“Now Fizzing”.
May 16, 2018 8:04 PM   Subscribe

Fizz enthusiasts, unite! A secret seltzer society for the digital age. [The Guardian] “It’s a closed Facebook group that’s been around since 21 November 2014, and it’s composed of more than 3,100 members from around the world. Within the group, its members offer and ask for tips on where to find sought-after flavors and brands (the Polar seltzer’s seasonal flavors are always a huge hit – right now, everyone is on the hunt for its Blood Orange Lemonade, Starfruit Lemonade and Strawberry Lemonade Seltzer’ade flavors), share selfies and videos of themselves trying new kinds of seltzer for the first time (called “seltzies” and “fizzeos”, respectively), and discuss other aspects of their lives through the lens of the drink that has brought them all together.”
posted by Fizz (73 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
 
;-)
posted by Fizz at 8:04 PM on May 16, 2018 [40 favorites]


How is it that millennials are simultaneously too good for water, but killing the soda industry? Is there anything we can't destroy with our frugal snobbery?
posted by explosion at 8:09 PM on May 16, 2018 [7 favorites]


polar is the god emperor

la croix is a false prophet
posted by dismas at 8:13 PM on May 16, 2018 [15 favorites]


polar is the god emperor

la croix is a false prophet
“Bless the Maker and His selzter.
Bless the coming and going of Him.
May His passage cleanse the world.
May He keep the world carbonated for His people.”
posted by Fizz at 8:15 PM on May 16, 2018 [10 favorites]


Oh, Internet... I love you! Don't ever stop being weird. You imagine things that I could never come up with, and some of them are truly delightful!

We'll need to have a talk about some of the other things at some point...
posted by hippybear at 8:24 PM on May 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


I... just buy the san pellegrino when it goes on sale and buy the blueberry concentrate at the farmer's market and mix the two. Or I just have the san pellegrino by itself... I thought san pellegrino was the fancy seltzer, I had no idea it got fancier...
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 8:25 PM on May 16, 2018 [3 favorites]


Nice.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:26 PM on May 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


One of the big chain supermarkets here is advertising a new brand of fancy soda called "Diabolo", and I'm thinking "this is not a drinkk, this is the name of a supervillain".
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:28 PM on May 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


I was confused for the first few minutes and thought somehow Fizzies tablets had made a another comeback. I scrolled down to the photo of the can and just stared at it thinking, "Wait, why is it in a can now?"
posted by FJT at 8:34 PM on May 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


fancy soda called "Diabolo"

Maybe the carbonation is so intense that instead of being satiny-smooth, it's Satany-smooth.
Sorry that was a diabolical pun
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:36 PM on May 16, 2018 [14 favorites]


Fizz enthusiasts, unite!

We see what you did there.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 8:37 PM on May 16, 2018 [3 favorites]


I'm a Fizz enthusiast. Also I like sody pop sometimes... with liquor. srsly tho tonic water is the king of the fizzy drinks (when mixed with gin and fresh lime).
posted by some loser at 8:45 PM on May 16, 2018 [3 favorites]


I wish I could find Schweppes Bitter Lemon here in the US, because that mixed with tonic water and gin is toe-curlingly good.
posted by hippybear at 8:49 PM on May 16, 2018 [5 favorites]


Throw in some clowns running around with seltzer squirt bottles and I'm in.

especially if I get to be the clown
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:55 PM on May 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


*slow clap* Congrats on playing the long game. 10 years (or close enough) and 1,375 posts later, you finally show yourself as a puppet of Big Fizz. {/hamburger}

(Dear gods, I hope there's no hamburger-flavored soda)

Regarding Schweppes Bitter Lemon - there was a little British Imports shop in central coast California that carried it, and it was magical. But they went out of business, and I forgot about that amazing soda.

(Speaking of forgotten sodas found again, did you know that Orbitz is available again, sans the "small floating edible balls"? I haven't tried it because what is Orbitz without the orbs?)
posted by filthy light thief at 8:55 PM on May 16, 2018 [2 favorites]


Like, why would Orbitz even exist without the strange floating balls? That was the point!

