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We Ranked Every Waterloo Sparkling Water Flavor, Worst To Best

14 Waterloo cans stacked
14 Waterloo cans stacked - Hunter Miele / Tasting Table

What's not to love about ice-cold, crisp, and refreshing sparkling water on a hot day? I hate to say it, but this subtly flavored carbonated drink knocks water out of the park any day, and it's equally as hydrating to boot. I'm not ashamed to say that I consume an offensive amount of seltzer every day, and, truthfully, I think I'm better for it. The sugar-free, caffeine-free drink has been around for over two centuries and continues to grow in popularity every year.

We regular seltzer drinkers usually have a go-to brand, with many connoisseurs of the beverage making Waterloo their top pick. This brand famously packs more of a flavor punch than other leaders in the flavored carbonated water market. Sure, Polar, LaCroix, and Bubbly all have their attributes, but Waterloo dominates the artisanal sparkling water game. This brand runs the gamut of flavors, offering everything from creamy orange vanilla to sweet and spicy ginger.

In March 2024, the brand unveiled two summer-centric flavors for the upcoming summer season while continuing to keep true to its commitment to sustainability. I've enjoyed each and every Waterloo flavor, including the new releases, and ranked them in order to discover the best overall. I took into account their closeness to the real fruit deal and excluded personal taste preferences for an unbiased, tell-all review of Waterloo.

Read more: 15 Boba Flavors, Ranked Worst To Best

14. Peach

peach Waterloo can
peach Waterloo can - Hunter Miele / Tasting Table

Peach is an uncommon but not unheard-of sparkling water flavor, and it sounds like a treat on a warm spring day. Usually, when drinks or food items are flavored with peach, another ingredient accompanies it: ginger, cinnamon, orange, etc. But Waterloo went for it and crafted a seltzer flavored with peach and peach only. And I'll be honest — I kind of wish they hadn't.

Upon initial inspection, I wanted to like Waterloo's peach-flavored seltzer. Who doesn't love biting into a fresh orchard peach, all plump and juicy? It's typically a universally loved fruit. But Waterloo's take on peach is anything but. The first sip tastes like true peach, but once you dive in for any more than that initial taste, you're in for disappointment. The essence of artificial peach leaves an offputting and long-lasting aftertaste. I know that Waterloo, like most brands, crafts its seltzers with natural fruit essences, but it seems the mark was missed when trying to recreate a natural peach taste. This sparkling water could perhaps be spared if used in a cocktail with flavored vodka or mixed with other seltzer flavors, like ginger or citrus. But, even then, it couldn't hold a candle to the seltzers at the bottom of this list.

13. Grape

grape Waterloo can
grape Waterloo can - Hunter Miele / Tasting Table

Grape isn't a sparkling water flavor that you see every day, and I applaud Waterloo for taking a chance and creating a seltzer that, if I'm being honest, doesn't sound very appealing. Tossing back a few grapes when you're in the mood for a sweet snack that isn't loaded with refined sugar is an excellent choice, but grapes don't usually come to mind when you're craving a refreshing beverage. Even grape soda is only palatable thanks to oodles upon oodles of sugar, and even that is rarely a go-to soda choice. After trying Waterloo's grape sparkling water, I understand why this flavor is seldom seen in the seltzer realm.

Waterloo's grape seltzer suffered a similar fate to that of the peach — it just tastes too artificial and is not reminiscent of natural fruit flavor whatsoever. The taste was subtle enough not to be nauseating, but its similarities to ultra-artificial grape-flavored candy are just too apparent. That being said, if you're a lover of the grape candies of yesteryear, this drink may be for you.

12. Tropical Fruit

tropical fruit Waterloo can
tropical fruit Waterloo can - Hunter Miele / Tasting Table

I'm thrilled about the notion of a tropical fruit blend as a sparkling water flavor. Truly hard seltzers made a splash with a variety of tropical flavors onto the market, and they took the world by storm. However, Truly seltzers contain alcohol, so it was high time for a non-alcoholic, flavor-rich tropical fruit sparkling water to grace store shelves.

