Updated September 18, 2019
I’ve kind of become a fan of hard seltzer waters. They’re especially great in the summer, when you want the booze, but don’t want to be weighed down. You know…tastes great, less filling? Like that old beer slogan? The biggest question is – can something truly taste great AND be less filling? Yes! Hard seltzers can! But not all of them are the same. The biggest bonus I’ve experienced from hard seltzer waters are that you NEVER seem to get a hangover after a night of drinking them – no matter HOW many you have! And that, my friends, is a HUGE plus! I encourage everyone to give these things a try, even if you might turn your nose up at them for being appealing to hipsters/millennials, being too “girly,” being “too trendy,” or too “gluten free.” I’m a big fan of beer, but in the summer, it’s sometimes nice to take a bit of a break from beer. And I’m NEVER one to do things just because it’s “trendy!”
I’m going to provide some reviews of the different hard seltzers I’ve tried since the spring of 2017. As for calories, they’re all going to range from about 88 to 110. The focus of this blog is going to be the most important things of all – the taste – and the “boozability!” Without further ado…
Truly Hard Seltzer (AKA “Lionel Richie Fizzy Boozy Water”)
It’s always essential to take photos of booze bottles in the most flattering lighting possible, and if you have fresh produce from your garden you can sneak into the photo, go for it!
Of all of the hard seltzers, I’ve tried, I would rank Truly (owned by Sam Adams) as the best-tasting. Though it is pictured in a bottle, it is also available in cans, which are much more convenient for…just about everything that involves leaving your house – camping, boating, fireworks viewing, you name it! Per its web site, the available flavors include berry, pomegranate, colima lime, and grapefruit/pomelo. I am honestly not sure what a pomelo is (checks Google, smallish grapefruit…OK)! But in general, I have not really enjoyed the grapefruit varieties of ANY of the hard seltzers I’ve had. Lime, hands down, seems to be the best of all of the flavors, though my favorite “mix” out there is the berry mix…. As for calories, this one weighs in at 100 calories, 1 gram of sugar per serving, and 5.0 % ABV. If you’re a fairly “seasoned” drinker, this will be a good “distance drink” for you because it is (imho) the best tasting. Listening to Lionel Richie’s hit song Truly while consuming it is completely optional! It is also entirely optional to wear a polo shirt with a sweater thrown over your shoulders with a pair of deck shoes (no socks). For inquiring minds, “Truly” hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts in 1982.
I’m not sure what to say about that look on his face…but that popped collar? The ’80s called…they want their polo shirt back (wait…that WAS the ’80s, so it can stay there)! True story, I was once dared to “unpop” the collar of a guy’s shirt in a bar, and was offered $20 to do it. I did it. The guy never offered to pay me to do that again. The guy popped his collar back after I unpopped it, and I did it again. He was afraid to touch it after that (LOL)!
Henry’s Hard Seltzer
View from the deck outside my parents-in-law’s home on the Muskegon River
If you want to drink an adult version of 7-Up without all of the sugar, this drink is for you! Also, if you are a lightweight when it comes to drinking, this one also is for you! Weighing in at 88 calories and 4.2 percent ABV, this one is NOT for serious drinkers who want to get a buzz (unless you want to add Triple Sec, vodka or rum to it)! Triple Sec is a cheap way to “pump up” the hard seltzers (a little pro tip for you all)! I have heard about people adding vodka to Henry’s Hard sodas (at that point you’re just best off going with straight up cocktails, imho). Henry’s Hard Seltzer is also available in cans, and comes in flavors including passion fruit, lemon-lime, and strawberry kiwi.
White Claw Hard Seltzer
White Claw Hard Seltzer
I’ve drank quite a lot of this one. The “natural lime” flavor is the best of all of them, and the black cherry flavor is OK, but meh…I guess I just don’t like grapefruit flavors! This one is 110 calories and is a bit beefier in the booziness department at 5 percent ABV. I believe this one is only available in cans. This is currently the best-selling of all of the hard seltzers on the market right now.
Spiked Seltzer Hard Seltzer (Now Called Bon & Viv)
We tried these for the first time in April, 2018 on a camping trip.
Spiked Seltzer Hard Seltzer (now called Bon & Viv). For some strange reason I was not able to access this company’s web site, but if memory serves, it comes in flavors including cranberry, orange, lime, and grapefruit. Possibly cherry. I honestly don’t recall. Weighing in at 110 calories and 6 percent ABV, I give it two thumbs up – for both flavor (only disliked the grapefruit flavor) and “boozability.” But that was then…these drinks no longer have a 6 percent ABV content (sadface)!
UPDATE, the most recent time I bought these the ABV was reduced to 4.5 percent. Unsure about why they made the change, but…dislike! Here is an article about the 25 percent reduction in the ABV. Other customers were apparently displeased, too).
Cape Line Sparkling Cocktails
Found these at an Ypsilanti, MI Kroger store today. And bonus – they were on sale! Saw the low 4.5 percent ABV so we added a $5.99 bottle of Triple Sec (pro tip).
As of this posting in April, 2019, there were three flavors of these things available – margarita, blackberry mojito, and strawberry lemonade. All of these flavors are very good! They are not too sweet, and actually kind of remind me of the cocktails I make, which are typically club soda, vodka and fruit juice concoctions. The colors in these drinks are provided by fruit juices. Aside from the lackluster 4.5 percent ABV, I’ll give these a thumbs-up! I’d buy these again.
But Bon & Viv, you played some dirty pool with us by giving us 6 percent ABV hard seltzers – and then scaling them back to 4.5 percent! Shame on you. I will be boycotting Bon & Viv products from here on out. Had they started out as 4.5 percent and kept it there, that would have been OK. But they TOOK AWAY THE ALCOHOL. For that, I cannot forgive you, Bon & Viv! Now what would Amy Poehler in Mr. Woodcock say about this?
This was probably the funniest scene from this movie!
Natty Light Hard Seltzer
Anheuser Busch is driving a “hard” bargain with these!
I tried these over Labor Day weekend. Though I primarily drank the mango peach flavor, the catalina lime mixer was also good! These cost about $10.99 for a 12-pack and weigh in at 6 percent ABV! Let’s see…tasty, strong, cheap? Yes, I definitely will be buying these again!
Other Hard Seltzers To Try
PBR, Four Loco and Bud Light have all recently entered the hard seltzer game (the first two entries are apparently very strong in ABV). I have not tried any of these, I’ll update this blog with reviews if I do! Though I think 6 percent is high enough of an ABV for a “crushable” drink.
So there you go! Want to expand your drinking horizons a bit? Go no further than giving a “hard seltzer” water a try today! They’re great for those nights at home, camping trips, picnics and proving to millennials that you’re JUST LIKE THEM! 🙂