Review: Bubly Bounce Caffeinated Sparkling Water

Isla Chiu

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At various points in my life, I've tried to quit caffeine. And at various points in my life, I've failed to quit caffeine. If I don't consume some caffeinated beverage in the morning, I'd struggle to even feel like a semblance of a human being for the rest of the day.

Unfortunately, because of my sweet tooth, I tend to have unhealthy methods of caffeination. I often drink coffee—after dumping ungodly amounts of cream and 5 to 10 packets of sugar into it. And if I don't opt for coffee, I opt for Mountain Dew, that cavity-inducing nectar of the gods.

When I saw Bubly Bounce Caffeinated Sparkling Water at the grocery store, I at first dismissed it. I've tried Bubly's non-bouncy sparkling water before, and I didn't care for it. I don't mind regular water; it's a boring beverage, but it doesn't pretend to be anything else. Also, one kind of needs water to live.

But Bubly pretends to be fun. It comes in colorful cans with cutesy messages like "hey u" and "hiiii" on the tabs. And Todd Kaplan, VP of the water portfolio at PepsiCo North America Beverages, said of the beverage, "We created Bubly to provide consumers with a great-tasting, flavorful, unsweetened sparkling water in a fun, playful, and relevant manner that is unlike anything we've seen in the sparkling water category today."

Sure, Todd 🤨

But to me anyway, Bubly tastes pretty bland, like the essence of (insert fruit here) was sneezed into some bubbly water.

However, after a weekend of eating a lot of fried food, I was feeling chunky and felt like I needed to opt for a low-calorie method of caffeination. So I picked up a can of Bubly Bounce Caffeinated Sparkling Water with citrus cherry flavor.

Of course, there was a cutesy message on the tab of the can. It exclaimed, "yeah!" which in my opinion, seemed to be setting me up for disappointment.

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But in an effort to be fair to Bubly, I poured the drink over ice. There was a slim chance that I would like Bubly Bounce, but there was zero chance that I would enjoy lukewarm sparkling water.

As I poured the water over ice, I have to say it did give off a pleasing scent of cherry and citrus.

If only the taste were half as enjoyable...

I took a sip, and contrary to Bubly's slogan, I was not "all smiles."

The cherry flavor was faint, but the faint flavor was unpleasant. It tasted like the essence of cherry cough medicine had been sneezed into the sparkling water.

The citrus flavor actually wasn't bad. However, for the first half of the drink, it was overshadowed by the essence of cherry cough medicine.

Thankfully, the citrus flavor took over for the second half. It didn't taste great, but the essence of citrus is much more preferable to the essence of cherry cough medicine.

Will I get Bubly Bounce again? Probably not.

But at least the caffeine gave me enough energy to go on for the rest of the day.

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I write about local eats in the Cleveland area and my struggles of trying to make it as a full-time writer.

Cleveland, OH
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