Syracuse students are starting to discover the best drink ever created. LaCroix has always existed at the edge of our collective consciousness. Often, it’s impossible to remember the first time you encountered one; they’ve always been there, like a word you learned years ago or a movie you watched as a child. The garishly beautiful cans greet you on store shelves like old friends. Maybe you started enjoying them lounging by the pool, or throwing one back after another day at work, or in your cool friend’s dorm room. LaCroix exists as many things to many people, a drink to some, a lifestyle to many, an obsession to others.
In the past year, the sparkling beverage has enjoyed a renaissance of sorts. LaCroix was created over 30 years ago as a humble Midwestern seltzer brand based out of Wisconsin, but with an exotic name that almost made it mysterious. Instead of striving for luxury like San Pellegrino or Perrier, the company made its aura decidedly more democratic and fun. Despite its excellence, and LaCroix is excellent, the drink didn’t make a splash until a few years ago.
Its rise came at the beginning of our current health craze. It became trendy for health-conscious young people to give up junk food and soda and replace them with kale and sparkling water. Suddenly, moms weren’t the ones buying LaCroix—college students began to buy it with gusto.
It’s healthy, sure, with zero calories, sugar, or carbs, but what really distinguishes the drink is its effortless balance between unpretentious and cool. It’s flashier than store-brand seltzer, less bougie than San Pellegrino, and prettier than whatever the hell Sparkling Ice is. Most importantly, it’s fucking delicious. It contains the essence of flavor—a mere whisper of lime or cherry. Somehow, it is more than the sum of its parts. A can of LaCroix can cure anything.
The craze rose to new heights last summer, with a thinkpiece in the New York Times, an investigative report in Vox, and even a site to design your own can. Its addictive qualities were expounded upon via social media.
These days, the drink has become a dorm room staple. Nestled next to half-empty New Amsterdam bottles and cases of Top Ramen, its gaudy colors shimmer like magic. Floormates constantly steal and trade the stuff, the college equivalent of cigarettes in a jail cell. Pamplemousse hits like a drug.
Syracuse is catching on to the trend. Sorority girls sport “La Croixs Over Boys” shirts, and subtle LaCroix laptop stickers are a common sight in Schine. There’s no better way to ride out a blizzard than with a can of lime or apricot, watching the snow fall while sipping the essence of a summer day. The drink is a reminder of the outside world, a promise that warmer days are yet to come. LaCroix gives us what we all need.