Say no to San Pellegrino


By Xavier Johnson, Scene Editor

From pumpkin spice lattes, Four Locos and craft beers to the nascent stages of Coca Cola over 100 years ago, a constant cultural fixture is trendy beverages.

There comes a point where simply drinking water every time someone is parched becomes boring.

That’s where trendy beverages come in. However, the growing popularity of carbonated mineral water such as Italy’s San Pellegrino and France’s Perrier is baffling.

In coffee shops and supermarkets around the country these distinctive beverages in green bottles stand out like a polished emerald.

Once the $2.50 16 oz. bottle of mildly carbonated water is purchased the disappointment strikes after one sip and hits in two stages.

The first stage begins when the drink hits the tongue.

Naturally, one would expect carbonated mineral water to have some bite.

There is no bite. Instead the taste holds the taste buds hostage with a bitter, under-carbonated taste and a flavor somewhere between watered down Kool-Aid and an open soda that spent the better part of its days sitting a hot car. The second stage is the aftertaste that lingers after it’s swallowed.

Mineral water contains a particular aftertaste that ends the experience with a deflating feeling.

Once the initial realization that the drink isn’t good passes, the taste overstays its welcome as a constant reminder of the disappointment.

After the bad first sip, the human ego takes over and the internal voice said, “I paid $2.50 for this damn drink, I’m gonna’ finish it.”

This is a bad decision.

Now it becomes stubbornness taking over rational thought.

While trying to think about why people enjoy the beverage, it becomes more confusing, considering how easy it is to find merits for why people like every other trendy beverage.

Pumpkin spice lattes are seasonal and retain their novelty.

Four Locos could take a person from sober to black out faster than you can even say San Pellegrino. Colas have a distinct biting taste when chilled that begs the taste buds for one more sip.

But San Pellegrino and Perrier? I just don’t get it.

Mineral water drinkers fall into a wide spectrum as to why they enjoy the drink.

Some genuinely like the taste, some want to be healthy, others don’t know better and lie to themselves.

Many people use the drink as a way to wean themselves off drinking too much soda while not turning to coffee or sugary drinks.

There are many non-soda alternatives for people to drink instead of mineral water that aren’t a tall glass of sugary apple juice or a coffee beverage.

Take tea for example.

Tea can provide the same subtle taste the mineral water drinkers desire without the aftertaste issues and weak carbonation. Plus, tea is still primarily water and not filled with sugar like sodas or juices.

The flavors of teas are more distinct and varied and it’s easy to control how subtle, strong or bitter the taste is depending on how long the tea is steeped.

There is also the ability to have it served hot or cold and caffeinated or non-caffeinated.

If the mineral content is important then take a multivitamin before drinking a tall glass of tap water.

In bottled water, or for the fancy — premium boxed water.

If the carbonation is important there are plenty of non-mineral water sparking beverages available with stronger taste and better carbonation. Go to a local Safeway or other grocery store and there will be store-brand sparkling water in a variety of flavors.

There is a world of beverages out there that offers a better taste than carbonated mineral water like San Pellegrino; Italy’s worst export since fascism, and Perrier.

Next time the thought creeps into your mind to buy the green bottle or a friend offers you one, just say no.