The other afternoon I was enjoying a Guinness in a bar when I noticed the person sitting to my left was drinking a LaCroix with a straw. Just as I was about to roll my eyes and grumble about the superfluous nonsense of sipping a perfectly good can of sparkling water through a straw, I noticed the can was also stuffed with stems of fresh rosemary and thyme.

 Apparently, herb-infused LaCroix is now a thing!

The bubbly beverage is everywhere lately—but the fresh herb incident got me thinking about ways to consume it beyond just guzzling it out of the can. Here are some ideas for making the most of your LaCroix addiction.

About Those Herbs

Adding fresh herbs peps up a can of the trending beverage. You might be tempted to go for mint—possibly with one eye on a mojito flavor profile—but I’d suggest embracing the fall and winter seasons by sticking whole sprigs of rosemary and thyme directly into your can of orange or cran-raspberry LaCroix. It's a good combination and looks suitably rustic. 

Batter Up

You can swap out water for LaCroix in your trusty pancake recipe. The bubbles in the drink make pancakes even fluffier, as the air bubbles work their way into the mix. A splash of LaCroix also adds a hint of those fabled fruit essences to the stack of pancakes. Citrus and berry-based LaCroix works well, especially if you're going the healthy route and topping your pancakes with fruit before slathering them in maple syrup.

You can add LaCroix to tempura batters for a similar effect. This would work a treat with squash blossoms, and give the blooms an especially crackly crunch.

Drinks with a Twist

Back in the liquid world, there are a few easy LaCroix hacks to add variety to your imbibing. Bubbly iced tea is a cinch: Steep some tea bags in boiling water as usual, let it chill in the fridge, then top up with your fizz flavor of choice before serving. (Coconut LaCroix over a black tea-based blend is a smart combo.)

Venturing over to Latin America for inspiration offers up a version of a chia fresca. As the name suggests, you'll be adding chia seeds to LaCroix and letting it congeal. Some chia fresca recipes call for the addition of lemon or lime juice, but your trusty LaCroix will be picking up the flavor duties here. You want to add about one tablespoon of chia seeds to one can of LaCroix. As with all things chia-centric, the seeds will become more gelatinous the longer you leave them.

A Spoonful of LaCroix Helps the Medicine Go Down

Also, if you subscribe to the good gospel of starting the day with a shot of apple cider vinegar, LaCroix can be a vessel to temper some of the acidic edge of your medicine. If you can source it, the apple-berry flavor is a natural fit for this method.

Freeze!

Without bothering to read up on any of the science behind freezing carbonated water, I went ahead and poured a can of peach-pear LaCroix into an ice cube tray and stuck it in the freezer. When I checked back a couple of hours later it had started to freeze—and also expand like a marauding ice monster. I guess this is the air bubbles doing something sciencey. Anyway, if you pop out the ensuing ice mass into a large bowl or Ziploc bag, you can smash it up until it becomes crushed ice. Ideal as a base for mocktails [http://www.lacroixwater.com/recipes/], cocktails, or, as I tried it, pouring a can of pear cider over. The ice will bring a subtle hint of the original LaCroix flavor to your new creation.

Add fresh herbs to your concoction and you’re in truly advanced LaCroix hack territory.