In true Waterloo fashion, this drink packs a huge punch of flavor, but not exactly the flavor that the packaging implies. On Waterloo's tropical fruit can, I can see an image of a pineapple, blood orange, and mango, implying that these are the flavors present in the beverage. Yet, pineapple dominates the taste profile, which is unfortunate, considering Waterloo already has pineapple-flavored sparkling water and doesn't produce a mango or blood orange-flavored drink. The mango flavor comes in next as a slight aftertaste, and blood orange is all but nonexistent. I hoped for a harmonious medley of all three fruits — crisp pineapple, sweet mango, and luscious blood orange all playing nicely together to create a tropical fruit sensation. Alas, this wasn't the case, and I was left with a seltzer that's only marginally different from pure pineapple.

11. Watermelon

watermelon Waterloo can
watermelon Waterloo can - Hunter Miele / Tasting Table

Watermelon is the ultimate summer flavor. This gargantuan fruit conjures up nostalgia like no other, flooding me with memories of taking a big, juicy bite and seeing who could spit the seeds the farthest. Waterloo attempts to recreate the refreshing and incomparable taste of watermelon in its sparkling beverages, and while it doesn't entirely miss the mark, it doesn't invoke the feelings of childhood summertime bliss like I hoped it would.

The watermelon flavor in this beverage is subtle, although I noticed an intense but welcome aroma. Watermelon hit my tastebuds first, and then a hint of lime came in for a tart finish. The fruit taste is close to the real deal, despite its elusive appearance in the drink. But ultimately, it just didn't feel like enough. I would have loved to see a watermelon and mint-flavored sparkling water, or perhaps more lime flavor for a watermelon-lime combo. The subtle taste of watermelon with just a hint of lime on its own is boring and, while it is refreshing, could also be a little sweeter in an effort to really stir up that summer vacation nostalgia. I recommend adding lime juice to add zing and sweetness to an otherwise bland beverage, making this an excellent non-alcoholic drink to serve at a BBQ or pool party.

10. Strawberry

strawberry Waterloo can
strawberry Waterloo can - Hunter Miele / Tasting Table

I'm intrigued by Waterloo's decision to craft a strawberry-flavored carbonated water. Like peach, strawberry usually accompanies other flavor profiles — typically something creamy, but you can go as far as spicy and floral, like black pepper and basil. Something that's strictly strawberry may appeal to kids, whose palates aren't developed enough for the enticing flavors that often pair with strawberry.

The initial taste of Waterloo's strawberry seltzer was bland, but it left a lingering aftertaste on my palate that reminded me of old-fashioned strawberry hard candies and the strawberry-esque flavor of Swedish Fish. I had hoped for a more refreshing real fruit flavor, but the strawberry candy taste was welcome nonetheless. Strawberry is one of the most popular fruit flavors for candy for a reason. It's widely loved and makes me think of frolicking through a field of wildflowers, pockets full of candy at the ready. While a more natural essence would have been preferred for this beverage, I can't fault its appeal, given the universally cherished nature of this kid-friendly flavor.

9. Summer Berry

summer berry Waterloo can
summer berry Waterloo can - Hunter Miele / Tasting Table

Like watermelon, a blend of the berries of the summer season is a flavor that conjures up fond childhood memories. Blueberry, raspberry, and blackberry — otherwise known as the berries of summer — blend seamlessly together. Each berry has its own prominent flavor notes, but they're similar enough that their three-way marriage is harmonious, sweet, and delicious.

In spring 2022, Waterloo released a passionfruit flavor for summer along with its summer berry, and only one stood the test of time. Raspberry, blueberry, and blackberry convene for a tart, sweet, and refreshing taste that's perfect for a Fourth of July backyard party, especially thanks to the old-fashioned Americana packaging*. Raspberry stands front and center while blueberry and blackberry come in for the finish. My main qualm with this classic flavor is that, while some sour flavor is expected, it was perhaps too tart for my liking. This beverage would pair well with a vanilla-flavored vodka for a sweet and rich summery cocktail, where vanilla can come in to balance out the tartness.

8. Cherry Limeade

cherry limeade Waterloo can
cherry limeade Waterloo can - Hunter Miele / Tasting Table

Cherry and lime are a match made in beverage heaven. Sweet and tart lime cuts through the deep richness of cherry for a melodic symphony of flavors that lights up the palate. Cherry limeade is just as summer-ready as watermelon or summer berry, but it's a little more unconventional and exciting. Waterloo hit the nail on the head when it included this unique seltzer flavor in its lineup.

