscopic flavor rainbow that is Coke’s sparkling water progeny, AHA.
We’ve always found the name AHA to be a little opaque as a choice, not particularly memorable or evocative.
We kinda just assume that one day the execs at Coke read a trade piece about LaCroix’s valuation and went: “Aha! Sparkling water is a billion dollar industry. How dare we not be a part of it?” 💡🤑
The more we dig into the marketing calculus around Coke’s sparkling water branding, the more cold and calculated it feels.
Are we surprised, no. Are we angry at ourselves for being so enamored with it, yaha.
But enamored we are: the Orange + Grapefruit has wrapped its citrus-tentacles deep in our reptilian brainstem, and we’re always fruitlessly scanning the shelves for the Apple + Ginger, missing in action during this long dark night of aluminum.
And today marks a major milestone for The Bubbleverse: we’re reviewing the AHA Peach + Honey, which completes our journey through the AHA line. The uncaffeinated line, at least. We’re still on the lookout for the return of the Black Cherry + Coffee.
Here’s a “fun” fact about AHA The Logo: it took us this long to notice that apparently the negative space in the “H” is designed to be an exclamation point. Aha! Spotted, you markety little easter egg.
This is how the AHA reviews end: not with a bang, but with a secret exclamation mark.
Anyway, let’s crack this one open.
The nose on the can gives you a distinct pop of honey that dissolves into a warm peach cobbler. It’s all gooey and sweet, a hybrid of fresh fruit and haribo.
It smells delicious, but we’re also hoping this isn’t a full face of dessert .
Honey was a big selling point for us here. Yes, honey is sweet, but honey is earthy and weird, too. The world’s favorite insect excretion, made from the flavors of the field. Although, we’d expect Coke to use that bizzaro honey from the Red Hook maraschino juice bee crisis.
But actually, the honey in here is super subtle: this is a facefull of peach through and through. It’s a young peach, maybe just on the edge of being underripe. Slightly green, very slightly sour, but big and juicy at the same time.
AHA’s true talent is being able to conjure a cartoon version of whatever fruit rolls in from the marketing department: a neon-infused, brightly exclaimed holographic rendering of any given plant’s reproductive organs.
Where the Waterloo Peach hews closer to life, a multi-layered fleshy incursion to the pit, AHA expertly extracts every molecule that might trigger the peach neurons, runs them through an algorithm with a slightly lower Ripeness Threshold, and serves it all up lightly glazed with a little Winnie The Pooh.
This honey is the finish line here, and a photo one at that. There’s a little wave of sweetness that swells at the end, resolving the slight tartness into a subtle swirl of peaches and cream.
While we might have been trepidatious that AHA would jump at the opportunity to use “honey” as a cover to inject that characteristic Coke Megasweetness, they actually showed admirable restraint.
It’s just a lil’ lick of honey here, kind of a generic honey, but we guess that hoping for some wild rhododendron saffron artisanal flavor might have been a reach.
Either way, this is a delicious and well-crafted addition to the Peach Pantheon. A pantheon, we should note, that was just joined by bubly’s White Peach and Ginger flavor, which kind of blew our minds a little. We’re not exactly huge fans of bubly around here, but their latest addition might even give AHA’s Peach a run for it’s honey.
Carbonated Water, Natural Flavors
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