I lived in Germany for a year back in the 80s and Bitter Lemon was easy to find and oh man I fell in love. It's been 30 years, I'd like to have it again.
posted by hippybear at 8:58 PM on May 16, 2018


"Sugar" doesn't appear in the article, nor does "calorie", but the latter does show up on the side
of the Polar vehicle, so I assume it must be calorie free.

If I could know it didn't have artificial sweetener, I'd be looking for it.
posted by jamjam at 8:59 PM on May 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


I know La Croix has no sweetener of any kind, but it is flavored with an "essence" which the company refuses to admit what that actually is.

I drink it anyway.
posted by hippybear at 9:00 PM on May 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


(Dear gods, I hope there's no hamburger-flavored soda)

How about the next best thing? Flavors include Bacon, Buffalo Wing, Peanut Butter & Jelly, Pumpkin Pie, Ranch Dressing and Sweet Corn.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 9:02 PM on May 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


So I googled seltzer because I had no idea what it was and it turns out it's just... carbonated water? With flavor? Is that right?

I always thought of it as one of those background things of reality, not a Thing with a following. There's no carbonated water fanclubs in Sweden. At most some offended tweets when a particularly atrocious flavor is released, like "chocolate ball".
posted by Vesihiisi at 9:05 PM on May 16, 2018


No no no no no, no no no, NONO, no no NO!
posted by hippybear at 9:06 PM on May 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


I am a junkie for this fizzy shit.
You can't get Polar Seltzer in Canada, so I drive over the border to Buffalo and keep on stopping at Tops and Wegmans until I find enough Orange Vanilla and Vanilla to feed my habit for a couple of weeks. I don't care if it's bottles or cans, on sale or not, but it's gotta be those 2 flavours. I usually have to stop at 3 or 4 or 5 stores, and I clean them all right out.
I had a Customs agent open the slider on my van a few weeks ago to reveal nothing but cases and cases of Orange Vanilla cans and shopping bags crammed full of Orange Vanilla bottles; he looked at the receipts, then the stacks of seltzer, then back at the receipts, blinked real slow a couple of times, then just waved me on. You'd think it'd be hard to surprise a Customs agent but I guess a van full of seltzer was a new one for him.
posted by Mary Ellen Carter at 9:10 PM on May 16, 2018 [20 favorites]


it turns out it's just... carbonated water?

The flavor part is sort of new fangled. Back in the day, they made seltzer by beating water with paddles until it was carbonated and then filling old fashioned seltzer *spray 'em in the face" bottles and there were seltzer delivery runs around big cities that were similar to old-fashioned milk delivery.

I'm completely unable to find the article or documentary in which I encountered this information, so please forgive the lack of reference. But them's the facts.
posted by hippybear at 9:11 PM on May 16, 2018 [5 favorites]


I choose to believe this because it's adorable.
posted by Vesihiisi at 9:19 PM on May 16, 2018


Oh, no wait, I found the Blue post where I learned this. The first link is now dead, but the Ronny and the video links both work.

Yay, I succeeded at research!
posted by hippybear at 9:19 PM on May 16, 2018 [3 favorites]


Assuming we're talking about the clear, flavoured soda water you can buy in cans and that has no sugar, no sweetener, may or may not have sodium, and generally has two ingredients (carbonated water and natural flavour), I love this stuff. I drink 5 cans a week. I have friends that put back 4 a day.

My grocery store is always running low on this stuff. I'll buy whatever's in stock (Aquafina, Dasani, Canada Dry, Nestle PureLife, President's Choice, the overhyped La Croix, Perrier if it's on sale...). Meanwhile the regular pop aisle is always fully stocked.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 9:38 PM on May 16, 2018


Please don't buy Nestle products. Nestle is evil when it comes to water.
posted by hippybear at 9:43 PM on May 16, 2018 [6 favorites]


I was accused just last night of having a Fizzy Water Problem, which is accurate. The Target brand is kind of my favorite (cucumber mint!) but Polar is good too & I'll definitely drink LaCroix. Another thing that's fun to do is get some unflavored seltzer & throw in a bag of herbal or green tea.

