Hard (Seltzer) Job, Someone Had To Do It

And it might as well be me. I told you what cans of wine to drink. Now I am moving to hard seltzer. Before I get to the reviews, let me just say, the terminology on cans of bubbly substances is getting kookoo. Last month when researching canned wine, I found some “wine seltzers” trying to horn in on hard seltzer’s game, when they in fact were essentially spritzes. For this article, I was looking for bubbly drinks with hard alcohol and fruit flavors. Wine is not a soft drink, but it is not hard. It is like a memory foam level of hard were you to lay yourself down on it (don’t). I wanted a firm-ass mattress in my seltzer. I also saw hard kombucha but…no. I’m sticking with cold hard hard seltzer. What I was looking for was, admittedly, mostly flavor. I want it pungent (no wimpy La Croix-esque vibes allowed), and I want it not to be too fake. Granted, some of the more artificial tasting ones just packed a yummy flavor punch I didn’t mind, much as a soft drink can. So, a pleasant and not-wimpy flavor can make up for being natural tasting. But being natural tasting can’t make up for lack of flavor concentration. I kissed some toads, y’all. Even within one brand, I’d find a flavor I dug and then another I didn’t, so I’m sharing my top flavors from my top brands. I wish I liked more of the ones I tried, but my palate is picky. Consider this your highly curated list for people that don’t want lukewarm flavors. Speaking of warmth, what was my shower seltzer? So far High Noon Passionfruit. Also best in show, but look at the flavor. I do have a passion for my shower time. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ From best to meh: High Noon Sun Sips: Passionfruit I can’t even. This is the most interesting, most nuanced, most craveable hard seltzer I’ve had. I loved the pineapple offering too. If you’ve never had a passionfruit before, I’m not sure how to describe it except that it is tangy but ripe AF…somewhere between ripe AF, white nectarines and underripe raspberry and canned pineapple? All I know is passion fruit may be my next favorite flavor ever. Brouwerij West Things…For Your Head: Grapefruit Loved it. Because I love grapefruit juice. Honestly if someone served this to me and was like “this is grapefruit and sparkling water” I’d be like okay, I believe you. And that’s more or less what this is (plus booze). More or less. It almost has a mouthfeel like there might be a pleasant pulpiness to it and normally I’d hate that, but I didn’t mind it. Or maybe that was just the bubbles giving body to brew. Topo Chico: Strawberry Guava Okay maybe I have been a Topo fangirl for a while—their water has…gotten me through some situations with a lot of wine (ahem ahem, SommCon). I honestly am not one of those people who, if asked at the restaurant if they want still or bubbly, I go still. But the Topo Chico water hits different, and I was so into this flavor. I do get hints of what I taste when I try the guava paste that sometimes shows up on a cheese plate. Interestingly though when combined with strawberry it tastes a smidge raspberry-ish. I’m in. Maybe I’m basic, but I’m on the Topo train. White Claw: Lime The claw so soon?! Mainly I got excited about it because it tastes like the bottled key lime juice you can find at the supermarket. I know I said I was looking for real fruit flavor and granted I’ve juiced limes (but not KEY limes), and they don’t taste like that. And normally I’m against pre-squeezed juice, but there IS an idiosyncrasy I’ve found to that jarred key lime juice. Not to be confused with the plastic lemon and lime plastic squeezies you see in the produce aisle. Anyway, love the flavor of the key lime juice bottles, and never squeezed a lime that QUITE tasted the same but…begrudgingly I love this. Also liked raspberry. Vizzy: Hint of Blueberry Pomegranate with Antioxidant Vitamin C from Acerola Superfruit I don’t know, it may not be for everyone so sip with caution. All I know is I personally thought it tasted on par if not better than some of the other drankkkkks I tried in my research for this article. And apparently it might make me glow from the inside out. If blueberries and Pez had a well-adjusted child that would be this. With a slight yogurt note, I catch in some bottled waters. It is good. I wouldn’t grab it over a lot of drinks, but in terms of hard seltzer, I’m in. Feel the superfoods. AND ONLY IF YOU TRULY MUST TRULY: Truly Wild Berry For most of Truly I was like…if meh could be amplified (which may undo the meh-ness of it) that is what I thought of a lot of flavors. I don‘t think Truly is good. I truly do not. But if you are faced with a variety pack and you simply must seltz, go with wild berry. Leaving it at that. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Want to read more from Ellen? Check out her recent articles: Old World vs. New World: Merlot ALL the Wine Cans: Get It 2021 Go Mendocino Ellen in Lalaland, Almost Post-Pandemic Style May Flowers You can also listen to Ellen's podcast , The Wine Situation here . Check out her recent transcripts of the Final Five questions: Wine Situation Final Five! With Matthew Lindsey Wine Situation Final Five! With Alissa Bica

Topo Chico

Strawberry Guava Hard Seltzer

Somehow the taste of strawberry plus guava equals a raspberry vibe on the tongue. Maybe it’s basic but I’m a Topo Chico fan girl in all it’s forms. — 3 years ago

Josh, Trixie and 12 others liked this

Vizzy Hard Seltzer

Blueberry Pomegranate

Tasted crazy artificial in a way I’m into. And ya know, it’s got super fruit I suppose that’s a solid thing? — 3 years ago

Josh, Trixie and 8 others liked this

Hard Seltzer Beverage Company

Truly Wild Berry Hard Seltzer

If you must. Generally I hated all the Trulys but this was the most acceptable. — 3 years ago

Trixie, Severn and 8 others liked this
Katie Dudgeon

Katie Dudgeon

I mean, when you're stuck at a party and that's all there is left to drink, you gotta know which flavor to reach for! 🤷🏼‍♀️

Brouwerij West

Things ... For Your Head - Grapefruit Hard Seltzer

Tasted like what it is (grapefruit) and I’m happy about that. — 3 years ago

Tyler, Serge and 8 others liked this


Ellen Clifford

Ellen Clifford Influencer Badge Premium Badge

@Trixie cheers! 😻

White Claw

Hard Seltzer Natural Lime

Surprise favorite of all the White Claws. Finding. Reminds me of the bottled key lime juice you can get at the grocery store. Doesn’t taste like fresh limes, possibly tastes better. — 3 years ago

Josh, Trixie and 8 others liked this