12 Hint Water Flavors, Ranked Worst To Best

We love cracking open a can of LaCroix or bubly sparkling water. The intense fizzing, the sharpness of the carbonation on the tongue, and the fun flavor options make sparkling water an always-interesting beverage option. However, what should we reach for when we want the unsweetened fruity experience without the bubbles? Sparkling water helps people break away from soda and other sugary beverage dependencies, but for others, that fizzy madness leads to gassiness, bloating, and overall discomfort (via University of Chicago Medicine). Patients battling GERD and acid reflux may be encouraged to seek still water alternatives, which is disappointing when it's the flavor spectrum of sparkling water that you love.

Enter Hint water. Hint was founded in 2005 by people who wanted to increase options for sugar-free beverage choices (via Drink Hint). Its waters are made with no preservatives, calories, or sweeteners — or carbonation. The brand has a core set of classic, permanent flavors, and an extensive rotating selection of limited edition and online exclusive options. Hint utilizes bottles rather than cans, making it a more portable option than many sparkling water brands, and also offers its own line of energy-infused, sparkling, and kid-friendly water products. Hint's biggest advantage, though, remains its still water. It's difficult to get your hands on every single flavor, especially the limited and exclusive ones, but we tried several Hint flavors and ranked them from worst to best.

12. Strawberry lemon

Have you ever had a cold glass of strawberry lemonade? It's duality in a cup. Sweet strawberry meets sharp citrus, so each sip is a wave of sugary tartness on the tastebuds. If summer were to have an anthem to nectar, it would be fresh strawberry lemonade. A few muddled fresh basil leaves make it the perfect Sunday brunch guest, or a pour of vodka transforms it into a Friday night fire starter.

However, don't expect the same fireworks-worthy concoction in Hint's strawberry lemon water. After all, we are talking about unsweetened, lemon-juice-free water here, so the expectation really shouldn't be high. However, we were more than a little disappointed to find that you actually can't taste much lemon in this water at all. It's just faint enough to convince you that the lemon flavor disappears and reappears with each drink, almost as if you put a single lemon wedge in a 5-gallon water pitcher. The strawberry, while on the fainter side, could be a bit more intense too if we're making requests.

11. Watermelon

Watermelon is a summertime staple. It's hydrating and refreshing, a cool relief on a hot July day. It's easily enjoyed on its own, as part of a salad, or in a glass of agua fresca. Hint's watermelon-flavored still water is just as light and refreshing. The watermelon is mild, but it seems to fit given how unoffensive the intensity of the actual melon is. For the same reason, watermelon taste is best as a standalone flavor, in our opinion; Hint often offers limited-time-only mashups and seasonal combinations, but we like to enjoy watermelon on its own so it's not drowned out by companion flavors.

Because of how balanced and enjoyable the watermelon water is, we had to bump this flavor up above the others. However, if you are at home with the time and resources, we say you ought to just make a fresh, homemade batch of agua fresca for an uplifting, summery watermelon beverage.

10. Raspberry

Oh, raspberry. The high hopes we had for you. The blackberry Hint water received high marks from us, and we expected the overall flavor experience of raspberry to be similar. When we first cracked open raspberry and took a sip, though, the only tastes and smells we could pick up were ... vaguely berry, at best. It's comparable to the average fruit snack flavor. It's not that raspberry is particularly watered-down in taste, but it just doesn't taste that much of raspberry. While it's pleasant to not deal with the sharp tang of berries, we were hoping for at least a little bit of that tart punch, but Hint somehow lost that altogether.

Overall, this option is underwhelming. We were hoping for a distinguishable raspberry flavor, but instead, we got a suggestion of some kind of fruit and nothing more. If you're looking for a classic berry flavor in the Hint lineup, we recommend cherry and blackberry over raspberry.

9. Clementine

It's about clemen-time that more orange-flavored waters exist. In the lemon-lime-dominated world of citrus flavors, we are always happy to see more members of the orange family be given a standalone option. Hint's clementine-flavored water tasted just like a ripe tangerine. However, we could see how some Hint drinkers may be unimpressed with this one. While it does beautifully mirror a juicy wedge of orange, it also exhibits a bizarrely medicinal quality that we definitely could have done without. The closest comparisons we could pinpoint would maybe be a citrus-flavored pre-workout powder or those hard Flintstone multivitamins for children. If you know, you know.

We're not saying that Hint clementine is unlikeable. It's a variety that will likely have die-hard fans as well as Hint enthusiasts that disdainfully avoid it. If you're looking for a way to elevate the clementine, consider making a vodka drink with your favorite Ketel One botanical-flavored vodka.

8. Blackberry lemon

Did lemon forget to invite blackberry to the party? Because it feels like a guest is missing. We were disappointed to find that only one of the three lemon-berry mashup flavors in this list delivered a perfect balance of flavors, and it's not blackberry lemon. The lemon is very potent in this flavor; it's so strong that the beverage is passable for freshly-squeezed lemon water. Finding any blackberry notes was a bit more of a struggle. We took our first drink and got nothing. Brows furrowed, we tried again — still, no blackberry. On our third try, we changed strategies, holding our sip on the tastebuds for several moments. Even with this attempt, we couldn't tell if we were tasting the faintest hint of blackberry or if it was all in our imagination.

On the bright side, if you are a fan of the Hint lemon flavor, the blackberry lemon is a great option if the lemon is ever out of stock. But the blackberry might as well not exist here.

