Spring has sprung!
The Bubbleverse is finally shaking off the shackles of low key/high key Seasonal Affective Disorder, as we slowly emerge from the deep underworld journey that is Winter in the Northeast in a 150 year old stone church. Apologies that our frozen fingers have been out of commission for so long.
But like a sparkling miracle, LaCroix’s newest flavor drop, Cherry Blossom, was waiting for us in full bloom on the other side, as we emerged blinking and pale, like parched Persephones crawling out from our wintery abyss. Doth our social media feeds deceive us? A Cherry Blossom LaCroix? The idea of a blossom of any kind seems like a hallucination to our wintery minds at this point, but a blossom sparkling water? We could barely believe our good fortune.
Not to be dramatic, but these northeastern winters are no joke.
So yes, not only is LaCroix back just in time for our spring rebirth, but it’s giving us what we know and love about LaCroix first and foremost: their bizarre insistence on vague and unnecessary cultural appropriation!
Just look at that blatantly Asian-esque font. The flower delicately etched on the side of the can.
And truly, they didn’t reallllly have to do that. While Cherry Blossoms are native to Asia, they are also deeply entrenched in the States at this point. In fact, our nation’s capital is famous for its idyllic Cherry Blossom-lined streets. Possibly the only idyllic thing about our nation’s capital. If only we had a government as stunning as DC’s cherry blossoms. Zing!
So anyway, LaCroix had some home-grown blossom aesthetics to utilize, but like an Instagram Priestess, they just couldn’t help but take and commodify whatever cultural traditions it damn well pleased. We suppose it’s a time-honored American tradition at this point.
And look, we’ll be honest, as far as LaCroix’s famously bad taste/judgment goes, this is no Cubana. But it’s unclear why LaCroix is leaning so hard into it being Cherry Blossom, unless they really perfected some kind of flower flavor here. Knowing LaCroix, we had zero hopes that any kind of subtle, delicate blossom flavor a la Rozu was going to happen. But our excitement about a new flavor extended a little bit of charitable good faith. We came here willing to like Cherry Blossom, even as our enthusiasm for any truly floral expression was deeply curbed.
So: cracking it open like the first optimistic seedling of spring, we have to admit that the nose on this is chaos. It smells like Hawaiian Punch with a few dashes of Angostura bitters. No wafting blossom or airy floral.
Surely the blossoming awaits us inside?
Nope. Lol. What did you expect? An actual cherry blossom?
LaCroix remains “Blossom” in Japanese font and appropriation only.
And it’s a genuine disappointment, because we know a “blossom” can be well executed. Between Dram, Rozu and Aura Bora, there are a plethora of sparkling waters that deliver herbaceous and flowery expressions of everything from rose to elderflower. We truly aren’t sure why LaCroix wanted to hammer the blossom other than as a marketing hook, because at this point in the sparkling water game, how can you just churn out a basic ass cherry and still hold your head high? Even AHA’s latest is a dazzling passionfruit-pineapple combo.
The blossom in the name here is a straight up gimmick, intended to subliminally convince your tongue that this is sophisticated in some way.
But the basic ass cherry flavor here is actually pretty decent! Cherry is a pretty tired flavor at this point, but there’s a strain of something original in this one. It’s a deep-throated, weirdly guttural cherry, unlike a lot of the more candy-like, medicinal ones running around.
There’s still the tinge of Angostura on the tongue, deepening into a full maraschino spectrum of cocktail cherry. But of course since it’s LaCroix, there’s no sophistication. It’s Curaté-esque, a weakly attempted handwave towards Japanese cosmopolitanism.
More Maraschino Shirley Temple than Luxardo Manhattan.
We’re assuming that the slight spicy bitterness in here is meant to evoke some vegetal, earthen blossom, but it never quite gets there. Especially when we already have a variety of aromatic flavor artistry to compare it to. LaCroix didn’t do themselves any favors by teasing us with flowers.
But either way, this isn’t their worst offering by any stretch of the imagination. It’s just hard to imagine we’d ever pick this over our continual fascination with Beach Plum, the genuinely good Guava Sao Paulo or the tap water of our generation, Pamplemousse. And if we are in the mood for a cherry flavor, we’d reach for the succulent Black Cherry Waterloo.
That said, we’re not dispirited and always eagerly anticipate any new LaCroix. We’re hoping they roll out a trifecta like they did last year. And we can’t wait to see what “culturally-inspired” marketing they pick next!
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