Ranking 21 Bubly Flavors From Worst To Best

Bubly sparkling water is a relatively new entrant to the sparkling water market, making its debut in 2018. The product, which is PepsiCo's attempt to capture some of LaCroix's customers, just missed out on making it onto our seltzer rankings that year. But despite being the new kid on the block, bubly held a respectable 8.5% of the seltzer market by 2021 (via Statista). People are drinking a lot of bubly, and to serve its customers, the brand produces a ton of different flavors.

A quick scan of bubly's website shows the plethora of flavors available to seltzer connoisseurs. New ones get released (and old options get discontinued) all the time, so you can always find different taste experiences. We decided to see what the fuss was about and tracked down 16 different flavors of bubly and tasted them all. Many, many burps later, we have produced a definitive ranking of bubly flavors, so you know which seltzers to seek out next time you're at the supermarket.

21. Coconut Pineapple

Coconut is a divisive flavor, doubly so if it's fake. We enjoy it when done well, but when coconut-flavored foods and drinks are off, they quickly veer into tasting like body lotion rather than something you should ingest.

Sadly, coconut pineapple bubly tasted more like sunscreen than coconut water. The coconut flavoring was aggressively artificial (yes, it's technically made with only natural flavors, but you know what we mean). The aroma and taste of the ersatz coconut dominated the drink so much that the pineapple barely made an impression. At first, we thought there was no pineapple at all, but as the drink warmed up a bit, we started to be able to pick up a fruity note in the aftertaste. However, the pineapple component was still lacking the sweet and sour punch that makes the real fruit so wonderful.

If you're big into manufactured coconut candy and want a seltzer that reminds you of that, then coconut pineapple bubly is for you. Most other people should stay away.

20. Passionfruit

You don't often find passionfruit in the supermarket in the U.S., and to be honest, we're not even sure what passionfruit is supposed to taste like. Apparently, a ripe passionfruit should be both tart and sweet with a tropical flavor. If unripe, they're unpalatably sour. Either way, there should be some taste to it, which is the opposite of what we can say for passionfruit bubly.

When we cracked the can, it did release a scent into the air. It was kind of a generic fruit aroma, like mixed berries or the flavored fluoride they put on your teeth at the dentist. For the life of us, we could not detect even the tiniest bit of flavor when actually sipping the drink. The disconnect between the fruity smell and the total lack of flavor was bizarre. If we were tasting this blindfolded, we would guess that it was unflavored seltzer.

We've got nothing against flavorless sparkling water, but if that's what we feel like drinking, we'll seek it out specifically. When you buy passionfruit bubly, you're promised a fun, tropical fruit-flavored beverage. We can't imagine anyone who purchases this not feeling a little disappointed.

19. Citrus Cherry Bubly Bounce

Bounce is bubly's line of caffeinated seltzers. Each 12-ounce can has 35 milligrams of caffeine, about the same as a can of Pepsi. For reference, according to the FDA, that's about one-half to one-third of the caffeine in an 8-ounce cup of coffee. Depending on your tolerance to caffeine, a bubly bounce might not be enough to wake you up, but if you're trying to break a soda habit by switching to this brand's sparkling water, bounce will deliver the same amount of caffeine your body is used to.

For some reason, most of the varieties of bubly bounce taste weaker than non-caffeinated bubly, and citrus cherry is the worst of the bunch. We could barely taste any cherry flavor in it, only a tiny hint in the aftertaste (and we're not entirely sure we weren't imagining it). The citrus flavor was more noticeable, but still kind of weak. As with passionfruit, the scent was stronger than the flavor, and sniffing the open can rewarded us with a noseful of orange oil. The flavor is crisp, and it's certainly not bad, but it's underwhelming.

18. Watermelon

Watermelon bubly is on the opposite end of the flavor intensity spectrum from the previous two entries on this list. It smacks you over the head with both its taste and its aroma. We appreciate the boldness, but this seems like it would be a divisive flavor. We can imagine a lot of people hating it, but it has the potential to earn some die-hard fans as well.

The smell of this variety was quite potent, with strong notes of watermelon candy. It had that fake watermelon scent that scratch-and-sniff stickers or Watermelon Four Loko have (minus the nasty chemical edge). The aftertaste was a dead ringer for Sour Patch Watermelon gummies. If you happen to be a fan of artificially-flavored watermelon candy — and we know there are a lot of you out there — you will enjoy this. But for the rest of us, there are better options out there. Watermelon bubly does a remarkable job of tricking your brain into perceiving sweetness without using sweeteners, which is a trick that the company uses to a better effect in some of its other products.

