“Three or four or five years ago, a man looked more or less ashamed of himself when he ordered ginger ale, lemon soda, or seltzer,” a bartender noted. “Nowadays, however, everything is changed. [Soft] beverages are the taste of the day.”
It’s a pretty astute summary of today’s craze for fizzy drinks, right? Except this observation was made not in 2019, but in 1885.
The quote comes from author Barry Joseph’s 2018 book Seltzertopia: The Extraordinary Story of an Ordinary Drink, which underlines the enduring popularity of seltzer in America, far beyond the surprise 21st-century resurgence of La Croix.
Every week, the Nuance will go beyond the basics, offering a deep and researched look at the latest science and expert insights on a buzzed-about health topic.
The beverage that was once relegated to Perrier-sipping sophisticates is now among the most popular in America, and for obvious reasons: Who wants to drink boring still water when you can titillate your taste buds with a snappier alternative like LaCroix Pamplemousse? Especially for erstwhile (or still-hooked) soda addicts, sparkling water is a helpful aid — a drink with all the effervescence and none of the sweetener-induced guilt.
But every now and then…