While this rich and complex drink was a delight to the senses, it was noticeably off-balance. The lime flavor was significantly more apparent than cherry, making the drink more on the sweet and tart side and less rich and mellow than we had hoped for. Orange and pomegranate notes made the flavor more complex, with the slight pomegranate aftertaste helping to balance out the tart lime, but it wasn't enough. If Waterloo decides to revamp the recipe, making it more cherry-forward, this drink could easily climb the ranks of this list to the number one spot.

7. Pineapple

pineapple Waterloo can
pineapple Waterloo can - Hunter Miele / Tasting Table

There aren't many foods out there that mentally whisk you away to a tropical place where the sun is shining and the ocean waves perform an illustrious dance before crashing into the sandy shore, but pineapple is certainly one of them. A fresh pineapple erupts in your mouth with sweet juices that dance across your palate and carry you away to a stress-free place. So, naturally, when I found out Waterloo offered a pineapple-flavored seltzer, I was ready to leap into a tropical state of mind. But, would the taste actually help me arrive there with ease?

The pineapple flavor in the seltzer wasn't overwhelming at all, nor was it so sweet you felt like you were sipping a sugar-laden drink. The tingly flavor lingered long enough to let visions of the fruit nestle into my thoughts, and the taste was close enough to the real thing that I felt like I took a big juicy bite out of a fresh pineapple chunk. As delicious as this drink is, don't opt for a case of Waterloo's pineapple sparkling water if you're looking for a hydrating beverage to drink all day. The pineapple flavor was quite powerful, and after finishing a couple of cans, you probably won't even want to look at a pineapple for the next month.

6. Ginger Citrus Twist

ginger citrus twist Waterloo can
ginger citrus twist Waterloo can - Hunter Miele / Tasting Table

Ginger is a flavor like no other. It's both soothing and spicy and pairs well with a plethora of sweet and savory ingredients. In beverages, ginger usually teams up with citrus or berry flavors and rarely stands on its own. I think ginger has what it takes to flavor a beverage by itself, but its spiciness usually needs to be subdued, which requires another ingredient. Citrus is the perfect companion, offering a subtle enough flavor to allow the earthy aroma and taste of ginger to shine while controlling the spiciness.

Waterloo's ginger citrus twist accomplishes its intended goal. Ginger takes center stage, offering a spicy kick that remains balanced enough for easy consumption, with citrus adding a refreshing sweetness at the finish. While the citrus element effectively moderates the ginger's intensity, its presence is so subtle that distinguishing between lemon or lime flavors is impossible. The sweetness offsets the spice, but the tart flavor typically associated with citrus remains elusive, resulting in a blend of predominantly sweet and spicy notes. While undeniably delicious, there's room for enhancement to fully tantalize the senses. A splash of vodka in this seltzer would make a delicious sugar-free Moscow mule alternative, but I would recommend topping it off with a drop of lime juice.

5. Orange Vanilla

orange vanilla Waterloo can
orange vanilla Waterloo can - Hunter Miele / Tasting Table

As perhaps the most timeless flavor on this list, orange vanilla is nostalgic and old-fashioned for some and unconventional and new for others. Creamy and sweet flavors pair perfectly to recreate the taste of a classic creamsicle treat. Other citrus fruits, like lemon and lime, contrast with smooth, mellow, and creamy vanilla, but uplifting and slightly zesty orange makes the perfect vanilla companion.

Waterloo's orange vanilla is vanilla-forward, although its aroma is heavily orange with just a hint of sweet vanilla. The creaminess hit our tastebuds first, reminding me of ice cream treats on a scorching day. Tangy citrus came into play next and lingered on my palate for longer than the vanilla, although I would have liked a burst of orange flavor on the initial sip. This all-season sparkling water flavor will provide creamy comfort in the winter and nostalgia in the summer, so keep this one stocked year-round.

4. Blackberry Lemonade

blackberry lemonade Waterloo can
blackberry lemonade Waterloo can - Hunter Miele / Tasting Table

While the classic taste of lemonade will always stand as the ultimate summer beverage, sometimes the strictly lemon flavor can use an upgrade. Many fruits have made an attempt to pair with the timeless classic, and, while some fail, some combos are nearly as iconic as plain old lemonade itself. Blackberry's valiant attempt to converge with lemonade proved worthwhile. The berry's rich flavors combine seamlessly with tart lemon, making it an indulgent sweet treat for summer.

