I Remember Real, Actual Fruitwater (Before Coca-Cola)

Silly me, I actually thought for a split-second Coca-Cola was reviving ACTUAL Fruitwater when I read this release on AP. Coke bought Glaceau, the original slingers of Vitamin Water, in 2007 and has been reliably decreasing the amount of fruit, pumping up the fake vitamins and schilling for product placement ever since. This predictable new stuff to the right is "fake soda," not Fruitwater.

The long-discontinued product I'm thinking of was one of Glaceau's first beverages on the market. I discovered ACTUAL Fruitwater about 15 years ago in a health food store looking for something to drink that had neither floating coconut particles nor hand lotion ingredients in it. It was Fruitwater, all-natural with a subtle label 50-Cent probably wouldn't have loaned his name to. It had nothing to do with taurine or guarana, and Splenda hadn't been invented yet. Simpler times, really.

This Fruitwater came in flavors it really, truly tasted like: Raspberry Lime, Cucumber Lemon, Watermelon, Honeydew. Ever had spa water? That's a fancy term for "water in which pieces of fruit have hung out for a spell." It tasted just like that, very subtly naturally sweet and fresh with that same wet drinkability you get from other reverse-osmosified, electrolyte-enhanced bottled water. It was like magic. I expected a blast of fake watermelon grossness, or something created by a scientist who had never actually tasted honeydew. Instead I was delighted to taste heavenly spa water of the finest quality. Hey, you try being a 12-year-old with that discerning a palate and see how many friends it gets you. None, that's how many.

Sadly, Fruitwater was discontinued shortly thereafter. Even before the sale to Coca-Cola, Glaceau's revival of what appeared to be the original had that tongue-numbing artificial sweetener aftertaste, and didn't come in watermelon or honeydew.

"Just infuse water yourself, Jess, it's not hard!"

That's not my point! I want the old Fruitwater back. We bought it by the case from our co-op (predecessor to Whole Foods, look it up). I was a dumbass for thinking they'd given life to something tasty and good for you. But I'll never stop dreaming of that good stuff.

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