Ah, LaCroix. Once an oft-ignored staple of dusty mid-Western grocery stores, it’s now the drink of choice for healthy trendsetters desperately trying to convince themselves they don’t miss soda.
Let’s be clear. I love LaCroix. But LaCroix is for people who have already resolved themselves to the grim fate of dieting. Its metallic flavor has a half life of about six hours, and the taste is like beer or wine, in that you have to get used to it over time. In fact that’d be a great slogan! “LaCroix: You Get Used To It.” That being said, I’ve drank all 20 flavors of LaCroix, in enough quantities that by now I have some clear preferences. Here they are, ranked from worst to best.
The plain flavor of LaCroix—something they call “water”—is referred to as Pure. I’m pretty sure they actually meant Puke, because it tastes like a glass of dirty nickels.
I’ve had a lot of people tell me that Coconut is the most metallic flavor of LaCroix. False. That title belongs to Berry, which also has the distinction of being the most common and boring amalgamation of bushed forest fruits on the face of the planet. Do not drink it.
Coconut seems to be the most hated flavor of LaCroix, and while it’s not my most-disliked, I get it. The taste is like eating an entire tube of coconut scented Lipsmackers. However I’d still rather drink it than Berry or Pure so it only ranks third-lowest on this list.
The Lemon flavor of LaCroix isn’t bad per se, but it’s definitely boring, and LaCroix is bitter enough as it is without deliberately adding citrus fruit into the mix. I enjoy using Lemon in mixed drinks or as a lemonade filler but I don’t like it enough to keep the flavor stocked in my house.
Lime flavor LaCroix is basically Lemon’s equally boring twin and it tastes like how my lawnmower smells. It’s also inferior to the Perrier version of lime sparkling water. Hard pass.
The grapefruit flavor of LaCroix has a great name but the flavor is exactly average. I’d keep it around as a mixer for Aperol, but as with Lime, I prefer the Perrier version.
LaCola is, as the name would suggest, LaCroix’s version of cola. It’s not bad, but it tastes mostly like cinnamon. You can get a stronger sugar-free cola-like flavor by putting Fee Brothers’ whiskey barrel aged aromatic bitters in plain sparkling water. Still, it’s worth keeping around for mixing with bitters or as a base for cocktails.
13. Cran Raspberry
I only bought this flavor once. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t memorable either. As a flavor, cranberry is usually outright offensive, but in this case, it was just meh. I suppose if you’re a cranberry though that’s about as good of an endorsement as you’re gonna get.
12. Pina Fraise (Pineapple Strawberry)
I want to enjoy the pineapple strawberry flavor of LaCroix more than I do, but I just can’t shake the expectation of sweetness that comes of consuming anything with pineapple. It tastes more strawberry than pineapple, which might be okay if the drink had sugar, but as it turns out, unsweetened strawberries are just kind of weird.
11. Pomme Baya (Apple Berry)
The “berry” in the “apple berry” of Pomme Baya LaCroix is cranberry, and while I’m not really into cranberry, the apple flavor of the Pomme Baya LaCroix comes through strong enough to make it a winner. Almost begs the question why LaCroix paired them in the first place.
I struggle to understand why there needs to be a Tangerine LaCroix when there’s already a perfectly good Orange flavor. I have ranked it this high in the list only because of its taste proximity to Orange. I will drink it if I cannot find any Orange.
I expected the Orange flavor of LaCroix to be bland but it’s actually pretty good. Despite its dryness, it still tastes like a natural, juicy orange. It also improves the taste of NiCola and Cran Raspberry, so if you’re trying to make the best of those regrettable purchases, pick up a case.
8. Muré Pepino (Blackberry Cucumber)
The slight sourness of this flavor is tempered by the mellowness of the cucumber, which I find refreshing. It also goes great with a sprig of rosemary over ice.
I like Mango. I don’t buy the Mango flavor of LaCroix regularly but it’s satisfying. Other than that, I don’t have a lot of thoughts on this one. A person can only have so many thoughts about sparkling water.
I like apricot and I think it’s seriously underrated as a flavor, but given that most people’s primary association with it brings to mind pulling teeth (dried apricots have basically the texture of football leather), I understand why it’s not more popular. Apricot flavored LaCroix is a nice way to taste a close approximation of the fruit, without a trip to the orthodontist.
5. Kiwi Sandia (Kiwi Watermelon)
I have never had anything “kiwi flavored” that actually tasted like kiwi, so it comes as no shock that Kiwi Sandia LaCroix tastes primarily like watermelon. But that’s a good thing. The flavors that you might second guess elsewhere work well for LaCroix because they’re so subtle.
4. Melon Pomelo
Like most “slashy” LaCroix flavors, Melon Pomelo is heavier on one flavor than the other—in this case, pomelo over melon. As LaCroix fans know, the cans of the Melon Pomelo flavor are taller and slimmer, which inconveniently do not fit into the Fallout 4 themed mini-fridge I keep next to my PC. They’re so good though, I keep ‘em stocked anyway, in my big girl fridge.
3. Peach Pear
As Jelly Belly Beans have taught us, pear flavored things are the best things. And the peach ones are pretty good too. You wouldn’t think these two flavors would work well together, but they do. Along with Melon Pomelo, I always keep this stocked in my house.
2. Cerise Limon (Cherry Lime)
I hate most cherry flavored things with a passion but LaCroix Cerise Limon ranks high with me because it tastes so much like real cherries. It reminds me of the Wild Cherry flavor of Clearly Canadian, minus the sugar.
If I actually knew what real passionfruit tastes like I might be dissatisfied with this LaCroix flavor. But because I have no idea how to cook or prepare passionfruit, to me, Passionfruit LaCroix is amazing. It is the only flavor of LaCroix that I will chug ice-cold, gritting my teeth and choking the entire time. And I mean that as an endorsement. Enjoy.
Holly Green is the assistant editor of Paste Games and a reporter and semiprofessional photographer living in Seattle, WA. She is also the author of Fry Scores: An Unofficial Guide To Video Game Grub. You can find her work at Gamasutra, Polygon, Unwinnable, and other videogame news publications.