Drinks

Taste Test: Polar Seltzer Valentine’s Day Flavors

What, exactly, do Red Hearts and Black Hearts taste like?


Red Hearts and Black Hearts are Polar Seltzer's limited-edition flavors for Valentine's Day

Red Hearts and Black Hearts are Polar Seltzer’s limited-edition flavors for Valentine’s Day. / Photo by Madeline Bilis

Love is in the air: Polar Seltzer just released a couple of fun, new flavors. Launched this week for Valentine’s Day, Red Hearts and Black Hearts are the latest small-batch flavors from the Worcester beverage makers. The esoteric names and minimalist labels instantly appeal to both V-Day lovers and haters—but what do they actually taste like?

As is tradition at Boston magazine, a crew of editorial staffers tried them at our offices and present to you, dear readers, our extremely thorough and informative tasting notes. Check out our tasting notes to see if you’re a red heart, a black heart—or maybe just thirsty.

Red Hearts

From Polar (emphasis theirs): “small-batch recipe made with natural flavors, featuring passionfruit & loving peach”

  • Extra sweet on the nose
  • Passionfruit
  • Bright, tropical flavors
  • Strawberry
  • Cherry
  • “Red,” you know, like red candy
  • “It’s 1,000 percent those heart-shaped lollipops you get for Valentine’s Day [Charms]. With that chalky, elevated print, you know? That’s exactly what it smells like.”
  • Fruit punch
  • Sweeter smell, more subtle flavor

Black Hearts Seltzer

From Polar (emphasis theirs, and sic.): “small-batch recipe made with natural flavors, featuring blackbury & champain

  • [The name] sounds like a pop-punk band.
  • Smells like a bag Swedish Fish
  • Berry on the nose
  • Piña colada
  • The Dum-Dums flavor with the green text and yellow-and-white fruit. [Cream soda lollipop]
  • Haribo Frogs
  • “Blue” or “purple” flavor
  • Juicy, bursting berries
  • Bitter

Both new flavors would make great mixers for vodka, white rum, or tequila, with a slice of lime (Red) or lemon (Black).

The eye-catching labels don’t look like a typical Polar liter, with cute, subtly different heart-faces on the front, and customizable “to” and “from” labels on the back. A series of cold-and-hot messages ranging from “You quench my thirst” to “I’d rather drink alone” grace the wrappers—it’s not exactly a conversation heart, but we’ll take it.

Like Polar’s past small-batch bottles Seltzebrate and Unicorn Kisses, the adorable Hearts bottles are totally Instagram-ready. In fact, Polar is hosting a social media contest through February 6 for a chance to win the full set of the collection. Red Hearts and Black Hearts have started hitting shelves around Greater Boston and beyond; check out Polar Seltzer’s product locator to find it near you, then share your photos with the #PolarSeltzer hashtag to enter.

Red Hearts and Black Hearts join this winter’s crop of seasonal flavors, like Vanilla Zen and Hibiscus Cloudberry, alongside Polar’s regular lineup of bubbly water. Stay hydrated, lovers.

Red Hearts and Black Hearts Polar Seltzer

Red Hearts and Black Hearts Polar Seltzer. / Photo by Madeline Bilis