The Sparkling Water I Like Way More than LaCroix

updated May 1, 2019
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(Image credit: Christine Gallary)

There’s no way to downplay this: I’m obsessed with carbonated water. There’s just something about the fizzy goodness that appeals to my tastebuds in a way normal H20 never could. If I’m being honest, I reach for seltzer way, way more than tap water. (Spoiler alert! That’s okay. Read: Is Seltzer an Okay Substitute for Water? Experts Weigh In.)

I know I’m not alone. Recent numbers find that Americans are drinking close to 170 million gallons of seltzer per year. While most Kitchn readers are hardcore LaCroix fans, I prefer a different brand.

(Image credit: Amazon)

I recently stumbled across a new sparkling water brand called Phocus and found myself liking it more than most brands. Yes, even LaCroix.

Buy: Phocus, $20 for 12

At first taste, Phocus seems like any other seltzer or sparkling water brand. It has a great water-to-bubbles ratio and comes in several cool flavors like blood orange and yuzu lime (which, if you ask me, blow Pamplemousse out of the water — though Phocus does have a grapefruit option). It also has the caffeine equivalent of an eight-ounce cup of coffee. The geniuses behind Phocus used ingredients like tea caffeine, L-Theanine, and electrolytes to naturally caffeinate an already-zesty sparkling water.

See, the midday slump is a very real thing, but whenever I grab a cup of coffee or iced tea I usually can’t fall asleep until well after midnight. Phocus, on the other hand, gives me the jolt of energy I need without keeping me wired all night long.

At about $1.66 each, these things aren’t exactly cheap. (You can sometimes find LaCroix at Aldi for just 26 cents a can!) But you’re also not going to drink three of these before lunch, as some of my fellow Kitchn staffers have been known to do with LaCroix. I mean, you could, but you’d be wired. Now that I’ve found Phocus, I have regular seltzer water in the morning and one of these in the afternoon. The only downside: I think the Phocus flavors are so much better than LaCroix, I wish I could chug a bunch at a time. (I don’t because I actually want to sleep at night.)

What do you think about caffeinated seltzer? Yay or nay?