NiCola Cubana

We didn’t believe these actually existed. Show of hands for who has seen these at their local market ever.

Yeah, that’s what we thought. Crickets.

So we sort of thought we were hallucinating when we saw these on the shelves of a Meier supermarket in the middle of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. We don’t associate “Pure Michigan” with anything tropical, fun or mojito-esque, so we were genuinely shocked. Northern Michigan? (Mosquito-esque, yes.)

But maybe they need all that effervescent liquid tropical sunshine pretty desperately up here. Maybe NiCola Mojito is only sold in places like Fargo and Siberia. Either way, we didn’t see this coming. But we immediately snagged two cases and never looked back, just in case it was all a fever dream.

And we were pumped.  With Beach Plum delivering some strong Rum Vibes, we know LaCroix has a thing for rum and beachiness apparently, so we went ahead and assumed they could pull off a sparkling water that emulates an island cocktail (along with some cola too? 🤷🏻‍♀️) All in, we said.

But let’s start with the can itself. We had forgotten about these Other Nicolas, since we weren’t convinced they lived anywhere other than the bottom of the LaCroix website. So therefore we had forgotten, when we lol-ed over the Beach Plum clip art, that Beach Plum wasn’t LaCroix’s first foray into beachy cans. Oh, no. They had a full Caribbean narrative happening long before Beach Plum was born.

But as always, there are some questionable graphic design choices.

LaCroix appears to not care that their light green palm frond washes out the yellow text font so intensely that you can barely read it, but we guess they know that you’re so pumped to finally be holding this can in the flesh that you don’t care either. We know you can’t get drunk off of this, but our excitement is truly intoxicating us. (And luckily, for whatever reason, they thought to color the “j” and the “i’ in mojito red, so at least you can read “ji” loud and clear.)

And we will now draw your attention to the woman booty-tooching in the mojito glass (shout out  to Tyra Banks, who taught us how to smize, even when fully dead inside). This “Cubana” hovers magically just off the rim of the glass. Is she sitting on ice, floating in the water? Either way, there’s enough muddled lime and mint shoved in the mojito that you could probably fit three more partygoers on top of it all without sinking in, but this lady flies solo apparently. We wish her well on her Eat, Pray, Rum travels.

But honestly, it’s weird. Why does she only have one arm?  What’s happening with her left thigh?  The more you look at it, the more it hurts your head. And the more uncomfortable you feel about the entire decision-making process behind it. The proportions and anatomy are comically unrealistic, and we’re questioning the taste level a la Nina Garcia.  (We discovered we’re not the only ones who feel this way.)

All of this leads us to believe a diverse workforce and/or women aren’t really dominating the graphic design department over at LaCroix HQ. But we could be wrong. We’re equal opportunity shaders around here, and are open to asking wtf to any and all of the genders behind this idea of a “Cubana”.

We will admit however, the white sands look inviting. We can practically hear those Caribbean waves crashing and are lulled into a Caribbean dream just gazing upon it.

And when you pop open the can, the dream wafts to life. The lime is gently spritzed and the mint freshly muddled. This is exactly how you want your Mojito to smell as you sip it while strolling along the Malecón in Havana.

But there’s also a distinctly sweet note in there, a sugary almost bubblegum air that we assume is the rum/cola part of the equation.  It’s all working and harmonizing in a way that’s so sophisticated you almost forget it’s a LaCroix. (But then you glance down and see the can art and you remember: Definitely a LaCroix.)

Tasting Notes


It’s. All. Happening.

There’s a strong note of overall Cola when this Mojito first settles in your mouth. Herbal and bubblegum-y, like a little NiCola La Cola slipped in. You certainly understand why this is lumped in with the Nicola collection.

But when you begin to unravel the mojito’s mysteries , that’s when you start to realize that something really marvelous and impressive is happening. (Impressive for LaCroix, not, like, the history of human achievement.)

The mint and lime are right there, light and subtle, and yet clear, unmistakable and lucid expressions of the classic Mojito flavors.

And that’s when it hits you: This actually tastes like a mojito.

Whatever sort of weird cacophony is happening suddenly coalesces around something so accurate and delightful, you blink your eyes and discover You Are The Cubana.

We will point out that in all honesty we get more spot-on boozy rum vibes from the Beach Plum. For having “essense of rum” right on the can (well, barely, it’s in that yellow color that gets swallowed up by the yellow-green palm frond), it’s not a super specific flavor to be found in here.

Plus the mint is too much of a force in this mojito to let any other distinct flavor shine fully, although if there was a flavor that does peek its head out, it’s the cola, which also outpaces the deeper, more herbal rum notes.

We don’t know what is happening with this NiCola line, but it appears to be incredibly scarce, and we don’t understand why. Why would you spring for a basic Berry when you could be sipping on a crisp, cold Mojito sparkling water with some ill-conceived can art? Why isn’t LaCroix flooding the channels with one of their more interesting and well-executed flavors?

There’s so much that baffles us about LaCroix (see: can art, Black Razzberry)

We understand that probably the majority of you would prefer to drink a real mojito. That is a  natural desire. But when the sparkling water version is executed this well, it makes us believe we’d actually like to see more cocktail-inspired sparkling waters.

Please bless us with a Negroni and an Aviation sparkling water, LaCroix. The perfect way to get your cocktail fix before you’re able to drink actual cocktails.

Either way, between the latest summer lineup of Guava São Paulo and Beach Plum, and now this little tropical unicorn surfing into our lives, we are ready to have a Summer of LaCroix. Sorry, Waterloo. We love your Hot Girl Summer Pineapple, but LaCroix is delivering some serious Endless Summer right now.

And, well, we don’t want it to end.

The Maxim-y clip art woman on the can can go, but we’ll keep the rest.


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