17. White Peach Ginger

Bubly generally does a good job at replicating fruit if it only has to worry about one at a time, but in the cans where you're supposed to taste multiple things at once, one of the flavors always seems to get lost in the shuffle. That's exactly the case with white peach ginger bubly. The white peach was immediately apparent. The beverage smelled a little bit like gummy peach rings, and it actually tasted a little bit like actual peach juice (albeit very watered-down). The ginger was buried under all the peach. We thought we maybe noticed a light burn at the end of every sip, but sparkling water burns a little bit on the way down anyway, so we could have been imagining it.

As we sipped this, we did notice a non-peach flavor start to assert itself, but it wasn't ginger. Rather, it reminded us of black iced tea. This bubly reminded us of drinking a Snapple Peach Tea with all of the sweetness taken out of it. We can't say we really loved it.

16. Triple Berry Bubly Bounce

This flavor already has two strikes against it: It's a bubly bounce, and it's trying to incorporate multiple flavors at once. It tasted pretty good, but the overall experience was rather muddled.

First, the smell: We picked up some floral notes, as well as something that could have been the ghost of a grape. Mostly, it was an indistinct fruity aroma, kind of like the passionfruit bubly. But unlike that one, triple berry did deliver a decent amount of fruit flavoring. The dominant taste was a generic, mild sweetness, with hints of a couple of different fruits. We thought we could detect some ripe strawberry, and perhaps a hint of blueberry. However, it was difficult to perceive any specific fruit components, and all the flavors kind of blended into something inoffensive but also a little bit boring. If you like the flavorings in your sparkling water to be on the milder side, you might like this, but we wanted a little more excitement.

15. Mango Passionfruit Bubly Bounce

We meet again with our nemesis: passionfruit. As with our least favorite bubly variety, if there was passionfruit flavor in the mango passionfruit can, we couldn't tell it was there. Fortunately, it's packaged together with another, stronger-tasting fruit that can pick up some of the slack.

The mango essence is noticeable in the taste and odor of this drink. It smells like the fruit with a little extra sweetness. You also get some mango when you drink it, but the flavor is pretty watery. The essence tastes moderately fake, but not nearly as artificial as the watermelon bubly. We also noticed a faint note of SweeTarts.

For some reason, we could taste the acidity from the carbonation super clearly in this bubly. It was noticeably more sour than most of the other flavors we sampled. We normally like a little acidity in fruit-flavored things to help balance out the palate, but the taste of this drink was a little artificial and chemical-like.

14. Lemon Sorbet

When we started sipping this seltzer straight from the fridge, we were disappointed by its blandness. It delivered some light notes of lemon peel or citrus oil with very little of the sweetness we wanted from a drink named after a frozen dessert. As the drink approached room temperature, the sugary flavors began to assert themselves more. Some sips reminded us strongly of lemon pound cake, but overall, it reminded us most of lemon sherbet. Not sorbet, which just has fruit and sugar in it, but sherbet, which contains milk. While sorbet has a classy connotation to us, sherbet is the sort of dessert that often comes out of generic bargain-bin tubs, and this bubly variety tasted like the cheap stuff.

We enjoyed the sherbert flavor for a bit, but this drink needs to be consumed relatively quickly after it's removed from the fridge. If it sits for too long, the insincere notes overwhelm the positive aspects.

13. Strawberry

This can filled the room with the scent of strawberry hard candies. You know those strawberry candies that are individually wrapped with strawberry-patterned cellophane and sometimes appear in a little bowl by the register at restaurants? It was that precise smell.

What the smell promised, the taste delivered, though it was a little less intense than the aroma led us to believe it would be. We got big strawberry candy flavors, mixed with some of the fresh notes of real strawberries or strawberry jam. Somehow, we tasted all of those things without picking up any actual sweetness. The flavor of this bubly is like a mirage: It feels real for a moment, but then it disappears and leaves you with nothing. There's none of the lingering sweetness you get in beverages made with actual fruit.

In terms of strength, strawberry bubly was a solid medium. It didn't knock our socks off, but we could definitely tell what it was supposed to taste like.

12. Blueberry Pomegranate

The blueberry pomegranate bubly smelled like neither of its purported fruit flavors. Instead, it delivered a fairly mild fruit punch aroma. The flavor was quite different from the scent; in this case, the taste was actually stronger.

Blueberry was definitely the dominant flavor here, but it was more of a false one. Instead of tasting like the actual fruit, it was more reminiscent of the fake blueberries you might find in packaged blueberry muffins. It's not a bad flavor, but we were hoping for something a little more realistic.

A stronger pomegranate component would have helped balance out the fake blueberry flavor with some tang, but the pomegranate had a hard time competing with its partnered fruit. It wasn't entirely absent; we were able to pick up some bitter or sour flavors in the aftertaste that didn't seem like they were just from the carbonation. However, it was too subtle, and the drink as a whole felt a little unbalanced because of it.

