REVIEW: Sparkling Ice Starburst Flavors

Who among us hasn’t been sitting around eating a fistful of Starburst when the thought suddenly occurred — “This candy is great and all, but what I’d really like to be doing is drinking it”? Well, friends, the good people at Sparkling Ice have read your mind (don’t ask why they were there to begin with; you don’t want to know) and are here with a solution: new Starburst-flavored Sparkling Ice.

If you don’t know Sparkling Ice, it is the primary product offering from Washington State’s Talking Rain beverage company, which started in 1987 and had roughly $500 million in retail sales in 2019. (I couldn’t find more recent sales figures; its website DOES have an extensive FAQ section, however, with real think pieces like, “Why did strawberry kiwi turn pink?” “Is the color safe?” “Is Sparkling Ice vegan?” and “Is it normal to have sediment floating in my Sparkling Ice?”)

And if you don’t know Starburst… that’s just weird.

So, does the low-calorie drink accurately capture its chewy sugar cube inspiration? As an avid fan of regular Sparkling Ice products, I was eager to find out.


This was the first one I had, and it was the worst. The taste was somewhere between “citrus aspirin” and an orange-Flintstone vitamin that’d been dusted with a heaping of artificial sweetener. The very first part of the drink made me go, “Hey, this tastes like an orange Starburst,” but everything after made me want to rinse my mouth out with paint thinner. Here’s the deal with artificial sweetener — I have no issue with it. Regular Sparkling Ice has it, and I’m a staunchly Zero/Diet guy when it comes to soda. But this was SO bad that it reminded me of being young and first trying Diet Coke, back when it just tasted like poison to a palate honed on only the finest real sugar cane (or, you know, high fructose corn syrup). In any case, I had no desire to drink more than two sips of this.


Though my first thought when I poured this one into the glass was, “Welp, this looks a little like urine,” I had it immediately after Orange, so, you know, there was nowhere to go but up. It managed to taste like its namesake flavor all the way through and had a fraction of the Sucralose taste, which earned it a second-place finish overall.


It tasted like a cherry Starburst, but it also managed to fall somewhere in the middle of the prior two in terms of the artificial sweetener taste. I also caught subtle cough syrup notes, which didn’t help my enjoyment. (Come to think of it, the actual cherry Starbursts sort of have that medicinal taste, too. So they really nailed the flavor on this one.)


Everyone knows that the pink Starburst is the best Starburst, case closed. (Out of the original flavors, that is. Tropical and Baja varieties really muck up the overall rankings with their deliciousness.) This, too, was the best Starburst Sparkling Ice. It captured the candy’s essence well but was once again marred by the sweetener. While it didn’t reach Orange levels of intolerability, it was still more noticeable than the Lemon kind.

In the end, I was surprised by how much I disliked these. The heavy application of Sucralose kept them from being anything I’d feel the need to purchase again. I’ll stick with regular Sparkling Ices and pilfer the Starburst two-packs from my daughter’s Halloween candy.

Purchased Price: $1.19 (each)
Size: 17 oz bottles
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 1 out of 10 (Orange), 3 out of 10 (Lemon), 4 out of 10 (Cherry), 5 out of 10 (Strawberry)
Nutrition Facts: (1 bottle) 5 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 0 milligrams of sodium, 0grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 0 grams of total sugars, and 0 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Sparkling Ice Mystery Flavor 2019

Sparkling Ice Mystery Flavor 2019

What is Sparkling Ice Mystery Flavor 2019?

A new mystery flavored zero-sugar sparkling water from Sparkling Ice just in time for summer! It comes in festive packaging complete with palm tree leaves and one cool sunglass-sporting toucan. Now are those elements supposed to relate to the flavor or are they simply a ruse celebrating its seasonal debut? Hmmmmmmm.

How is it?

Sparkling Ice Mystery Flavor 2019 Clear

I’m a fan of Sparkling Ice’s drinks as they are refreshing, light, and not too sweet. This one is no different and checks all those boxes. As for the flavor, though? It’s a tasty fruity flavor is about all I can say. Interestingly this one does have peach juice as an ingredient, and I definitely smelled it upon opening. I feel like it comes through in the taste as well but just ever so slightly. However, let’s not forget what happened last time when yours truly tried to conquer a mystery Sparkling Ice. There was lemon juice as an ingredient and the flavor turned out to be… wait for it… Passion Fruit Punch.


Sparkling Ice Mystery Flavor 2019 Ingredients

I wish there was some crazy flavor to ingredient algorithm where I could input in peach juice to see what it comes up with. Although, I am digging the glimmering foil on the packaging used for the question marks. Since I got nothing else, I’m gonna take it and run with it. It’s making me think of starfruit which would be a fun, out of left field flavor to have. Since there is a bit of peach, I’m gonna follow suit from last year. The flavor is Starfruit Punch! Boom.

Is there anything else you need to know?

Sparkling Ice Mystery Flavor 2019 Back of Bottle

The drink is clear, low calorie, and caffeine free. It also contains a few vitamins, including antioxidant vitamin A. Also, the toucan is telling us you can guess the flavor to win some prizes. As you can see on the back, there is a cruise with Holland America Line to be won, so get guessing!


If you enjoy a diet beverage and want something refreshing and fruity to deal with the warm weather, this will most certainly do the trick. If you want something that will make you ponder for hours about what the heck the flavor is, because it’s kinda hard to tell, then this will also satisfy you.

Purchased Price: $1.00
Size: 17 fl. oz. bottle
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 0 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 milligrams of sodium, 0 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.