We always knew there would be a time when we would embark on reviewing “seltzer”, even though the word itself doesn’t do much for us. We’re much more into the “sparkling water” sounds and vibes.
What can we say, we sparkle around here, we don’t seltz.
Perhaps it’s the bygone-soundingness of the word, or the region of origin (seltzer is an east coast thing, right?), but something about the word “seltzer” conjures up an old-timey, smoke-filled speakeasy in the basement of deep Polish Brooklyn, a grizzled old man half-asleep on the piano at 2 am. Not that that’s a bad thing. In fact, when we put it that way, suddenly seltzer sounds like fun.
Either way, today we’re venturing away from sparkling water and into the uncharted territory of seltzer.
But, while we’re splitting carbonated hairs, we actually discovered that most self-proclaimed sparkling waters should be classified as seltzers, because seltzer is defined, at least by People Magazine, as water where the carbonation is added artificially in the creation process, as opposed to bubbling up from the ground fully formed.
So basically, unless it’s Topo Chico or Gerolsteiner, it’s all seltzer anyway. Sidle up to the piano with that martini, Pamplemousse. You’re a seltzer after all.
But it’s cool, we always try to stay frosty in the bubbleverse. Polar frosty. So we’re rolling with the carbonated punches and diving into the icy, ruby red waters of the seltzerverse.
Upon cracking open this Polar offering, we can’t help but notice there is a BIG nose on this Ruby Red. Pure candied grapefruit wedges. Don’t sniff too long or you’ll get a sugar rush.
Well, guess we’re seltzer fans now! This has all the qualities we like in our grapefruit bubblers: crisp, nuanced, refreshing and, most importantly, offering more than just one note in the hyperdimensional flavor profile of that beguiling citrus.
Unlike the cartoonish expressions of AHA or the bizarre interpretation of Topo Chico’s Twist of Grapefruit, the Polar grapefruit exhibits restraint, modesty. You just want to keep drinking.
There is some of the sweetness you’d expect from the nose, but there’s also a hint of bitterness that lends some complexity to this flavor, an important ingredient for a solid grapefruit expression, as it embodies one of the most wonderful components of the Ruby Red itself. If we aren’t puckering, are we even grapefruiting?
We’d put this up there pretty high in the grapefruitverse, maybe not quite as good as Waterloo Grapefruit, but much better than, say, bubly.
The carbonation here is robust. The bubbles are packed, aggressively flowing towards the surface and even dancing playfully out of the can.
There’s a distinct but subtle saltiness in here that we pick up on and that we find enjoyable. The ingredients list doesn’t mention sodium bicarbonate, but that’s the first thing that came to our minds.
We’re curious what their family recipe is, a recipe that they boast has been crafted since the 1880’s(!), when ol’ great-grandad Polar “created what he considered the world’s best-tasting bubble recipe.”
Who knew that flavored sparkling water had some 19th century origins? The Polar Family are clearly Proto-Millenials. We wonder if they also made avocado toast and were the founding grandfathers of Bachelor Nation. At least back then they could afford to buy a house.
We ponder these things as we continue to sip and savor this delectable and subtle offering until the last drop.
We’re not ready to change this site to the Seltzerverse quite yet, but consider us Polarized. You’ll find us at the piano bar on Tuesdays.
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