11. Pineapple

Whatever dark magic seltzer companies use to put natural flavors into zero-calorie sparkling water does a better job at capturing some aspects of a fruit's essence than others. It can be hard to sell the impression of sweetness sans sugar or other sweeteners, and it seems like acidity can be difficult to translate as well. This means that some fruits can become strangely muted in seltzer form, and that's the case with pineapple bubly.

This variety has many good qualities. It smells kind of like fresh pineapple, and it tastes like pineapple juice — or at least like a small amount of pineapple juice mixed with a bunch of sparkling water. This bubly tastes more like its inspiring fruit than most. However, real pineapple bursts with both tongue-hurting acidity and juicy sweetness, and without those tastes, pineapple bubly falls a little bit flat. Fresh pineapple is an intense experience, and we wanted this beverage to be zestier.

10. Just Bubly

Although this may be plain sparkling water, that doesn't mean there's nothing in it — the can doesn't contain sodium, but it does have calcium chloride and potassium chloride, which the label describes as electrolytes added for flavor.

We're not sure if it was the power of suggestion, but we did feel like we could taste the electrolytes in the water. They added a bit of a salty or chalky hint to the drink. We thought the electrolytes made this seltzer more interesting than pure plain water, but some people might not appreciate their presence.

Other than the electrolytes, the taste of the carbonation itself was evident in this bubly, adding a mildly unpleasant sour/bitter aftertaste to the drinking experience. We like powerful carbonation in plain seltzer, and while this bubly started out, well, bubbly, it seemed to lose carbonation faster than other brands we've tried. Just bubly is a fine plain seltzer, but other manufacturers do it better.

9. Lime

If you're trying to replace soda with bubly, the lime flavor might end up being one of your favorites. Its aroma was super familiar, but we couldn't figure out what it was until suddenly it hit us: Sprite. Yes, lime bubly smells pretty much like everyone's favorite lemon-lime soda.

It tastes like Sprite (or 7UP) too, though obviously not as sweet, since none of the bubly varieties contain any sweeteners. There's a noticeable lime oil component to the flavor, and it's a little bit like limeade too, but the flavor isn't pure lime. We're almost certain there's some lemon flavoring in this drink in addition to the lime. Lime tends to be slightly bitter, while lemon has more sweetness to balance out the sour, and we thought we tasted lemon in this beverage. The lemon-lime combo makes this very soda-like and refreshing. But while it goes down easy, it's not as distinctive as some of the other bubly flavors.

8. Orange Cream

As a dessert-inspired flavor, orange cream bubly is a spiritual companion to the lemon sorbet variety. Of the two, orange cream is much closer to the sweet treat it's mimicking.

Unlike lemon sorbet, the taste of orange cream bubly remained stable no matter what temperature it was. It nailed the citrus-plus-dairy vibe of a real Creamsicle, especially in the smell. While not literally creamy, the vanilla did a good job of giving the impression of creaminess. The orange component tasted more like orange oil or zest than orange juice (it wasn't sour at all), but that worked in the context of this drink. The overall effect was, at times, quite similar to a full-sugar orange cream soda, though if you focused too much, the illusion was ruined, and it started to taste just like sparkling water again.

While we enjoyed this bubly variety, its flavor was too specific (and strong) for us to make it our go-to. Nevertheless, we'd pick this up again to savor as an occasional treat.

7. Peach

The straight-up peach bubly was more successful than the white peach ginger one because it wasn't trying to do multiple things simultaneously. Instead, it just focused on delivering peach flavor.

Like many peach-flavored foods and drinks, this bubly tasted a bit like fake peach gummy candy. We didn't mind that because we love peach candy, but don't go into this drink expecting something like fresh peach nectar. Compared to some of the higher-ranked flavors, peach bubly was a bit weaker, but the taste was still pleasant overall. The fruit taste left our palate quite quickly, leaving us with a watery aftertaste. We also noticed a starchy note in the aftertaste, which was a bit odd, but it was quite muted and didn't spoil the peachiness.

Some bubly fruit flavors can be intense, which isn't what everyone wants from a seltzer. If you like the flavoring in your seltzer to be more of a whisper than a shout, then peach bubly will appeal to you.

6. Raspberry

This is the first can on this list that we could accurately describe as "juicy." It had a super sweet smell that was candy-like, but also contained a hint of raspberry jam. The flavor reminded us a bit of a raspberry Jolly rancher, but it also tasted like the idea of "red" — when foods taste like red fruit, but not any specific fruit that actually exists in the world. If you've had cheap grenadine, that's the flavor we're talking about. Raspberry bubly is the Shirley Temple of the brand that uses lime bubly as a mixer.

