Everyone has a favorite. Is it the taste? The pretty can? We tasted 40 seltzers, sparkling waters (which, FYI, are the same thing), and sparkling mineral waters to get the truth.
Best Sparkling Mineral Water: Gerolsteiner Sparkling Natural Mineral Water
Its tiny bubbles cascade just like champagne. Thanks to naturally occurring magnesium and calcium, it has a subtle mineral flavor that cleanses the palate and pairs well with food.
To buy: $34 for 24 pack; amazon.com.
Best Lime: Polar Lime Seltzer
Seltzer should be refreshing, not sweet. While some brands packed on the flavor, this one stayed fresh with just a hint of lime and tons of bubbles.
To buy: $21 for 12 pack; amazon.com.
Best Lemon: Boylan Lemon Seltzer
We loved this bright and fizzy pick because it didn’t have a chemical aftertaste. Plus, it comes in cute vintage glass bottles.
To buy: $50 for 12; amazon.com.
Best Berry: Schweppes Raspberry Lime
This seltzer stayed bubbly long after the bottle was opened. Its fresh raspberry-lime flavor was the perfect balance of sweet and tart.
To buy: $59 for 24 pack; amazon.com.
Best Original: The Mountain Valley Sparkling Spring Water
If you’re thirsty, this one is easy to down quickly (no stinging). It has just the right quantity of medium-size bub- bles. And the glass bottle preserves the crisp flavor of water that’s sourced in the Ouachita Mountain valley.
To buy: $2 for a 1-liter bottle; at grocery stores.
Best Orange: La Croix Tangerine
Others were stale or flavorless. By contrast, this pick reminded us of freshly squeezed orange juice—a bit like a mimosa sans champagne.
To buy: $11 for 12 pack; amazon.com.