Great-Tasting Aura Bora Sparkling Water Is Flavored With Real Herbs, Fruits and Flowers
I've been on the sparkling water train for more than a year now, and while I'll never turn my nose up at a La Croix, I'm always on the lookout for brands and flavors that can offer something beyond the typical fruity blends.
My go-to has become a Kroger brand seltzer inspired by Dr. Pepper, and while I love the flavor, I admit I have no idea what actually goes into it to make it taste that way. In fact, I've become all too used to most seltzers listing their ingredients only as carbonated water and natural and/or artificial flavors, making their actual components a bit of a mystery.
That's what immediately attracted me to Aura Bora, a sparkling water brand that's all about using real ingredients to instill their drinks with great flavor. When a rep reached out to me, I didn't have to think twice about giving them a shot—and here's what I really think about them.
Aura Bora is sparkling water flavored with actual herbs, fruits and flowers, so you always know exactly what you're putting into your body as you sip. They're plant-based, non-GMO and gluten-free, containing no artificial flavors. They're also free of sugar, sodium and calories, so you can gulp to your heart's content. Even better yet, they're part of the 1% for the Planet initiative, donating 1% of their sales to environmental nonprofits.
Aura Bora comes in five unique flavors: Cactus Rose, Lavender Cucumber, Peppermint Watermelon, Basil Berry and Lemongrass Coconut. You can order Aura Bora online, or click here to find a list of locations where they can be found in California, Colorado and Wyoming. The beverages come in 12 oz. cans, and whether you just want to buy one flavor or try a variety pack, a dozen cans sells for $30.
Before I even cracked open the Cactus Rose can, I was taken away by the creative art all over this can, featuring a desert full of birds sitting atop prickly cactuses. In fact, every can in the collection has a unique piece of art on it, quickly drawing in the eye and making the mouth water.
When I did finally pop open the tab, the fizzy bubbles that leaped out of the mouth had a faint rosewater scent, and at first sip, I mostly got a delicate floral aroma. It was light and barely there, but also welcome. As I sipped more, the cactus really started to come through. It was soft and pear-like. It also had an aftertaste a bit like bubblegum, minus the sweetness. I thought it was delicious and would be happy to have it again.
Next up, I tried the Lavender Cucumber flavor, contained in a purple can covered in sloths and cucumbers. Again, I was hit with a floral fragrance when I opened the can, but this time it was herbal lavender. That was the primary flavor in the can as well, backed by the cool, earthy taste of cucumber. I happen to be a big fan of lavender scent and flavoring, so I adored this, but I also know people who can't stand it, so your mileage will likely vary.
Peppermint Watermelon sounded like the ultimate summer flavor combination, so I was excited to start sipping from this pink can decked out with watermelon-chomping gators. The flavor did not disappoint. It was immediately crisp and refreshing thanks to the watermelon flavor, with the delicate mint aftertaste coming in afterward. I was surprised to find that it didn't clash too much with the fruity essence. I would have thought spearmint would be a better complement, but this proved me wrong.
Basil Berry might sound like a weird flavor combination at first, but I'm personally a huge fan of ripping up fresh basil leaves and mixing them in with fruit, so I was excited to see how they'd work together in this sparkling water can. Quite well, it turns out. The fruity strawberry in the can was the most prominent flavor, with the basil punching through potently in the aftertaste to give it a little bite. The flavors worked so well together that the can was drained fast and left me wanting even more.
Last but definitely not least, it was time to try the Lemongrass Coconut flavor, contained in a white can occupied by colorful chameleons. From first whiff, I loved the lemongrass scent and flavor hiding within the can, which immediately evoked rich Thai flavors. Lemongrass always pairs beautifully with coconut, making this a crowd-pleasing flavor that's also one of the most refreshing.
If you love seltzer and you're curious about experimenting with fabulous natural flavor combinations, Aura Bora is just for you. It's anything but the same boring fruit seltzers you're probably used to, and it just might turn you on to a unique pairing of tastes that you never would have thought of on your own.
At the same time, if you dislike sparkling waters in general, you'll probably want to steer clear of these. Unless you're right on the edge of acquiring a taste for it, these probably won't win you over, and in fact might repel you because the flavors are so unusual. Because they're a specialty item, they're also pricier than most seltzers at about $2.50 per can, but if natural ingredients and giving back matter to you, it might be worth the splurge. In my opinion, the flavors are definitely worth it.
Bored with your typical seltzers? Click HERE to find out about Sanzo, the sparkling water brand with an Asian twist.