Maybe it’s just me, but in the past few years, it seems there’s been an explosion of various new beverages. Different types of tea, energy drinks, and flavored waters have hit grocery store shelves. In many cases, they are promoted for their healthy benefits, weather it’s more focus or additional vitamins or something else entirely. With these claims, I can’t help but be skeptical. It could be simply because I’m getting older and more crotchety by the day. However, when I don’t recognize half the ingredients listed on the back of my beverage, it worries me a bit. Call me old fashion, or simplistic, or possibly even progressive, but I would like what I drink to be simple and made with real, natural ingredients.

That brings me to Hint waters. When my editor informed me some flavored waters were arriving, I wasn’t too excited. I figured that meant I’d be sampling a beverage claiming to be water when it was really water plus sugar or sweetener with a few supposed healthy mystery ingredients. But when I actually got my hands on the bottles, I was surprised. The ingredient list was incredibly simple: water and natural fruit flavors. There was no sugar, no artificial sweetener, and no mystery ingredients. Such simplicity was a small victory itself. Of course, the most important question still remained. How did they taste?

To answer that, I will say this. If you enjoy drinking sugar water and have made your peace with the fact that it really isn’t very good for you, then stick with your current beverage. However, if you actually are concerned with putting good stuff into your body, but aren’t a fan of totally flavorless drinks, I’d highly recommend trying Hint waters. When chilled, they are clean and refreshing, with just enough fruit flavors to perk up your taste buds. These waters are not sweet – just lightly accented by authentic fruit flavors. It could be a great way to start drinking more water in a day or a way to cut down your caloric intake if you’re willing to give up sugary beverages. All four flavors I sampled were solid. My personal favorites among them were watermelon and mango-grapefruit, but read about each of them and try them for yourself. They are widely available at many supermarkets and at Starbucks.

Hint Watermelon: Nice and clean on the palate. Subtle watermelon flavor but still enough that you notice. Adds a bit of a twist to just plain water.

Hint Mango-grapefruit: Most pronounced flavor of the ones I tried, but certainly not overpowering at all. It’s still clean and refreshing, just with a bit more pizzazz.

Hint Pomegranate-tangerine: Quite approachable with well-balanced flavors. More pomegranate up front followed by tangerine. Finish has a palpable note of fruit skin to it. It’s subtle yet still interesting.

Hint Blackberry: Distinct, authentic blackberry notes. A softer element to this flavor. Still clean and refreshing.

By Michael Perkins