Bring on the wildcard round. While the other corners of the bracket have had a unified theme, today’s first battle is between four combos. Some of these are a case of two tastes made better together, but some of them are… choices.
After that, we’re diving straight into the Final Four, because you’ve waited long enough to see how this fizzy nonsense ends. If you’re not caught up, check out barely berries, slightly citrus, and tentatively tropical rounds first.
Ready? Let’s dive in.
Simply Balanced Cran-Citrus vs. Dasani Raspberry Lemonade
We’re kicking things off with the absolute worst bubble water I have ever tasted: Dasani Raspberry Lemonade.
No, this can was full of lies. It didn’t taste like lemon or raspberry. It didn’t taste fruity at all. Whatever Dasani did when it attempted to combine these two flavors, it came out tasting strangely herbaceous.
This made it a surprisingly good pairing with the Korean fried chicken we had for dinner for one night. I bet it would even be interesting in a cocktail if it was labeled appropriately and not filled with fizzy lies.
Target’s cranberry/citrus combo tasted exactly like what it said on the tin, making it the hands down winner.
Winner: Simply Balanced Cran-Citrus
Dasani Blueberry Pomegranate vs. LaCroix Cúrate Cerise Limón
When I was asking for recommendations for this bracket, my friend Shayla said that cherry lime LaCroix was her favorite. Pardon, I meant LaCroix Cúrate Cerise Limón. LaCroix bumbles all their combo flavors under the Francophonified Cúrate line, so points for pretentiousness there.
When I think cherry and lime, Shirley Temples are what come to mind. I used to order those as a kid at formal events to feel fancy, so I was looking forward to a subtle whisper of childhood whimsy. Instead, all I got was cheery, and the worst kind: cherry cough syrup. Ugh. I couldn’t pick up any lime at all. Sorry, Shayla.
Dasano Blueberry Pomegranate, on the other hand, wasn’t overpowering and tasted exactly like what it said on the can. I can’t believe that that’s the standard for this corner of the bracket, but here we are.
Winner: Dasani Blueberry Pomegranate
Simply Balanced Cran-Citrus vs. Dasani Blueberry Pomegranate
Sometimes winning means being average against underwhelming competition. That’s how these bubbles made it this far. I’ll give Simply Balanced Cran-Citrus the edge here; the Dasani tasted like generic berry, which while not bad, is a flavor of LaCroix, too. Oddly enough for a generic brand, I can’t find Cran-Citrus bubble water anywhere else. Points for originality.
A fizzy Final Four
Key Lime LaCroix vs. Simply Balanced Cran-Citrus
This is pretty easy. A long time favorite against a contender who made it through the weakest part of the bracket? Key Lime wins hands down. That being said, Simply Balanced Cran-Citrus is pretty damn solid. It managed to combine citrus and berries well, unlike some bubbles I could name, I’ll very likely grab it at Target again.
Winner: Key Lime LaCroix
Dasani Pineapple vs. Bubly Blackberry
Finally, a hard matchup. Today’s been pretty easy up until now. They’re both solid choices that make it into our fridge regularly, but I’ll give Bubly the edge here. Dasani is a bit more bubbly and Bubly tastes a bit more juicy, and I slightly prefer the latter.
Winner: Bubly Blackberry
And the winner is…
These two bubble waters were in a dead heat for quite some time. While I had filled in most of this bracket early on, picking a winner for the final matchup eluded me until the very end. They’re both surprisingly juicy and they’re both flavors that I like in general. To make my final decision, I went back to their corner of the bracket to see which of the two beat out the best competition.
That’s where LaCroix edged out Bubly. Key Lime left two big favorites behind, while Blackberry was part of a corner with two forgettable fizzes. I was worried that it would fall in the face of new competition, but the OG bubble water brand managed to win this year’s bracket.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a pile of cans and boxes to recycle.