Water You On?!

In which three-quarters of the A&E editors plus Darius review all the waters.

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Poland Spring

Poland Spring is the clear winner. A crowd-pleaser, it has all the qualities that you want in water. Dab on the haters who say that Poland Spring is for normies. Popular things are popular for a reason. This brand doesn’t try to attract customers by launching campaigns with sexy Instagram influencers sipping bottled water on the beach—the quality of the water itself proves everything.

Wonderfully crisp, refreshing, and sharp, it doesn’t have any odd aftertastes like many other water brands do. The palate is strong and elegant, evocative of the beautiful natural springs in Maine where the water is sourced from. Take a small sip of the ice-cold water, either sparkling or flat, and you will be instantly transported into the wilderness, surrounded by roaring waters and rabid bears. Overall, its structure and versatility make it perfect paired with any type of food—be it Rafiqi’s chicken over rice, Ferry’s tuna melt sandwich, or the sushi platter from Whole Foods.

And yes, I really do love Poland Spring enough to consult a wine review website to write this.

Smart Water

Overall, a refreshing and tranquil experience. Some may argue that it tastes just like any other kind of water, but that is simply the fault of their inexperienced tongue sensors. In fact, when drinking Smart Water, one can taste the electrolytes that are boldly advertised on the bottle. The electrolytes are actually so strong that they can easily charge your AirPods in a few minutes while you’re wearing them. Another added bonus: the nozzle at the top of the bottle adds some zest to the drinking journey. If anyone has seen an upward trend in their grades after drinking Smart Water, please let us know.


Woe to the non-millennials who drink this. According to Wikileaks, LaCroix is in fact pronounced “LaCroix,” not “LaCroix” like the peasants say it, with the drink’s only ingredient being gentrified water. Fear not if your tastebuds need tingling, however, because LaCroix has recently announced the release of several new flavors including “Hint of Hint of Lime,” “Single Skittle Dissolved in Water,” “Shy Watermelon,” and most excitingly, “Imagine Like, a Strawberry but with a Low Battery.”


A strong scent of privilege wafts from this water, but that’s about it. Yes, Évian is one of the few waters in mass distribution that meets the World Health Organization standards for drinking water quality, but I’d rather have a refreshing chug of the possibly pesticide-filled Poland Spring than experience the smooth, milky texture of Évian, which you can get for free by traveling to the Cachat Spring in Évian-les-Bains, France by the way. To think that I would pay $1.89 per 16.9-oz bottle of exactly pH 7 water is preposterous. There’s a reason why Évian is “naive” spelled backwards.

Tap Water

Three words. Crunchy. Sensational. A-good-conversation-starter.


The Voss bottle is minimalist and reflects the lowkey goodness of the water within. The brand prides itself on having an ultra-clean product from the depths of Norway where the water is most likely fertilized by the remains of Vikings of centuries past. Compliant with American, Norwegian, and international standards of water quality, Voss still manages to taste and feel like actual water reminiscent of Poland Spring but just that much more fresh. The beverage also comes in glass bottles, further testifying to the quality of the independent laboratory tests on the “finished bottle water product” because no one uses glass if they don’t have to.


While it is questionable whether Fiji water is actually from the Fiji islands, it certainly tastes as naturally artesian as the brand boasts. Even at room temperature, the water remains chilled and refreshing. I could easily drink this and not choke to death after having just run up from the second to 10th floor for drafting, which I (unfortunately) wasn’t able to push to senior year.

The fame of Fiji water, however, comes from the Fiji water girl at the Oscars earlier this year. Without her, there would be no Fiji. Without Fiji, there would be no refreshing pH 7.7 goodness in a fun bottle and without that, I might have to (God forbid) drink regular H2O.


Aquafina’s popularity only comes from the fact that it’s the only “sugary” drink available in Stuyvesant’s vending machines besides the coconut bubble water mineral soda beverages. While great to drink when thirsty, Aquafina loses its appeal soon after with its slightly metallic aftertaste. Aquafina is best served cool but it’s not on par with the coolness of Awkwafina.


It’s basically the same thing as Aquafina. Everything is the same thing as Aquafina. My life is Aquafina. I taste the Dasani again. It is tasteless. Everything is tasteless. I cannot find taste in my life. The Dasani is so tasteless that I can taste my dinner from the Popeyes I ate last night, without anyone to even Snap it to. Wait. I can taste something. The overwhelming taste of salt streams down my face. It is an unpleasant sensation, but nonetheless it is something I can taste. Thank you, Dasani.


While Arizona might be better known for its sensual, smooth, cool iced teas, its water offers a remarkably innovative take on dihydrogen monoxide. From the very first sip through the smooth, pacifier-like nozzle, the drinker is brought back to simpler, purer times: when her back wasn’t broken by a backpack two times bigger than she is, but instead she stayed outside from dawn to dusk on their summer days, playing pick-me-up basketball or ding-dong ditch, when it was so hot that the only source of water dripped from air conditioners and you stood underneath, lapping each and every drop as your last connection to life. The mineral-infused Arizona Vapor Water brings back these simpler times; the water hints at a hidden complexity, the subtle yet strangely metallic aftertaste elevating the water not as mere rehydration serum, but as the nectar of life, imperfect but nonetheless worth a $1.59 purchase.

Boxed Water

Despite the bad rap it gets, boxed water is surprisingly normal. There is nothing distinguishing it from regular tap water except that there is an extra hydrogen molecule in boxed water.

Boiled Water

Rumor has it that The Spectator’s Co-Editor-in-Chief Artem Ilyanok drinks exclusively boiled water in his one of five S’well bottles. It is very likely that boiled water has some side effects, however, because not only does Ilyanok dislike iced tea, but he also looks upon undistilled tap water with distaste. We tried boiled water and it tastes like garbage.

Cactus Water

“Crikey, it’s spikey!” —Oliver Yankel Chaney Stewart

Starbucks Water

It’s nice to know that in my most desperate moments of thirst, everyone’s favorite small, independent, and locally-run business will provide me with complimentary water. Whether it be on a boiling New York City summer day or at 11:00 p.m. at night in Times Square (don’t ask), I can always count on Starbucks to brew me a rejuvenating cup of H2O. Consumer warning: this item is on the top secret menu that can only be found on Twitter threads. To quote the aforementioned threads, “when u get 2 the front of the line, just be like ‘can i get uh just like...a cup of water.’”

Pool Water

In the midst of the 2019-20 presidential campaigns, I’ve been really thinking about the benefits of drinking pool water. Since I was but a wee freshman, I have always remembered the fevered pool rituals that Mr. Bologna would perform every B day but always dismissed them as some watery hoo-ha.

I have seen the truth now. There is a reason children often play in the pool during lazy summer afternoons. Unbeknownst to us, pools are the fountains of youth. They are the givers of life! Raise your arms up with me as we yield our bodies to the great water deities. Aquaman! Poseidon! Aquarius! Take my soul and relieve it of its impurities! Wash away my sins as I yell “BEGONE THOT” and jump into the pool and drink its chlorinated goodness to my heart’s content.