Types of Seltzers

Seltzers have become a popular trend in the beverage industry, with hard seltzers leading the pack.

Seltzer Flavors

Hard seltzers are alcoholic sparkling water drinks that are low in sugar and calories, making them a healthier alternative to beer and other alcoholic drinks. They are usually made by fermenting sugar with yeast, then adding carbonated water and natural flavors.

One of the most popular hard seltzer brands is White Claw, which has taken the beverage industry by storm. White Claw is known for its light and refreshing taste, and it comes in a variety of flavors such as lime, black cherry, and mango.

Other popular hard seltzer brands include Truly, Bon & Viv, and Flying Embers. These brands offer a wide range of flavors to choose from, including fruit-infused and spicy options.

Despite their popularity, hard seltzers have received some criticism for their high alcohol content and lack of regulation.

However, they continue to be a popular choice for those looking for a low-calorie and refreshing alcoholic drink. With the increasing demand for healthier beverage options, it is likely that hard seltzers will continue to be a trend in the beverage industry for years to come.

Understanding Seltzers

Seltzers are carbonated water-based beverages that have gained immense popularity in recent years. They are refreshing, flavorful, and come in a variety of options that cater to different tastes and preferences.

hard seltzer in a glass with a metal straw

Seltzers are available in plain and flavored varieties, with the latter being the most popular. Flavors range from grapefruit, blood orange, and lime to passionfruit, mango, and more. Many popular hard seltzer brands like Bon & Viv, Vizzy, and Corona hard seltzer offer a diverse range of flavors that are both sweeter and more flavorful than traditional seltzers.

Spiked seltzers have also become a popular choice, especially among younger adults. They are made by fermenting carbonated water with yeast and adding natural or artificial flavorings.

Spiked seltzers have a low alcohol by volume (ABV) and are usually sold in cans, making them a convenient option for those on the go. Popular spiked seltzer brands include High Noon, Wild Basin, and Flying Embers.

Seltzers are a great option for those looking for a low-calorie and low-sugar alternative to traditional alcoholic beverages. Most hard seltzers have around 100 calories and 2 grams of sugar per 12-ounce can, making them a popular choice for those following a keto or low-carb diet.

Seltzers are available in various packaging options, including cans and glass bottles. Canned seltzers are the most popular, and many breweries have started producing their own canned cocktails and flavored malt beverages to keep up with the trend.

History of Seltzers

Seltzer water has been around for centuries, with the first recorded production of carbonated water dating back to the 18th century.

two glasses of hard seltzer with lemon

In 1767, Joseph Priestley, an English chemist, discovered a way to infuse water with carbon dioxide, creating the first artificially carbonated water. The popularity of seltzer water grew rapidly, and by the 19th century, it was a common beverage in Europe and the United States.

In the early 20th century, seltzer water became a popular mixer for alcoholic beverages, such as gin and tonic. The demand for seltzer water continued to grow, and in the 1950s, the first seltzer bottling plants were established in the United States. Today, seltzer water is a popular beverage on its own and as a mixer for cocktails.

Hard seltzers, also known as spiked seltzers, are a relatively new addition to the seltzer market. The first widely available commercial example of the style was Two Dogs, which was brewed in Australia in 1993 and was claimed to be the “world’s first brewed alcoholic lemonade.” However, it was not until recently that hard seltzers gained widespread popularity in the United States.

Hard seltzers are typically made by fermenting sugar with yeast, similar to the process used to make beer. The alcohol content of hard seltzers ranges from 4% to 6% ABV, making them a popular alternative to beer and light beers. Flavored malt beverages, such as Mike’s Hard Lemonade, were popular in the 1990s and are considered the predecessor to today’s hard seltzers.

In recent years, hard seltzers have become a booming industry, with sales increasing rapidly. According to industry analyst Nick Shields, hard seltzer sales in the United States reached $2.5 billion in 2020, up from $1.2 billion in 2019. The popularity of hard seltzers has led to the creation of new brands, such as Bon & Viv and Press, and many breweries have started producing their own hard seltzers.

