When I think of Topo Chico, I think of sitting at a table outside a trendy restaurant in NYC, enjoying the chillingly refreshing taste of light bubbles. Topo Chico, much like San Pellegrino, is a mineral water that sits somewhere between flat water and full-on seltzer, and comes in a sexy glass bottle. Dubbed “Williamsburg Water” by my co-worker Leora Yashari, Topo Chico is exactly that — cool before it was popular, just like the hipsters who love it. Personally, I love Topo Chico for its size-to-amount ratio of bubbles (it has a ton of small bubbles); when I heard they were releasing a hard seltzer, I obviously pounced.
The Topo Chico hard seltzers, unlike their non-alcoholic counterparts, come in tall skinny cans and in four flavors — Tangy Lemon Lime, Strawberry Guava, Tropical Mango, and Exotic Pineapple. Though Topo Chico does technically have two flavored NA options (grapefruit and lime), they are known for their bubbles much more than their flavor profiles. I was able to get my hands on the first two flavors — Tangy Lemon Lime and Strawberry Guava — so I gathered my co-workers on Zoom, and we put these hipster babies to the test.
We started out with Tangy Lemon Lime, which was almost immediately called out for not tasting like lemon lime. “It tastes like being at the pool, like sunblock and beach club soap, but in a good way,” my co-worker Michelle Santiago Cortes said. “It definitely tastes like sitting at a bar in Key West,” another co-worker, Natalie Gontcharova, added. We came to the conclusion that it tastes like key lime pie and lime skittles and is reminiscent of Key Lime La Croix. Leora, who loves key lime, was a huge fan and our Lifestyle, Wellness, and Social Issues director Kristin Iversen liked it much better than the Mike’s Hard Lemonade Seltzer I made her try last month. When we put it to a vote, most of my team decided this was the best flavor.
Next was Strawberry Guava, which smelled a lot like guava and tasted a lot like strawberry. I liked this flavor way more than the lemon lime, but the majority of my team disagreed. I thought this one tasted like a strawberry daiquiri in the absolute best way. It definitely didn’t have the fizz I wanted, but the flavor was great. Most of my team wished there was more guava and thought it tasted like strawberry candy or watermelon Jolly Ranchers. My co-worker Olivia Harrison put it perfectly: “The aftertaste tastes exactly like bubble gum.”
My biggest gripe was the lack of bubbles. Topo Chico is famous in my household for its massive amount of tiny little perfect bubbles, but the hard seltzer missed the mark. It was barely bubbly and didn’t really make that satisfying opening-a-can-of-soda sound. This was a plus for a few people on our team who don’t love bubbles (I could write an entire essay on why they are wrong, but I digress), but when I’m drinking seltzer, I want that sweet, sweet fizz.
In the end, we all decided that these did make us feel like we were at a Brooklyn rooftop party and it made us very nostalgic for pre-pandemic hot girl summer. We also collectively agreed that we would bring a 12-pack to a party as a status symbol despite its slightly-higher-than-White-Claw price tag. While Topo Chico’s foray into hard seltzer was a mixed bag for the team, I foresee all of us sipping on some Strawberry Guava or Tangy Lemon Lime at an outdoor party at some point in the post-pandemic world.