The weather is warming, and with that, our drink cravings are shifting. We’re moving away from the heavy reds and malty whiskies, and towards lighter, fresher beverages that we can crack open as early as the afternoon. And among those refreshing beverages, expect to see many a hard seltzer in hand.
Also known as spiked seltzer, alcohol seltzer or hard sparkling water, a hard seltzer is a carbonated water mixed with alcohol and fruit flavouring — real fruit juice or artificial — almost always served in a can.
Most hard seltzers have an alcohol content of 4-6% alcohol by volume (ABV), which is about the same as a light beer, but some can be as high as 12% ABV, the rough equivalent of a standard glass of wine. They’re generally considered to be healthier alternatives to other alcoholic drinks, too, being low-carb, low-alcohol and often gluten-free. Plus, because they come in single-serve size cans, they also have built-in portion control.
So, among the many hard seltzers out there on the market, which ones should you looking to crack open this spring and summer? Ahead are some of our favourites.
The newest on this list, only launching in Australia in October, Topo Chico Hard Seltzer came based off the success of the brand’s mineral water. Try its seltzers in tangy lemon lime, tropical mango, strawberry guava or exotic pineapple.
No round-up on hard seltzer would be complete without a mention of White Claw, one of the first hard seltzers on the market, launching in the US in 2016. Today, it’s still one of the most popular hard seltzers in flavours ruby grapefruit, black cherry, mango and natural lime.
Started in Sydney’s Northern Beaches, Sunny Eddy offers a lighter twist on a gin and tonic, using triple-distilled Australian gin made with juniper and native lemon myrtle. A 330ml can is just 76 calories, has no added sugar and has less than 1g of carbs.
It’s hard to believe Fellr has only been around since July 2020 — the Australian brand with its pastel packaging seemed to be everywhere last summer. Choose from flavours lime and soda, watermelon, watermelon margarita, dry and lime or the newly-launched passionfruit.
If you’re keen on mixed flavours, crack open a Hard Fizz. The Gold Coast brand has four all-natural flavour combinations: orange and mango, watermelon and berry, lemon and ginger and passionfruit and guava.
The grown-up version of the Smirnoff Ice, the Smirnoff Seltzer blends together vodka with lightly flavoured sparkling water. The 250mL cans of natural lime, raspberry rose and passionfruit have less than 70 calories per serve and no added sugar.
With one can the equivalent of 1.6 standard drinks, Rainbird sits on the higher end, alcohol content-wise. The Woolworths-owned brand offers two flavours: passionfruit and lemon and lime.
Moon Dog Fizzer
Melbourne craft brewing pros Moon Dog are also getting into the hard seltzer market, unveiling Moon Dog Fizzer last year. Though it launched with four flavours, it’s since expanded the range to include another four, as well as mixed packs.