Hint Essence Water is one of the more recent entries into the already crowded field of flavored and/or fortified bottled waters.
The product’s been around for a while, but it has generated some buzz lately, being named one of the 125 Best Foods for Men in 2009 by Men’s Health magazine.
The premise behind Hint is pretty simple: water accented with a hint of natural flavor. The makers of the beverage primarily tout what it doesn’t have. No sugar. No calories. No artificial sweeteners.
What Hint does have is an abundance of flavor varieties, some of them quite intriguing. A flavor such as Strawberry Kiwi, okay, we’ve seen that one before. But Cucumber? That’s a bit more unexpected. Other choices include Peppermint, Raspberry-Lime, Pear, Pomegranate-Tangerine, and Hibiscus Vanilla.
But, what does Hint have going for it as far as taste? To find out, we rounded up the usual suspectsâ€”chefs and assorted foodiesâ€”in our Food Channel test kitchens and took a few hits of Hint for ourselves.
The Taste Test
Well, the name of the product provides a hint as to what you’re in store for, flavor wise. Each of the varieties we sampled had just a hint of flavor. Very subtle. You’re mainly tasting water…not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Some on our panel found these â€˜premium essence watersâ€™ to be wantingâ€”as in, wanting more flavor. A sexy sounding flavor like Hibiscus Vanilla builds up a certain expectation and then you taste it and, well, it can come off a bit flat. Especially if you’re more accustomed to drinking sweet, bubbly carbonated beverages.
But all the flavors we triedâ€”Pear, Honeydew Hibiscus, and Hibiscus Vanillaâ€”were crisp, clean and refreshing. Quite thirst quenching with no artificial aftertaste. We like the idea that the drinks are flavored naturally. They’re not really sweet…Hint is more of an adult beverage.
In summary, we believe you’ll find Hint to be an appropriately named beverage that is subtly satisfying. The flavor comes at you, not in a wave, but a whisper.
For more information on this product, you may visit the Hint web site.