Though it’s existed for more than three decades, LaCroix has surged in popularity over the last few years—and become a veritable icon of pop culture in the process. Not only has the line of sparkling waters (there are 20 total) inspired a wealth of memes, it’s become the cornerstone of a New York-based fashion line and the subject of numerous flavor rankings, not to mention the focus of an ongoing debate over the brand name’s pronunciation. (Per their site, it is “La-CROY.”) As if that weren’t enough, just this month, San Francisco street artist fnnch exhibited the nine original flavors in a style reminiscent of Warhol’s Campell’s Soup Cans.
Being fans ourselves—not only of LaCroix, but of the built-in-can cocktail in general—we challenged five bartenders to join the cultural maelstrom with their own recipes, each assembled in the can.
Named for one of the many in-jest tributes to the sparkling water (namely, the music video created by LA-based artist Big Dipper), Abigail Gullo’s LaCroix Boi blends coconut LaCroix with blackberry-, raspberry- and lemongrass-infused Aperol, plus Jamaican rum and lime cordial for a totally original take.
The other bartenders stuck to classic templates, be it tropical or all-out tiki. Matt Belanger of Death & Co., for example, riffed on the Mojito by adding rhum agricole, crème de menthe and a squeeze of citrus directly into a lime-flavored LaCroix for his Emerald City (lavishly topped with mint and kaffir lime leaves). Meanwhile, Mother of Pearl beverage director Jane Danger took a cue from Don the Beachcomber’s Demerara Dry Float, adding lime, rum and maraschino liqueur to a can of Passionfruit LaCroix.
On the West Coast, Benjamin Amberg of Portland’s Clyde Common leaned on the Collins construction in his Berry LaCroix High Ball Stepper, which plays off of the botanicals of gin with a fresh mint syrup and a squeeze of lime. And back in New York, we got what is perhaps the most colorful answer to the LaCroix challenge: Natasha David’s Shower Spritz, which combines the heavy-hitter Pamplemousse flavor with measures of Aperol and St-Germain—all topped with mint, lime, grapefruit, an orchid and a LaCroix Boi-approved “shower” of edible glitter.