The third in Ugly’s trifecta of new energy waters, after Mountain Ugly (a Mountain Dew clone) and Fruit Punch (Hawaiian Punch) is…Mango Soda (???).
The soda-flavor theme was pretty easy to follow until we got to this one. Maybe we’re living under a sugar-free rock here in the Bubbleverse, but we’re kind of coming up empty handed when we try to think of an iconic Mango Soda that this Ugly is here to emulate.
Either (or both) of these could of course be what Mango Soda is alluding to, but neither seems to have quite the same iconic presence in pop culture as Hawaiian Punch or Mtn. Dew. (@ us if we’re wrong about this!)
In any event, caffeinated mangos are having a moment, from AHA’s new Mango Black Tea, to bubly’s new Mango Passionfruit.
But while these gentle mango children were birthed with a mild 35mg of caffeine, Ugly’s Mango Soda descends from the heavens as a hyper-mango, bearing 160mg in its fleshy orange bosom. Imagine crushing a No-Doz into your Tajin, and sprinkling it on some mango slices: the true breakfast of champions.
So leaving aside (for now) what the “Soda” in Mango Soda is supposed to allude to, let’s peel this one open.
The nose on this is a deep, sticky, candy mango: no green spiciness here, just the sweet drippings of a loud-ass mango, here to hype you into tropical oblivion.
We are so ready.
There is definitely something other than straight-up mango at work here, but it’s hard to put our finger on what, exactly.
The mango itself is soft, decadent, lucious, saccharine. It’s not the true to life full-spectrum fruit of Waterloo’s Mango. Instead, Ugly is taking a page from AHA’s neon cartoon playbook, picking one aspect of the mango to crank to 11. And they picked the most syrupy, sticky mango they could find. Heightened and hallucinogenic, you can taste the technicolor oranges and yellows as they drip down your chin.
There’s something else Ugly has achieved in their new line of energy waters, and that’s imparting some kind of crazy sensation of sweetness while being sweetener-free. We believe them when they say zero sugar and zero sweeteners, but it’s really, really difficult to not feel like there’s some kind of secret sweetener in here.
Ugly has always positioned themselves as the pied pipers of sparkling water, luring the soda-addicts over to the sparkling side by crafting sugar-free soda doppelgangers. And with these three newest flavors, we feel like they might have unearthed some kind of holy grail, some siren song to help lead all sodaheads to the promised bubbleland.
Here’s the caveat: we are kind of absurdly sugar-free people here in the Bubbleverse. And when you abstain from sugar long enough, you become super-sensitive to any sort of sweetness. Even eating fruit is so intense!
So this Mango Soda is a little too sweet for our delicate constitutions. Yeah, it’s weird to say that a no-sugar, no-sweetener sparkling goddamn water is too sweet for our tastes, but we’re just little sparkling snowflakes over here, we guess.
That’s all to say that we might not be the most authoritative source for whether or not any given sparkling water is going to do anything if your sugar-buds are blown out from years or decades of swigging the lifeblood of the anthropocene. If this sounds like you, we encourage you to start your own review site called the “Soda Recoveryverse”. Free idea on the house.
But we will say this, we love Ugly taking on the soda world and we can’t wait to see what will happen when they launch into CVS stores (so soon!).
We still aren’t sure what classifies this as a mango “soda”, but if this helps at all to convert one sodalyte into a card-carrying sparkling water bubblenaut, then their work here is done.
Carbonated Water, Natural Flavor, Citric Acid, Natural Caffeine, Niacinamide (vitamin B3), Guarana Seed Extract, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, D-Calcium Pantothenate (vitamin B5), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (vitamin B6), Cyanocobalamin (vitamin B12)
caffeine in Ugly Drinks Mango Soda Energy Water
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