I have a brief window of opportunity where my brain is allowing me to change my default drink of choice. It could be my taste buds evolving, some secret recipe update, or the news that the WHO is saying aspartame as “possibly carcinogenic”… but for whatever reason Diet Coke doesn’t taste as good to me as it used to, so I’m making changes. There’s a new beverage in my fridge: Liquid Death.

A box of grim leafer from liquid death. The artwork on the can is a melty white illustrated skull on black swimming upwards to dripping golden area with the company branding.

Liquid Death? Isn’t that just water in a can? Yes, but specifically I’m enjoying the “Grim Leafer”, their agave iced tea. It’s a light flavor – agave-sweet, but not too sweet – an enjoyable step up from drinking boring ol’ water from a can. Although, the water in the ice cold can is delicious, cool, and refreshing. I’ve tried other drinks, but Liquid Death has been the one candidate with enough potential for a successful wholesale switch.

Liquid Death is an interesting product to me. It’s entire brand is: water, but hardcore. As if Monster energy drinks started doing yoga and got passionate about staying hydrated. A weird blend of dad jokes and toxic masculinity applied to water. Why does water have to have skulls? Why not fill up a water bottle?

I guess my answer for that is… I have water bottles. Thousands. I can do that but let’s be honest, sipping on water bottles is boring. A water bottle or double walled tumbler can’t match the tactile thrill of snapping into a cold one… mmm… that’s the user experience I crave. Me, a god, breaking open metal canisters with my bare hands. It’s not that sensational, but there’s a dopamine hit and selfish reward center activated in my brain.

One day I’ll ditch the cans and move over to plain ol’ sun tea or kombucha I brew in a window or closet (respectively). One habit substitution at a time though, starting with eliminating the “possibly carcinogenic” one.