Stories from Healthy Drinks

Arizona Iced Tea Is Getting Into the Sparkling Water Game

Emily Laurence

Emily LaurenceJune 17, 2020

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Photos: Arizona; Art: W+G Creative

In the ’90s and early aughts, Arizona Iced Tea was more than a thirst quencher; it was a 99-cent status symbol. To this day, it’s virtually impossible to see a sprig of cartoon Japanese cherry blossoms against a sea green background and not think of the once-ubiquitous green tea cans.

However, while delicious, the original Arizona product could never be confused for a health drink with its 34 grams of sugar per bottle. That fact (and changing tastes) may be why the brand seemed to fade into the background, along with Clearly Canadian and Snapple peach tea. But get ready for a comeback, because Arizona is launching a whole new product line designed to appeal to our collective love of seltzer. That’s right: Arizona sparkling water is officially for sale—and it’s actually healthy.

The new line of sparkling waters, Santa Fé, consists of five flavors: orange mango, raspberry lime, lemon, Arnold Palmer, and pink grapefruit. Like many other flavored sparkling waters on the market, these new drinks have a mere one gram of sugar per can (some even have none at all), making them a far cry from the teas you used to down while watching Ren & Stimpy.

This is because they are sweetened with ingredients like rosemary oil, lemon extract, tea extract, and real fruit juice instead of added sugar. In some of the flavors, like the raspberry lime, real fruit puree is used in the blends. All of the drinks are made with a carbonated water base to satisfy that need for bubbly.

“I’m super excited to try these,” says registered dietitian Melissa Rifkin, RD. “The ingredients are very wholesome and each flavor is low in sugar.”

While the ingredients in the Arizona sparkling water are definitely healthier than the original iced teas, it would be a stretch to call them a wellness drink since it doesn’t contain any vitamins or nutrients. However, like other kinds of flavored carbonated water, it can potentially be a good way to stay if you hate drinking water, or another alternative to soda and other flavored drinks that won’t sneak in a ton of extra sugar.

Still, as far as summer bevs go, go ahead and make room next to your LaCroix stash for a new sparkling water. Now if only they had a green tea flavor, complete with those cherry blossom cans…

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