Aghast, I snapped a quick Instagram photo and posted it to my profile before bedtime. This morning, I awoke to several friends who echoed my sentiment:
There's a few things wrong with the picture. For starters, why can't we just move it over to the soda aisle? Second, was I under the wrong impression that sparkling water means...well, that it's clear? Why chocolate chip cookie? Can't folks looking for a hint of sweetness just buy Diet? Why did Cott Beverages decide to unleash this on an unsuspecting public?
At 50 cents a bottle, I figured this wouldn't be a costly experiment. I picked up the aforementioned chocolate chip cookie flavor, and another by the same manufacturer, a bright blue bubble gum flavor. Digital Content Editor Joy-Marie Scott, Associate Editor Bryan Rindfuss and food/nightlife intern Janae Rice joined for a tasting panel. (Sidebar: We decided to add a few ice cubes...in case that helped the flavor any.)
Comments ranged from, "It tastes like flat soda," "I would give it to my kids 'cause it's blue and kind of sweet," to "Is it expired?" The blue variety is slightly less offensive and really does taste like a flat cream soda, but the aftertaste is...severe. Both did go flat pretty quickly, which is a bummer considering the chocolate chip variety might have made for a decent float, and again...makes it NOT a sparkling product. The chocolate chip cookie reminded me too much of a Chocolate Buttercream Lip Smacker I once owned as a tween. The scent was potent and and the aftertaste lingered far too long for both lip balm and "sparkling" water.
Sure, the chocolate chip cookie sparkling water boasts "Zero Calories, Sodium Free and Natural and Artificial Flavors" on the label, but I think I'll stick with my Topo Chico for now.