Does anyone else remember LaCroix in the late 80s/90s having a distinct mineral water taste which is now absent? My family was a New York Seltzer household but you know how it is, you'd go to friends' houses & their moms, wearing no fewer than seven exercise sweatbands around various parts of their anatomy, would hand you a can of LaCroix & you couldn't handle more than a couple sips because it tasted too much like adulthood. I know for a fact my palate has not refined enough to enjoy that shit, so I suspect they've millennialed it down for modern audiences.

I know La Croix has no sweetener of any kind, but it is flavored with an "essence" which the company refuses to admit what that actually is.

When in doubt, I assume all "natural" berry flavors are beaver anus glands with the chirality reversed.

...maybe I should actually stop drinking them because of that...
posted by taquito sunrise at 9:46 PM on May 16, 2018 [4 favorites]


Grapefruit/lime/etc Perrier definitely has a more flavoured and less mineral taste than in years past.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 9:56 PM on May 16, 2018


I remember Perrier back in the 80s being nearly salty in a very pleasant way. I'd drink it straight.

It should be noted, Perrier is carbonated as it comes out of the ground. Unless they've changed their processes and are doing less natural things with it these days.
posted by hippybear at 9:59 PM on May 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


van full of seltzer

Incidentally, "Van Full O' Seltzer" is the name of my new band. We play ... wait for it ... pop music!
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:39 PM on May 16, 2018 [6 favorites]


Polar needs to make last winter's ginger lime mule permanent.
posted by brujita at 12:07 AM on May 17, 2018 [3 favorites]


Words cannot describe how happy I was the day when, browsing the chilled drinks case, I discovered Hartwall's new offering ... Salmiakki Vichy. Or, salty liquorice mineral water.

I vastly prefer fizzy water to still, and usually make do with the simple fruit flavours which are about €1/1,5L, but every once in a while I have to spring for some Salmiakki Vichy.
posted by myotahapea at 2:12 AM on May 17, 2018 [3 favorites]


The flavor part is sort of new fangled. Back in the day, they made seltzer by beating water with paddles until it was carbonated and then filling old fashioned seltzer *spray 'em in the face" bottles and there were seltzer delivery runs around big cities that were similar to old-fashioned milk delivery.

This all takes me back. My mom's family was from the bronx, and would have selzer delivered even when she moved up to New City. I miss seltzer than BURNS.

My cousin used to work for a beverage place round the 80's and would take a van full of empties to them, and come back with a Van Full of Seltzer then have to haul a wooden case of ten bottles to walk-ups

The last remaining Seltzer works.
posted by mikelieman at 2:30 AM on May 17, 2018


generally has two ingredients (carbonated water and natural flavour)

Carbonated water is two ingredients on its own.

It should be noted, Perrier is carbonated as it comes out of the ground. Unless they've changed their processes and are doing less natural things with it these days.

They extract the water and gas from the ground separately, then dissolve the gas in the water. In other words, they're mundanely carbonating water, same as all the other brands.
posted by Dysk at 3:53 AM on May 17, 2018


Flagged as seltz-linking.
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:02 AM on May 17, 2018 [6 favorites]


One of the best things about living in Albany New York was polar seltzer water. I liked the black cherry and had no idea there were exciting seasonal flavors. What’s the furthest west they sell it?
posted by mai at 4:15 AM on May 17, 2018 [1 favorite]


I probably won’t drive all the way from Chicago but I’ll think about it.
posted by mai at 4:15 AM on May 17, 2018


My friends and I send each other tasting videos of new fizzy waters. I didn't know we were part of some secret global phenomenon! Yesterday, in fact, I really wanted a word to describe those drinks that masquerade as fizzy water but actually have STUFF in them. Now I know that the appropriate term is "snake".
posted by tofu_crouton at 4:42 AM on May 17, 2018


FYI I live in Texas and they sell Polar in Randall's.
posted by tofu_crouton at 4:42 AM on May 17, 2018 [2 favorites]


The flavor part is sort of new fangled.

