3. Raspberry Lime
Like a more successful and less eccentric cousin of Pomegranate, Raspberry Lime is a no-nonsense harbinger of tingly, fruity vibes with minimal undertones and off notes. If it was a beer at a bougie brewery, it would be that lightly hopped farmhouse ale all the homebrewers and heads sip on quietly while the bros dole out high fives over pastry stouts and hazy IPAs. It’s a happy balance of flavor, mouthfeel, and finish that almost anyone can enjoy regardless of background and persuasion, and that right there is a beautiful thing.
2. Triple Berry
Ubiquity is a strange paradox with many upsides. Everyone loves M&Ms because they’re seemingly everywhere, which in turn is likely due to the fact that everyone loves them. The same can be said about Triple Berry, Polar's most timeless and popular flavor by a wide margin. When sparkling water was nothing more than a bland alternative to Diet Coke that often gathered dust in the back corner of cold beverage cases, Triple Berry offered a glimmer of hope and flavor for newly woke soft drink consumers who wondered if all that artificial sweetener was actually bad for them. Retribution is now at hand for said consumer, and the faintly floral sweetness and melted popsicle flavor of Triple Berry is their trophy for being right all along.
It’s by far the best flavor you don’t need to root through the fridge to find, and though it’s likely to get stolen out of your office fridge by a hungover temp, you shouldn’t have any trouble replacing it right away. If Polar shunted the rest of their flavors in favor of a more streamlined approach, Triple Berry would definitely keep the lights on. It’s a timeless classic.
It was the summer of 2007. The iPhone just came out, Animal Collective was the soundtrack to the future, and everyone with a PBR-induced hangover was chugging bottles of Vitamin Water XXX. Since then, Animal Collective spun off the face of the Earth, everyone and their mom moved on to IPA, and science debunked the magical healing powers of a trendsetting beverage that was healthy only in name. Still, no one can erase the pleasure of that first time you chugged a bottle of XXX while sweating bullets at a bus station in an unknown part of town with a dead flip phone and a broken Rainbow Sandal.
Everyone is drinking seltzer water now, and Polar has brought the pomegranate-flavored glory days of 2007 into the future with a remarkable flavor that no other brand can touch. It’s a surge of bubbly joy, replete with a delightful sweetness that fades slowly into a mild tang with a very strange and subtle aftertaste of tongue-coating numbing spice. I wouldn't be at all surprised to find out in a decade that its secret ingredient is grey water from some grimy restaurant in Somerville, but until that day comes, I’ll chase away every soul-crushing hangover I get with a can of this glorious, once-in-a-lifetime beverage.