For whatever reason, in the last few years, the popularity of hard seltzer has skyrocketed. From brilliant, primetime commercials to memes – it seems like seltzers have made a way into every aspect of our lives. With that much media coverage, it’s hard to resist the temptation to explore and try out some new flavor or even try them for the first time. Even if you have tried a few of them back in the day and decided you didn’t like them, with so many new products and flavours on the market right now, it might be a good time to give this refreshing drink one more chance.
As we’ve mentioned, over the last few years, these drinks have tremendously risen in popularity. That has led to many different flavors flooding the market and enthusiasts have had to find a way to keep track with all of them. There have been many reviews on the individual flavors over the years, but simply listing the products and reviewing them is not enough. We’ve decided to do things a little bit differently.
What we have brewing for you here today is an article that will divide seltzers into categories, show you what you should focus on and, of course, give you a few tips on how to find the perfect one just for you.
What is hard seltzer?
First of all, we have to understand what this drink is if we’re going to get into details. Also, we should think about those of us who are still new to this and may not know at all what seltzers are. With all that being said, this is not an easy question to answer. There is no clear definition for this product. In general, hard seltzers are sparking, mildly flavored drinks with low alcohol content, sort of like the beer. However, there are a lot of different ways to achieve that, as you’ll see later on.
Most of the pioneers in the business create ‘flavored malt beverages’, which basically sounds like a beer with a fruity aroma. What this means is that these beverages are being made by brewing malt or fermenting can sugar. That’s what makes them alcoholic. After that, the natural flavorings are added to the mix, after which the drink is carbonated and canned.
As we’ve previously mentioned, there are few different kinds of seltzers, which basically means they’re made in ways other than the previously mentioned one. Some of the brands now include different alcohol base, for instance, they’ll use distilled spirit, wine or fresh fruit for their base.
Finally, what unites them all is nutritional value. According to seltzernation.com, all of these drinks should contain less than 5% ABV, fewer than 150 calories and fewer than 10 grams of carbs per 12 ounces.
Now that we’ve learned what a seltzer is, let us dive in a little bit deeper and try and find out how we can find the perfect flavored ones.
1. Start With The Big Brands
Starting with the basics is the best way to find the best match. The market is obviously dominated by three major players – as you probably already know if you own a TV. White Claw, Truly Hard Seltzer and Bud Light Seltzer are everywhere and they should be your first stop.
On paper, all of them are the same – 5% ABV, 100 calories, 2 grams of carbs. Flavors? Cherry, lemon, lime, grapefruit and the rest of the usual fruity selection. Once you try them all out, you’ll notice that all of them taste virtually the same. You’ll only notice the subtle differences between tropical fruit and berry flavored ones.
2. Move On To Craft Brands
After you’ve done with the initiation into the world of sparkly, mildly flavored drinks, the next step would be to explore the realms of the craft seltzers. What you’ll notice right away is that the main difference is in the alcoholic base and how that’s achieved. The most famous, beer-based seltzers come from well-established breweries who have decided to branch out. By now, you should be able to notice a richer, fuller texture, compared to the ‘commercial’ brands.
If you’re looking for a more vibrant, fruity experience – you might want to try out some craft brands that use fresh fruit as ingredients. You’ll be able to tell these apart even visually as they’ll sport a light hue resembling the used fruit.
Now, all of this is great, but, how do you actually know which ones should you buy? Well, we have a few tips on that, too.
3. Read Reviews
As we’ve mentioned in the beginning, there are many seltzer enthusiasts out there and some of them are renowned critics and reviewers of these beverages. Not only will this be very useful for beginners, but also for adventurers who would like to explore a little bit more, but don’t know where to start. These reviews will often paint such a beautiful picture, you’ll be certain to form a good impression of a drink, just based off of a review. However, try and stay with trusted and proven sources, as you’ll find the best information that way.
4. Try Them Out
Finally, as you’ve probably could’ve guessed it, the best way to find the perfect flavor is to drink more seltzers. Start small and move your way up. Or, should we say, start big and move on to the smaller companies? Either way, the only way you’ll know what you enjoy the most is through experience. Every now and then, grab a new can, a new brand and flavor you haven’t tried before and see what happens. You might’ve thought you’re a lemon-lime man your whole life, but then you taste the cranberry and you forget about citrus aromas. You don’t know until you try.
5. Try These Out
We promised we’ll recommend a few of these and we intend on keeping our promise.
- Lift Bridge St. Croix Berries
- Canteen Spirits Watermelon
- Vive Dragonfruit
- Wild Basin Lemon Agave Hibiscus
- H2Roads Raspberry
There’s only so much we can do to help you find your signature seltzer flavor. Hopefully, we’ve managed to point you in the right direction so you get there a little bit faster. Enjoy them and don’t forget to drink responsibly.