Not that new fangled? I had flavored seltzer when I was growing up in the NYC area in the 90s. Nothing too fancy, though--lemon, lime, raspberry, and orange. Vintage was the brand we usually got, I think. We always had in the house growing up, for drinking on its own, or to make Egg Creams.

So I was very confused when La Croix became A Thing, because it's...just seltzer? With some more flavors? But apparently everyone else *didn't* grow up with a steady stream of the stuff in the house. My husband recently told me that he had never really seen people drink it before he first visited my parents with me.

I'm now regularly stocking seltzer for myself--I can't drink alcohol at the moment, soda is too sweet (although we do have some U-Bet syrup around, so I still make the occasional Egg Cream), so it really hits the "I want something Nice to drink" spot. The Polar summer flavors in particular have been nice.
posted by damayanti at 4:44 AM on May 17, 2018


or to make Egg Creams

This is low-key the best part about the SodaStream we bought umpty years ago. Fizzy water on-demand is fine, too, but egg creams without planning are even better.
posted by uncleozzy at 4:49 AM on May 17, 2018 [1 favorite]


I just read the "how did you realize you weren't poor anymore" thread, and I realize that part of me gets an illicit thrill when I drink fizzy water. I'm paying to drink mildly flavored water out of a can! I remember when I first saw my friends doing it I thought it was ludicrous and mildly Veblenian.
posted by tofu_crouton at 5:11 AM on May 17, 2018 [1 favorite]


La Croix became A Thing, because it's...just seltzer? With some more flavors?

Growing up in Wisconsin in the early 90s we always had La Croix, but it was just lime and lemon and maybe berry. Now they have all sorts of stuff going on.

Does anyone else remember LaCroix in the late 80s/90s having a distinct mineral water taste which is now absent?

I'm pretty sure I've always been able to handle La Croix, but there's another brand, Canfield's, I couldn't stand for reasons I cannot explain. It's like the bubbles were too much, I don't know, so that's probably what you're talking about.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 5:15 AM on May 17, 2018


We are currently all about Bubly in our household, although the grapefruit LaCroix is still the best.
posted by briank at 5:29 AM on May 17, 2018


Seltzer is "a thing" because people want to stop drinking alcohol and don't want to drink pop.
posted by Small Dollar at 5:32 AM on May 17, 2018


Despite being raised a Southerner, soda was more of a treat than an everyday thing. I still think of it that way. But I love soda water/seltzer now because it's nice substitute for soda. Soda feels indulgent still, and it's way too sweet.
posted by Kitteh at 5:50 AM on May 17, 2018 [1 favorite]


Does anyone else remember LaCroix in the late 80s/90s having a distinct mineral water taste which is now absent?

I remember most seltzer tasting this way--we mostly bought supermarket brands (Acme, predominantly, this would have been NJ in the late 80s/early 90s). I couldn't stand it and the adults I knew insisted it didn't taste like anything.

We're a seltzer household now. I prefer la croix (less bubbles, more flavor), husband likes polar (more bubbles, less flavor) but none of it tastes like I remember. I honestly assumed it was a difference in perception rather than flavor but I think you're right.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 5:57 AM on May 17, 2018


There's also a group called Now Also Fizzing, described as "Open to All".

I'm going to stay loyal to my SodaStream. Maybe I can start a Facebook group called "People who drink fizzy water without having to haul it from the grocery store or recycle all those cans".
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 6:07 AM on May 17, 2018


Sodastream + a few drops of the bitters of your choice.

I drink 1.5 liters of that a day, easily. And it's better than any canned seltzer I've had.

