Countless friends have seen me sipping La Croix and asked for my secret. “How do you like that stuff?” they ask, skeptically narrowing their eyes.
I — obviously lounging on a pool chair whenever they ask — lift my sunglasses to acknowledge them, then glance back at the can perspiring in my hand. “It’s an acquired taste,” I say knowingly as I raise the can to take another sip.
Believe it or not, I, too, was once on the outs when it came to this fizzy refreshment. Just a few short months ago, I questioned my La Croix-loving brother about his fondness for the stuff. “It tastes like you’re licking a Brillo pad,” I told him.
But that was before I had learned the way of the Croix. Now I know the pleasure of this faintly fruity Brillo pad of a drink, and I’m generously offering you this free 5-step plan to becoming a La Croixnnoisseur:
Step 1: Accept that it’s your only option.
We have modern science to thank for many things — like antibiotics and self-driving cars and empirical proof that literally everything will kill us. (Even antibiotics and self-driving cars, so, haha, joke’s on us.)
Among the things that will kill (and/or damage) us: just about every drink on the market. It’s crucial when considering La Croix as a drink option to realize that you don’t actually have any other options, not if you want to live.
That tap water? Full of government-funded fluoride.
That milk? Enjoy the acne.
That almond milk? Thanks for destroying California.
That soy milk? Hello, man boobs.
That fruit juice? I think you mean sugar juice.
That Coke? How about a vat of acid.
That Diet Coke? Don’t forget what happened to those lab rats.
That coffee? Better use a straw if you want to keep your teeth.
That straw? GOODBYE, SEA CREATURES.
Now that La Croix doesn’t sound so bad after all, does it?
Step 2: Pay too much for it.
Once you’ve accepted that La Croix is the least lethal drink available to you, it’s important that you pay top dollar for it. This makes it feel sophisticated. So don’t buy the generic kind, and don’t buy it on sale. In fact, consider purchasing your first pack at Whole Foods to ensure it costs as much as possible — or start with the pricier La Croix Cúrate line. Cúrate (French for marketing genius) comes in more exotic flavors and taller, skinnier cans that allude to a taller, skinnier, more exotic you — the one who would undoubtedly emerge if only you’d stop drinking so much Coke and tap water, you peasant.
If you buy an 8-pack of 12-ounce cans of La Croix for $4.00, you’ve paid roughly $0.04 per ounce of La Croix. Tap water, by comparison, costs $0.00002 per ounce. So when you down a La Croix, you’re guzzling a water that costs 2,000 times more than regular water. That’s like Beyoncé-level rich and fancy, available to you in the drink aisle of your local supermarket.
I recommend starting with the classic pamplemousse (French for grapefruit) flavor, but really anything except coconut (French for sunscreen) is a fine place to start. You’re going to want to work your way through as many flavors as possible until you find your favorite. Key lime and kiwi sandía are my personal favorites, but I tried at least a half dozen others before I found these. I’m sippin’ on a berry as I type.
Step 3: Get it ice cold.
Do not attempt to drink a La Croix when you’ve first gotten home from the grocery store and it’s all warm from being in your car. Don’t pour it over ice and think you’ve solved the problem. Don’t put it in the freezer for five minutes and pretend like it’s okay. It’s not okay.
You need to put that box of La Croix in the refrigerator — in the back near whatever it is that keeps fridges cold — and you need to let it rest there overnight. This not only gets it consistently cold throughout but also builds the anticipation.
So how cold am I talking? Think on the verge of frostbite at the peak of Everest. No, colder! Making a snow angel on the surface of Pluto. COLDER! Summertime in an office whose AC is controlled by men. There you go.
Step 4: Use it as a replacement treat.
When are you most tempted to make a poor dietary decision? For me it’s in the afternoon when I’m tired but still have work to do. It’s then that I’m most inclined to bargain with myself. “I’ll write this report for you, Kate — if you, Kate, let me eat dark chocolate while I do it.” I’m like Smeagol and Gollum having a sad conversation with myself.
For you it may be the mid-morning, when your lunch break is still two hours away and the donuts your co-worker brought in are so accessible, or it may be after dinner when you feel like you’ve done a good job of eating healthy all day and you deserve something sweet.
These times are when you want to start using La Croix instead. (I’m fully aware of the connotations the word “using” carries, and they are not entirely inappropriate.)
Mundane activities are also an ideal reason to grab a La Croix. Drink one while you’re doing the dishes, while you’re folding the laundry, while you’re vacuuming.
Now, let the lack of regret wash over you. You made a good choice. The absence of self-loathing feels so good, doesn’t it?
You’re training your brain to see La Croix as a reward. This is highly scientific stuff, you guys. Neuroplasticity and what-not. I am basically a psychiatrist.
Step 5: Drink it every day.
Repeat step 4 every day UNTIL YOU LIKE THE STUFF. Repeat step 4 until you can barely make it through life without a La Croix in your hand. Repeat step 4 until your entire fridge is just a shrine to the various La Croix flavors and your recycling bin is basically a rainbow of metallic cans.
You see, the key to liking La Croix is drinking La Croix over and over until you forget what other drinks taste like. Soon it will become your bubbly pick-me-up — nay, your beacon of refreshment in a dark world. And once you’ve reached this point, you can start buying the generic stuff or even making your own at home like the peasant you once were. You’re not Beyoncé after all.