Ugly Drinks Emulates Your Favorite Sugary Sodas Into Tasty Sugar-Free Sparkling Waters

It wasn't so long ago that I was a daily soda drinker.

Over time, I was able to curb that habit, and getting into seltzers and sparkling waters was a big part of my success. More often than not, I found that it was the bubbles, not the sugar, that really hit the spot. However, most sparkling waters on the market come in fruity or floral flavors, so when I was craving a Dr. Pepper or a Coke, I would either ignore it or cave in and down a sugary soda.

So, when I stumbled upon Ugly Drinks on Instagram, I knew I had to reach out. Their sparkling waters are inspired by classic soda flavors, so you don'have to turn to the carbonated classics to get the taste you're looking for. They were generous enough to send me a few of their flavors to try, and they've won a big fan.

The Brand

Ugly Drinks is a sparkling water brand that's all about recreating classic (and not-so-classic) soda flavors, without the sugar, sweeteners, calories or artificial ingredients. They also have plain-flavored still and sparkling water, but they're best known for the sparkling waters in flavors such as Lemon Lime, Cherry, Orange Soda and more, as well as caffeinated Energy Water in Fruit Punch, Mountain Ugly and Mango flavors.

Their drinks are flavored with a combination of real fruit extracts, essential oils and natural aromas, and they're free of sodium, gluten, citric acid and propylene-glycol, while also being vegan, kosher and non-GMO. For my review, I was sent their Variety pack, including eight each of their Fruit Punch, Cherry Cola and Dr. Ugly flavored in 12 oz. cans (24 cans in total.) It sells for $24.99, or for $22.49 if you sign up for a subscription to get your Ugly Drinks delivered every 14, 30, 45, 60 or 90 days. If you're near a CVS, you can also get eight-packs there for just $4.99.

Ugly Drinks variety pack

(via Ugly Drinks)


The Flavors

Fruit Punch

Fruit Punch may not technically be a soda, but I was just as curious about trying it because it wasn't a flavor I'd seen before in sparkling water form. From the very first sip, I was hooked. As I mentioned before, it's not at all sweet, but it's got all of the fruity, rich essence of a classic red fruit punch nonetheless. If you like sparkling waters and you like fruit punch, it's the very best version of those two things combined, and is sure to keep your taste buds happy.

Ugly Drinks Fruit Punch flavor

(via Ugly Drinks)


Cherry Cola

Now, here was one I was really excited about. Even when I am drinking a lot of soda, a cherry-flavored cola is a rare treat, and I love that Ugly Drinks can make that flavor more of an everyday experience for me. Now, the flavor of a cola isn'quite the same when it's not packed with sugar, but this Cherry Cola sparkling water still captures its slightly tart and acidic flavor, with a bit of fruity cherry finish. If you're new to drinking sparkling water, it may not tick all of your boxes, but I personally am very glad that it exists.

Ugly Drinks Cherry Cola flavor

(via Ugly Drinks)


Dr. Ugly

When a drink has the word "doctor" in it, you know that it's trying to recreate the iconic flavor of a Dr. Pepper, and while many brands have tried, few have succeeded. I happen to think that Ugly Drinks is one of the select few who get it right. Again, without any sweetener, it's never going to taste exactly like a real Dr. Pepper, but it somehow manages to hit all of the same notes, tasting a bit like the Cherry Cola flavor but with even more complexity to the taste. If you're switching directly from Dr. Pepper, you'll probably be in for a bit of a shock, but if you're already a sparkling water fan, this will exceed your expectations, and then some.

Ugly Drinks Dr Ugly flavor

(via Ugly Drinks)


Bottom Line

I think Ugly Drinks have just become my go-to seltzers for when I'm in the mood for a soda but don't want to feel weighed down afterward. They know exactly how to pull off great flavors without any sweeteners or artificial flavors, and I'm not ashamed to admit that after a couple of weeks, I've nearly polished off the whole 24-pack! And then there's the price. Ugly Drinks are a bit pricier than your average supermarket seltzers, at about $1 per can (and even cheaper at CVS) , they definitely beat a lot of the competition in the premium sparkling water category, and I'm definitely considering signing up for a subscription so I never have to run out.


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