Raspberry bubly does not hold back on flavor, which will hold true for all the remaining varieties on this list. Compared to some other sparkling water brands, bubly makes flavors with some real heft to them. You're not just getting a little suggestion of fruit flavor here; the fruit essence dominates your palate.

5. Blackberry

Of all the bubly flavors, the blackberry version probably tastes the least like the fruit that it's based on. That could've been a problem, but fortunately, blackberry bubly has a strong, pleasant flavor — it just doesn't taste similar to real blackberries. It doesn't even taste like the artificial version of the fruit. Instead, it's like a seltzer version of grape soda.

When we think of blackberries, we think of tart, puckery flavors. There's no acidity in blackberry bubly whatsoever. Perhaps that's why it reads so strongly as grape to us (or maybe it's because it comes in a purple can). Just as the raspberry bubly tastes "red," the same is true for blackberry bubly tasting "purple." If you remember what purple ice pops taste like, that's a good reference for the flavor of this seltzer. It's sweet and delicious, and we could imagine it making a good mixer for fruit-flavored vodka or rum-based cocktails.

4. Cherry

There is absolutely nothing subtle about cherry bubly. We have no idea how food scientists were able to create something so sweet and fruity without the aid of sweeteners or fruit juice, but we must say we are impressed. Cherry bubly is remarkably similar to black cherry soda. It tastes nothing like real, fresh cherries, but it nails fake, candy cherry flavor so well that we can't help but love it.

Like watermelon bubly, we could see there being a contingent of people who wouldn't enjoy this flavor. If you're not into the taste of fake cherry, this drink could bring back bad childhood memories of cherry-flavored cough syrup. However, for us, the hyperreal cherry flavor was a delightful, nostalgic taste, and we loved that we felt like we were drinking a sweet treat even though it was just a fruity seltzer. You could even put a drop or two of vanilla in this to make your own hacked version of Coca-Cola Cherry.

3. Mango

Regular mango bubly is much, much better than mango passionfruit bubly bounce. The mango flavor in this variety is both more intense and more realistic than in its caffeinated sibling. Clearly, the passionfruit was holding it back.

This drink feels like a magic trick. It smells almost like a freshly-cut mango. When you take a sip, it tastes like carbonated mango nectar. And yet somehow, it has very little acidity or sweetness. For some reason, the lack of those flavors made pineapple bubly a bit dull, but mango bubly tastes juicy and exciting. Fresh from the fridge, most of the mango essence is contained in the aroma, but as the can warms up a little bit, the flavor becomes fruitier and fruitier. It brings the tropical vibes and then some. If you want to amp up the island flavor even more, mango bubly would taste great with a twist of lime and a shot of chamoy.

2. Blood Orange Grapefruit Bubly Bounce

This bubly is leaps and bounds ahead of its bounce brethren. Blood orange is a tricky flavor to get right. It combines the juicy tartness of a regular orange with added depth, complexity, and bitterness. Blood orange grapefruit bubly bounce nails the nuances of the fruit. You get the taste of orange juice, but also of oil from orange peels and the slightly savory taste of the white pith. It's quite impressive. We couldn't really separate any grapefruit flavor from the blood orange, but we didn't care because this drink was so tasty. We also picked up a floral aroma and taste that added to this beverage's refined vibe.

Blood orange grapefruit bubly bounce tastes like soda, but not the normal kind you can get at any gas station. It's more similar to an elevated sparkling beverage, specifically Sanpellegrino Aranciata Rossa. Sanpellegrino fans might be skeptical of this claim, but if you take one sip of this, you'll agree: It is a pinkies-up drinking experience.

1. Grapefruit

Finally, we have reached the one bubly to rule them all: grapefruit. You might think that grapefruit bubly is kind of a boring choice, since every seltzer company and their mother makes grapefruit-flavored sparkling water, but trust us when we say that bubly's take on this flavor is unlike any other grapefruit seltzer on the market. Normally, grapefruit seltzer is slightly bitter and sour — and to be fair, real grapefruits also tend to be bitter and sour. But somehow, grapefruit bubly manages to taste like grapefruit while removing all acidity and bitterness. What's left is a delightfully complex blend of sweet citrus, floral notes, and sparkling refreshment.

This sparkling water's orange blossom aroma is almost like perfume — if perfume were delicious. The flavor also reminded us of the candied citrus rind you'd find in a fancy dessert. It's a classy, adult taste, and we can't get enough. We would never have predicted that grapefruit bubly would run away with this competition, but that's the beauty of taste tests: You never know what will win.