We tried the new cherry blossom-flavored LaCroix so you don't have to LaCroix promises a "dazzling taste of blossoming Spring" with its newest flavor, but our taste-testers were instead left confused about whether there's any spring at all.
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We tried the new cherry blossom-flavored LaCroix so you don't have to

Cherry blossoms-flavored sparkling water? Of course we tried it. Martin Austermuhle/WAMU/DCist hide caption

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Martin Austermuhle/WAMU/DCist

Let's be fair to Washington's favorite seasonal flower: For as fleetingly pretty as it is, the cherry blossom doesn't taste like a whole lot. (At least, that's what an arborist told me.) And that means that when it comes to flavoring drinks or food after the cherry blossom, it's basically left to the creator to give flavor to the iconic flower.

In most cases, they defer to the logical — cherries. But not Wisconsin-based sparking water giant LaCroix. With their newest cherry-blossom flavored offering, unveiled last month and on sale just as cherry blossoms are at peak bloom, LaCroix opted for ... well, we're not totally sure.

A select group of DCist/WAMU reporters, producers, and editors with sharp taste buds and even sharper opinions gathered today to taste-test the cherry blossom-flavored sparking water. We cleansed our palates, picked the right cups to maximize swirling and thus the development of any floral notes, and isolated ourselves in dark rooms to allow our taste buds to truly savor the experience.

OK, fine: We poured some of the bubbly water into plastic cups and had at it.

Did it match LaCroix's promise of a "botanical twist of sweet and tart, the dazzling taste of blossoming Spring!" Reactions were certainly mixed, but none of our taste-testers seemed to be particularly dazzled. Confused? Absolutely.

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"The best way I can describe this one is... bizarre? It feels like it's LaCroix with an identity crisis," said Ryan Benk, senior producer and editor. "Tastes both like a chocolate cherry and cough syrup. I'd drink it if it was the only thing I had, but I wouldn't drive around in traffic looking for it."

"Weirdly tastes like chocolate, maybe a hint of almond? The flavor just kinda dulls after a while and ends up tasting like any other LaCroix," offered Alexya Brown, our engagement producer. (She also put together a nifty Instagram reel on the taste-testing — check it out here.)

Breaking news editor Lori McCue was similarly nonplussed, though she admitted that the flavor took her back. "I haven't had a Tootsie Roll Pop in at least a decade, but the weird artificial cherry-chocolate flavor came right back to me when I sipped this seltzer. It's a no from me! I think I'll stick with my usual lime flavor when I'm stocking up," she said.

Arts and food editor Rebecca Cooper, who admitted to not liking faux cherry flavors anyhow, was curt: "This is my nightmare flavor."

The central complaint seemed to revolve around the fact that the taste didn't much evoke a feeling of spring, much less a cherry blossom. "I wish it actually tasted floral in some way. All I got was notes of cough syrup mixed with chocolate," said arts and culture reporter Elliot Williams.

"The smell (nutty and chocolatey) didn't match the taste and neither of those matched the cherry blossoms," echoed reporter Colleen Grablick.

"Where's the 'blossom'?" demanded Benk.

Another point of interest: the sparkling water's smell. In short, it's significantly stronger than the flavor. Some of the taste-testers hated it, but Brown found something to appreciate. "Smells really nice, and I love the pink can," she said.

General assignment reporter Amanda Michelle Gomez says she came in with low expectations, but left pleasantly surprised. "After having drunk nearly a full can, I've come to appreciate the root beer-ish notes. I am now looking up Tootsie Roll drink recipes because a splash of this sparkly could be a nice touch," she said.

Héctor Arzate, our immigrant communities reporter, was the most pleased of the group. "While it's not my favorite flavor, it's a welcome addition to my daily rotation of sparkling waters. Seriously, I drink three cans a day and it's not bad," he said. "Now if only I could find it at the store!"

Host Esther Ciammachilli did her own separate taste test, and like Héctor, she won't rule out trying it again. "Doesn't smell like flowers. That's always a good sign," she said in her Twitter review. "It has a very subtle cherry flavor. Totally not was I was expecting. I was expecting a very flowery flavor and aroma. I'm pleasantly surprised, to be honest. Not that bad. I'll give it a six out 10. I'm going to stick with grapefruit."

Maybe the closest that LaCroix actually got to real cherry blossoms is in terms of scarcity — we've both heard and experienced that the new flavor can be tough to come by, and we can't promise it'll be around for very long. LaCroix's own flavor locator says that there's none to be found in our area. (But for what it's worth, our supply came from the Harris Teeter on Kalorama Road NW.)

This story is from DCist.com, the local news site of WAMU.

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