(and yes, I figured out the alcohol by volume in my average glass - 0.1 - 0.2%)
posted by xthlc at 6:15 AM on May 17, 2018 [2 favorites]


Just last night I discovered that my local Trader Joe's has a new crop of flavored soda. I bought cranberry-clementine and pineapple but saw they had orange, grapefruit, starfruit and a few more. I decided that TJ's Vodka of the Gods would go well with either of them so I bought that too. It did.
posted by bz at 6:24 AM on May 17, 2018


SeriousEats: How to build a DIY Home carbonation rig
posted by mikelieman at 7:05 AM on May 17, 2018 [1 favorite]


I"m positively addicted to Polar seltzers, but recently I've been cheating on them hardcore with the Poland Spring triple berry sparkling water...Shoprite this week has the Poland Spring flavored sparkling for 2 for $1 for the liter bottle size...so, the back of my car is now full of them.

Recently my favorite Polar soda has been the blueberry lemonade, which mixes fantastically with Polars Goslings Diet Ginger Beer, found in the same aisle. There are better ginger beers out there, but I like the no sugar option here. When I feel all cocktaily I'll make a fake berry moscow mule, muddling mint and lime (and okay, a tiny bit of sugar), fill the glass with ice, then half ginger beer, half blueberry lemonade seltzer or triple berry sparkling. It feels much more indulgent than it actually is, and I get to feel like I'm having a drink without having to have alcohol.

We've also taken to making white wine spritzers with the stuff. Triple berry sparkling, white wine and a squeeze of lemon very light and perfect for sipping on the porch on Sunday afternoons.
posted by newpotato at 7:11 AM on May 17, 2018 [1 favorite]


Sodastream + a few drops of the bitters of your choice.
Yes, yes, yes, yes. With an adapter you can get CO2 refills for like 5$ a tank which just opens up your budget to more exciting bitters flavors. I just got a bottle of cardamom ones which have been absolutely lovely. There is, though, the issue of the cognitive weirdness that comes from a lot of sporting good stores' gun counters offering gas refills.

"Hello, sir? Yes, you, sir, the purveyor of these tools of death and chaos. Perchance among your life-ending apparatus mightn't you have a tank full of delicious bubbles? No, no, no, I have no notions about endangering the people around me. I merely desire to have my tongue feel like it is being hugged by a thousand tiny friends. Oh the joy of these ephemeral tingles! I believe it is somewhat akin to the happiness you and your ilk feel when you commit your, how do you say, murders? Oh, you do have some remaining in your collection of wares? Well then I shall sit patiently right by these diminutive explosives designed to leave a human with their insides strewn about their outsides whilst you grace me with more of this gaseous ambrosia."
posted by OMGTehAwsome at 7:12 AM on May 17, 2018 [7 favorites]


I'm going to stay loyal to my SodaStream. Maybe I can start a Facebook group called "People who drink fizzy water without having to haul it from the grocery store or recycle all those cans".

Eh, we did the math and the cost for the soda stream canisters was actually more than the cans, and the process of refilling it was just as annoying as recycling (or selling back) the containers of seltzer.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:14 AM on May 17, 2018 [2 favorites]


I don't know how far west it's sold, but at least here in Montana they have Polar seltzer in stores. It is odd to see the resurgence of seltzer, when I was a kid in Minnesota we'd have Klarbrunn from time to time, then it seemed like it all kind of faded away until boom now it's everywhere.
posted by traveler_ at 7:15 AM on May 17, 2018


We are currently all about Bubly in our household

I tried the strawberry flavor Bubly and it was like somebody sprayed the inside of my mouth and nasal passages with whatever perfume scent they used on 1970s Strawberry Shortcake dolls, all cloying and artificial-fruity. I stopped drinking sweetened soda in favor of flavored seltzer partially to get away from that stuff, so I don't get what Pepsi is even trying to do here.
posted by Strange Interlude at 7:25 AM on May 17, 2018 [3 favorites]


I do not care for flavors, I need my water to burn punishingly with no reward.
posted by complaina at 8:26 AM on May 17, 2018 [5 favorites]


They should be called "Inseltzs", clearly
posted by Grimp0teuthis at 8:39 AM on May 17, 2018 [1 favorite]


I didn't realize seltzer is trendy right now, but I had noticed some yummy flavors at Trader Joe's. Just took an impromptu trip to the grocery store to check out the sitch. I picked up Polar blueberry lemonade, georgia peach, and vanilla. I can get on this train, I think!
posted by Stewriffic at 8:46 AM on May 17, 2018


Coconut La Croix is my go-to. (Along with unflavored + bitters, as others have already recommended.)