7. Peach

Hint says that it flavors its still waters with the essence of fruits. The Hint peach water appears to have been flavored with the essence of an essence of an essence instead. We couldn't perceive any taste until we were a third of the way through the bottle, and even then, the strongest peach flavor only comes through in the aftertaste. It's hard to say that this is a flaw of the peach variety, though. The perfect amount of fruit intensity in a still water is going to be subjective from consumer to consumer. To some, a heavier fruit potency may be too much to enjoy as a light, refreshing water, and an option like peach — which really just suggests the flavor of peach — could be much more enjoyable.

If it's any consolation, the peach is tastable once you've taken multiple drinks. It just wasn't enough for us, even at its best.

6. Pineapple

The pineapple Hint water's fragrance will definitely mislead you. Upon cracking the lid seal, your nostrils are immediately met with an aromatic wave of pineapple scent; we were excited about an intense pineapple flavor experience. However, the taste is absolutely more on the mild side. This didn't really seem to help or hurt the pineapple; with weaker fruit flavors, a mild taste might have drowned them out, while stronger fruits would become too overpowering. Pineapple didn't blow us away, but it didn't disappoint us either.

Pineapple is a great standalone flavor, but we also think it's much better when paired to keep the taste interesting. Hint also offers a pineapple peach flavor as a limited-time-only option, as well as a coconut flavor. The coconut, while not offered in a pineapple coconut mashup, could be poured into a glass with half pineapple for a piña colada-flavored Hint water hybrid.

5. Peach raspberry

Peach raspberry is almost a great Hint flavor — almost. Both fruit elements are there, but neither does enough. We can taste the peach and the raspberry (the peach decidedly more so than the raspberry) but you really have to seek the flavors out in order to acknowledge them, and that's more work than we want to put into drinking a bottle of water. It seems like peach raspberry is nothing more than a weakling in the brand's flavor lineup. We weren't at all impressed with the standalone raspberry Hint, either, but the peach one was pleasant if not mediocre. So it appears raspberry is the slacker here.

Despite how underwhelming it was, this Hint had a nice floral overtone, which seems to be a unique product of the marriage between raspberry and peach. A stronger raspberry tartness would have been the perfect balance to this flowery note, but we won't be finding that in this one.

4. Blackberry

The blackberry-flavored Hint water was absolutely jam-packed with flavor. It tasted slightly sweet despite the brand's lack of sugar content and didn't leave us with the feeling that something was absent like other flavors did. In Hint's water, we get the smooth pleasantness of berries without the mouth-puckering tartness. The blackberry flavor seems to be underrated compared to others, especially combo flavors, but we think it stands out as one of the best. Sometimes less is more, and this is a simple classic. 

With sparkling blackberry products like bubly's or even Hint's sparkling version, the delicate berry is lost among the sharp carbonation (though blackberry bubly was one of our favorites from the brand). Still water gives the taste an opportunity to take your attention and hold it, without being too acidic or sugary to become less palatable as time goes on. It's light and refreshing, tasting just like summer.

3. Crisp apple

Crisp apple might sound like a fall flavor, but this Hint can be taken and enjoyed all year long. This flavor earned a well-deserved spot high up on the list because it reminds us so much of sinking our teeth into a crisp, tart Granny Smith apple. Even with no sugars or artificial sugars, the apple is peculiarly sweet, like a glass of apple juice that's actually three-quarters water and one-quarter juice. Many of the brand's weaker flavors dissipated almost immediately, leaving no lingering taste of the fruit behind, but the crisp apple sticks around in a very pleasant aftertaste.

Crisp apple is a great flavor to have on hand when you've grown tired of all the berry options. We weren't able to get our hands on it for this review — it is an elusive flavor that rotates in and out of Hint's limited-time-only lineup — but you can add a little bit of variety to the apple taste with Hint's cranberry apple water.

2. Blueberry lemon

We have very fond memories of sitting under the sunshine on our college quad, enjoying a lemon blueberry scone from the campus café. That's probably why we just about fell out of our chair when we tasted the Hint blueberry lemon water. It was pretty mind-blowing how the intensity varied from the strawberry lemon to the blueberry lemon flavors of Hint. Blueberry lemon was so much better just for the fact that we could perceive what we were supposed to be tasting. The berry flavor was 10 times more powerful than the lemon, which surprised us; we expected the opposite to be true since citrus is generally more overpowering than berry.

Blueberry lemon's flavors linger on the tastebuds long after you've stopped drinking the water. This option's lemony-ness — lemony-ness is a valid metric, trust us — was more bright and crisp than sharp and tart as a traditional lemonade would be. This option was an easy contender for first place in this sample group. Perhaps we are just biased, but the blueberry lemon flavor tastes like sunshine on a clear, college day.

1. Cherry

We are far from being experts on market approval of different fruit flavored products, but it seems that cherry-flavored drinks fall into "loathe it" or "love it" categories. Some folks taste cough syrup in every cherry product they encounter, while others get more of a red Starburst essence. Luckily for us, we fall into the latter category. There was something unique about the cherry Hint flavor: As soon as the seal was broken on the lid, we caught wafts of fragrant cherry and cherry blossom. Almost no other flavor had the potency to be perceived by the nostrils before actually taking a drink.

The cherry Hint flavor was a winner for its intense flavor that made the beverage feel like more than just water. This is our no-doubt recommendation for people who tend to find Hint waters to be too weak or are trying to transfer away from sweetened drinks.