I’m the Grocery Editor at Kitchn and This Hard Seltzer Is the Best New Thing I Tried All Week

published Mar 18, 2022
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Have you noticed the ever-increasing array of colorful cans and bottles popping up on store shelves lately? If you haven’t, I promise that you will now. (It’s like how my partner bought a lilac-colored denim jacket and now sees it constantly on the street and in TV shows.) If you have, you’ve probably also noticed the mix of sparkling, fruity, fermented, alcoholic, and non-alcoholic drinks. Maybe you’ve even sampled a bunch. (Like I said, there are A LOT out there.)

This week I tried more than a dozen — I find switching up my beverages to be an easy way to add newness to my leftovers, particularly by day three — and found a new favorite. I’m also sharing nine others I’ve tried and enjoyed, this week and beyond, in case you’re someone who, like me, appreciates options.

1. Nectar Hard Seltzer

Launched in late 2020, Nectar is now the number-one selling Asian-inspired hard seltzer brand. Available in 12-can variety packs, the flavors (Yuzu, Lychee, Mandarin, and Asian Pear) “taste like summer in a can,” which is how my friend described them after our taste test. In fact, there was no one flavor that was favored or least-favored over the others — all four were that good. The company is expanding to even more regions: Last month it added Hawaii and Seattle to the list, and has eyes on New Jersey next. It’s also releasing six-packs of single flavors soon!

Buy: Nectar Hard Seltzer Variety Pack, $30 for 12 cans at Nectar

2. Health-Ade Kombucha

While the Pink Lady Apple is a repeat winner on our Kitchn Essentials list (for good reason; it’s delicious), I’m a personal fan of this Blood Orange-Carrot-Ginger bubbly fermented tea from Health-Ade. Ever since I tried it in December, it’s had a permanent spot in my fridge.

BuyHealth-Ade Kombucha Blood Orange-Carrot-Ginger, $30 for 6 bottles at Health-Ade Kombucha

3. De La Calle

Inspired by the ancient Mexican beverage that existed in the tepacherias and street food stalls throughout Mexico City, De La Calle’s recipes come straight from co-founder Rafael Martin Del Campo’s grandmother’s kitchen. Naturally fermented with fresh pineapples and sweetened with turbinado sugar and other spices, the drinks have both prebiotics and probiotics and come in a variety of flavors, including this Picante Mango Chili — it dances on my tongue every time I take a sip — as well as Watermelon Jalapeño, Chamoy, Cactus Prickly Pear, and Grapefruit Lime, which launched a few weeks ago.

BuyDe La Calle Picante Mango Chili Tepache, $46.99 for 12 cans at De La Calle

4. Best

For me, fresh-squeezed mango juice is the ultimate fruity drink. When I was traveling in Thailand, I ordered it with breakfast, lunch (sometimes with alcohol), and dinner. Rinse and repeat. Like the name suggests, this bottle is the BEST and closest approximation to the fresh-squeezed stuff I’ve found thus far. The company also sells apple, orange, guava, and guava and orange pineapple cocktail juices.

BuyBest Mango Juice, $1.19 for 8.3 ounces at Mercato

5. Brooklyn Best

This can is my denim jacket moment. I bought it on a whim at a local pizzeria and have since seen it in three grocery retailers near my apartment. Launched in January 2021, the two founders were inspired during the pandemic to make the iced tea and lemonades they grew up with in Brooklyn “with a fraction of the sugar.” The Peach Tea, Lemonade, and Peach Palmer (formerly known as Peach Tea Lemonade) are currently available online nationwide and in stores in New York, California, and Florida.

BuyBrooklyn Best Peach Palmer, $36 for 12 cans at Brooklyn Best

6. Devil’s Foot Beverage Company

This Asheville-based brand sources organic fruit from local farmers and adds filtered water and just a bit of organic cane sugar and local honey to make craft sodas, including Ginger Beer, Gold Jacket (a nod to an Arnold Palmer), Blueberry Lemonade, Peach Lemonade, Strawberry Lemonade, and this Sparkling Limeade. (The fresh-squeezed lime really makes it zing!) The makers also upcycle ingredients — sourcing non-sellable ugly peaches from Clemson University’s agriculture program and packaging and freezing “massive amounts of lemon zest and lime zest” to sell to other local makers, including breweries, a tea company and a jam company.

BuyDevil’s Foot Beverage Company Sparkling Limeade, $42 for 24 cans at Devil’s Foot Beverage Company

7. Hiyo

Hiyo is best paired with a sunset (the can itself looks like one!). The intentionally non-alcoholic seltzers come in a trio of dual flavors: Peach Mango, Watermelon Lime, and Blackberry Lemon. Crafted with organic adaptogens, natural nootropics, and functional botanicals, it’s a smooth, fruity-flavored, fizzy drink that goes with a Monday night … or Sunday afternoon.

BuyHiyo Watermelon Lime, $49.99 for 12 cans at Hiyo

8. Cayman Jack

Early on in the pandemic, I was very into homemade margs: making my own simple syrup, infusing tequila with jalapeños, and experimenting with salt vs. sugar vs. naked rims. I did all that before I knew about this margarita cocktail, which, in a way, is a good thing because I did learn a few new-to-me skills. Note: The company also makes Cuban mojito and Moscow mule cocktails. 

BuyCayman Jack Margarita Cocktail, $9.49 for 6 bottles at Total Wine

9. JuneShine 

You might have read about JuneShine’s new Classic Tequila Margarita, Tropical Rum Mai Tai, and Passionfruit Vodka Soda, plus three more flavors yet to be revealed arriving late spring. If not, here’s what you need to know: The popular hard kombucha brand ventured into canned cocktails for the first time this month, using the same environmentally conscious production practices as its original line. Each can is two shots’ worth of alcohol and refreshingly sippable.

BuyJuneShine Passionfruit Vodka Soda, $49.99 for 12 cans at JuneShine

10. Bev

Is a list of drinks complete without a canned wine option? This one isn’t! Founded by Alix Peabody in May 2017, Bev is known for its refreshingly crisp and dry canned wines crafted with grapes from Central Coast, California. Each can is one-and-a-half glasses of wine, which is ideal if you’re not a fan of leaving an unfinished bottle on the table. In addition to the Rosé Wine, the company makes five varieties: Sauvignon Blanc, Sparkling Rosé Wine, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir, and Sparkling White Wine.

Buy: Bev Rosé Wine, $49 for 8 cans at Bev

What new drinks are you most excited about? Tell us in the comments below.