Diet & Nutrition

Hard seltzer is set to be THE drink of the summer, but what is it exactly?

A drinking trend that exploded in the US in 2019, hard seltzer is here in Australia and we’re betting you’re going to be curious. 

One thing we can gain from our friends in the Northern Hemisphere is an insight into seasonal trends. Trust me when I say roller skates are going to be huge this summer, after the 80s and 90s trend went absolutely bananas in the States. Don’t believe me? Have some literature here, here, and here.

As the sun comes out and coronavirus restrictions ease, Aussies are keen to get back outside and socialising (responsibly still, please people, we’re still in a pandemic) and changing their drinking habits to match the warmer weather, because only a psychopath drinks a full-bodied red in January.

Introducing hard seltzer, THE drink of the American summer (they spent $3.7 billion on it in 2020 and it actually took 10 per cent from the beer and cider market) and is set to be the next big thing here.

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What is it exactly?

Seltzer is American for soda water, which you can drink plain but it’s normally flavoured with a hint of something fruity. So ‘hard’ or ‘spiked’ seltzer is flavoured soda water with alcohol (it can be any sort of alcohol: vodka, tequila, or a gluten-free base).

Rest assured it’s not sweet like those sugary abominations that used to get you drunk as a teenager, but more subtle and arguably more refreshing. Strength-wise, you’re looking at about that of a beer, typically between 4 and 6 per cent booze.

The best news is that being a flavoured soda water, it’s low sugar and low calorie, making it the perfect option for those keeping an eye on their energy intake.

What brands are out there?

One of the biggest players in the US market is White Claw, which made its Australian debut this October with Lime, Mango, and Ruby Grapefruit flavours and 95 calories per can and 4.5 per cent alcohol.

Somma is Australia’s first hard seltzer brand with two *fancy* flavours; Cucumber & Mint and Watermelon & Lime, that come in at just 85 calories per can and 3.5 per cent alcohol.

If you’re looking to up the aesthetics, the packaging of Australian-made Quincy seltzer is really cute, with two flavours: Passionfruit and Lime.

Locally-produced, zero carb option Saintly is among the lowest in cal we could find on the market, at 62 calories for their 4 per cent and 89 calories for their 6 per cent.

Other brands include:

Obviously, everyone, please drink responsibly!