I ran across a listicle once ranking 20+ La Croix flavors. It had coconut at the very bottom. "Fine," I thought, "more for me."

Judging by the frequency with which my local store is out of coconut La Croix, this did not actually work out to more for me.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:02 AM on May 17, 2018 [5 favorites]


A great local business in my neighborhood Elixer Fixer, sells a flavor called Ginger Ginger. I add about a tablespoon to a large glass of SodaStream fizz = the best ginger ale EVAR.
Also, very nice people at Elixer Fixer, so there's that.
posted by dbmcd at 9:29 AM on May 17, 2018


I've been enjoying Bubly lately, less expensive than La Croix.
posted by porn in the woods at 9:37 AM on May 17, 2018


I liked the IKEA concentrated syrups and tried all three when they were discounted a while back, but buying even the cheapest, largest bottles of generic carbonated water at the grocery store was kind of a hassle. (And I'm not anything like dedicated enough to keeping this stuff on hand to buy a home seltzer machine, and don't keep soda at home generally anyway.)
posted by asperity at 10:09 AM on May 17, 2018


Carbonated water is two ingredients on its own.

Natural flavour is probably dozens of ingredients on its own, but they're both a single entry on the label (at least in Canada).

Looks like the Perrier formulation (at least the water part) has not changed, but maybe the flavour part has? Or more likely the difference is in my taste buds.

Incidentally, it looks like Perrier is owned by Nestle.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 12:52 PM on May 17, 2018


Does anyone make mineral powder, or brine, to reproduce foreign waters? My household is ashamed of how much we like bottled Pellegrino, but I suspect it might be the .8g/L of salts in it. Yesno? I could hit some rocks. (and then wait... hang on, calculating dissolution rates... Mg/Ca is a paleothermometer, do I need to correct for temperature? ... a while.)
posted by clew at 4:13 PM on May 17, 2018


Try this DIY mineral water page, clew.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 4:25 PM on May 17, 2018 [2 favorites]


mikelieman, you can even literally brew your CO2 from yeast & sugar -- My Pop's Soda Shop (autoplays). Some assembly required.

"Pressure gauge and pressure relief valves are included. You get three products in one, a powerful self powered squirt gun, a personal misting device is included that can spray a cooling mist of water for over an hour, and of course a soda/seltzer maker. "

... That's a pretty good summer afternoon there.
posted by clew at 4:26 PM on May 17, 2018 [2 favorites]


I liked Polar's winter seasonal flavors, especially the cranberry cider and blood orange sangria. But the lemonade flavors just fall flat for me. The LA Croix passionfruit and tangerine are my other faves.
posted by rednikki at 7:43 PM on May 17, 2018


I'm working my way through a mini carton of La Croix la Cola flavor which is like drinking the ghost of a Coke.
posted by hippybear at 7:53 PM on May 17, 2018 [6 favorites]


Found somewhere online (paraphrased because I'm too lazy to look it up): "La Croix tastes like you're drinking carbonated water while someone shouts the name of a fruit in another room."
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:39 PM on May 17, 2018 [6 favorites]


Johnny Wallflower's link is great, everybody. Spreadsheets of how to reproduce dozens of mineral waters, plus also several city waters for specific styles of beer, likewise for competitive coffee making.

I was hoping for New York bagel making water, but perhaps that's ineffable.
posted by clew at 10:22 AM on May 18, 2018


New York bagel making water

"it's the water" is the worst
posted by uncleozzy at 10:33 AM on May 18, 2018


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