Blackberry lemonade is Waterloo's most nuanced seltzer. It has practically every taste. Sweet, tart, and rich fruit flavors make this beverage both complex and smooth. Rich and mellow blackberry starts things off, while the tingly carbonation helps to carry the zing of the lemon toward the back of the palate. While this drink was delicious and refreshing all on its own, a shot of bourbon would complement the full-bodied blackberry for a complex poolside cocktail.

3. Raspberry Nectarine

raspberry nectarine Waterloo can
raspberry nectarine Waterloo can - Hunter Miele / Tasting Table

I was delighted at Waterloo's raspberry nectarine seltzer water option. Typically, sparkling water flavored with raspberry is also accompanied by lime, making an ultra-tart flavor that only appeals to some. Nectarine is a bold choice to pair with this much-loved berry, and I believe that both flavors could hold up as a seltzer flavor all on their own. That being said, I think Waterloo made the correct call with this unconventional pairing that will likely appeal to a wide range of taste preferences.

The zing of tart raspberry is expertly balanced by sweet and mellow nectarine in this drink. Both fruits are easily detected in the aroma, evoking thoughts of a fruit-filled garden in the spring. My initial sip tasted like pure raspberry, but the flavor of nectarine quickly came in to smooth things out before it tasted too tart. Both flavors are spot-on to the real deal, and I enjoyed how each flavor is tasted separately in the drink, but the aftertaste allows the two flavors to intertwine for a unique and rejuvenating experience.

2. Black Cherry

black cherry Waterloo can
black cherry Waterloo can - Hunter Miele / Tasting Table

Black cherry is an exceptionally popular sparkling water flavor, and for good reason. The flavor is subtle enough to be universally loved — combining rich, sweet, and tangy flavor profiles for a little taste of everything, appealing to nearly all fruit lovers. It isn't too much of one profile and not enough of another; it's typically balanced and refreshing. Each seltzer brand that offers a black cherry has its own spin on the flavor, and I'll go as far as to say that Waterloo does one of the best black cherry seltzers I've ever tasted.

Deeply rich and complex, this seltzer's cherry flavor is crisp and sweet but mellow enough to drink half a case in a single day. Layers of tangy and creamy flavors combine for a unique black cherry essence. These complex and rich notes are thanks to Waterloo's use of Luxardo maraschino cherries. These deep, dark cherries coat the palate with a rich, sweet flavor. Waterloo captures the experience of delving into a bowl of Luxardo's expertly with its seltzer flavor.

1. Lemon Lime

lemon lime Waterloo can
lemon lime Waterloo can - Hunter Miele / Tasting Table

Finally, here's the classic: lemon-lime. Perhaps the most popular sparkling water flavors are citrus ones, and lemon-lime is the most classic citrus combo of all time. Nearly every sparkling water company produces a lemon, lime, or combination of the two, and I think it's safe to say that Waterloo's is best by far overall.

Right after cracking open the can, I was shocked at this citrus seltzer's aroma. It smelled nearly identical to popular lemon lime-flavored sodas like Sprite or Starry. I assumed this was intentional, considering Waterloo's flavors are notorious for having a nostalgic element. The citrus flavor was mellow and only slightly tart, with a deeply sweet finish. In truth, this seltzer tastes like a sugar-free version of lemon-lime soda, without any artificial aftertaste and without being overly sweet. Both lemon and lime flavors are blatantly apparent and spot on to the real deal, while still retaining that nostalgic soda element. I could tell exactly what Waterloo was aiming for with this drink, and I'm happy to report that it absolutely nailed it.

Methodology

stack Waterloo cans and glass
stack Waterloo cans and glass - Hunter Miele / Tasting Table

I've been an avid seltzer drinker for many years. I love discovering new flavors, especially unique, nuanced varieties that are smooth enough to drink all day. Of course, everyone likes and dislikes certain ingredients, but I set aside personal preference to rank these Waterloo seltzers using unbiased and fair methods. I know that easy drinking and smooth flavors are what sparkling water consumers look for, so I took those factors into account.

I also consider how close the flavors tasted to actual fruit and how well the combinations of flavors blended with one another. I also factored in aroma, how the presence of bubbles carried the flavor, and the possibility of using each seltzer in a cocktail. I hope that this list inspired you to give Waterloo a try or — if you're already a Waterloo drinker — to embark on a quest for your next favorite flavor.

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