Types of Seltzers

Seltzers are carbonated water drinks that come in a variety of flavors.

a canned white claw hard seltzer

Here are some of the most popular types of seltzers:

  1. Fruit-flavored seltzers – these seltzers come in a variety of fruit flavors such as lemon, lime, grapefruit, orange, and raspberry.
  2. Hard seltzers – these seltzers contain alcohol and come in a variety of flavors such as black cherry, mango, strawberry, and watermelon.
  3. Natural seltzers – these seltzers are made with natural flavors and sweeteners, and come in flavors such as cucumber, mint, and ginger.
  4. Energy seltzers – these seltzers contain caffeine and come in flavors such as grapefruit, lemon, and lime.
  5. Electrolyte seltzers – these seltzers contain electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, and magnesium, and come in flavors such as lemon, lime, and orange.
  6. Unsweetened seltzers – these seltzers are free of sweeteners and come in flavors such as lemon, lime, and grapefruit.
  7. Limited edition seltzers – these seltzers come in unique flavors that are only available for a limited time, such as seasonal flavors like pumpkin spice or holiday flavors like cranberry.

When it comes to hard seltzers, there are many brands to choose from.

refrigerated spiked seltzers of white claw and truly

Some of the most popular seltzer brands on the market today include White Claw, Truly, Wild Basin, High Noon, Bon & Viv, Flying Embers, Vizzy, Corona Hard Seltzer, Bud Light Seltzer, Arctic Chill, Polar Seltzer, Two Robbers, Press Premium, Topo Chico, and Lunar.

White Claw and Truly are two of the most well-known seltzer brands, having gained widespread popularity in recent years. White Claw offers a variety of flavors, including Black Cherry, Mango, and Natural Lime. Truly also offers a wide range of flavors, such as Pineapple, Watermelon Kiwi, and Blueberry Acai.

Wild Basin is another popular seltzer brand that is known for its unique and refreshing flavors, such as Lemon Agave Hibiscus and Cucumber Peach. High Noon is a newer brand that has gained a following for its simple, yet delicious flavors like Grapefruit and Pineapple.

Bon & Viv is a popular brand that offers a variety of flavors, including Pear Elderflower and Grapefruit. Flying Embers is a newer brand that offers unique flavors such as Ancient Berry and Lemon Orchard.

Vizzy is a newer brand that has gained popularity for its antioxidant-rich seltzers. Corona Hard Seltzer and Bud Light Seltzer are both popular options that offer a variety of flavors.

Arctic Chill and Polar Seltzer are two brands that offer a wide range of flavors, including classic flavors like Lemon and Lime, as well as more unique flavors like Blueberry Acai and Black Cherry.

Two Robbers is a newer brand that offers a variety of unique flavors, such as Pineapple Ginger and Watermelon Cucumber. Press Premium is another newer brand that offers spicy flavors like Blood Orange Chili.

Topo Chico and Lunar are two brands that offer classic seltzer flavors like Lime and Grapefruit. No matter what your flavor preference is, there is a seltzer brand out there for you.

Seltzer Production Process

The basic procedure for making seltzer is to ferment a sugar solution to make a strong alcoholic base beverage.

two glass of sparkling seltzer with ice and lime

The fermented sugar wash is filtered to yield a clear, odorless, flavorless, and colorless solution. This solution is diluted to working strength and flavoring is added. The resulting product is then carbonated to make a fizzy and refreshing drink.

Seltzer can be made with different types of sugar sources, such as cane sugar or malted barley. The choice of sugar source can affect the flavor and alcohol content of the final product. For example, seltzer made from malted barley is often referred to as a malt beverage and has a distinct beer-like flavor.

The fermentation process is typically carried out by adding yeast to the sugar solution. The yeast consumes the sugar and produces alcohol as a byproduct. The alcohol content of the seltzer can be controlled by adjusting the amount of sugar in the initial solution and the length of the fermentation process.

Breweries and other beverage producers have been quick to jump on the seltzer trend, with many offering their own versions of the drink. Some breweries have even started producing seltzer using their existing brewing equipment and expertise in fermentation.

Please drink responsibly, be fully accountable with your alcohol consumption, and show others respect.

Written by Paul Kushner

I have always had a deep interest in the restaurant and bar industry. My restaurant experience began in 1997 at the age of 14 as a bus boy. By the time I turned 17 I was serving tables, and by 19 I was bartending/bar managing 6-7 nights a week.

In 2012, after a decade and a half of learning all facets of the industry, I opened my first restaurant/bar. In 2015, a second location followed, the latter being featured on The Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

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