What’s the Deal with Alcoholic Seltzer?

published Sep 8, 2016
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(Image credit: Syda Productions)

While the unofficial cocktail of summer 2016 might have been frosé, there was another, less glamorous drink that suddenly seemed to be everywhere. I had never heard of ready-to-drink alcoholic seltzer until earlier this spring, but by the end of August I was seeing multiple brands in various liquor stores across the country.

Why has this product suddenly become so popular, and have you tried it?

Alcoholic seltzer, in case you haven’t heard of it or haven’t seen it around, is pretty easy to understand as a concept. It’s essentially sparkling water with added fruit flavoring and sugar. The fruit and sugar become fermented, so the final product naturally includes about five to six percent alcohol. The idea is — I think — that you’re able to stay hydrated while you also get buzzed. It’s also low-calorie. It kind of reminds me of the housewife sangria from a couple years ago, which let the writer drink all day without getting drunk.

Here are some of the brands that are producing alcoholic seltzer right now.

Clearly, every brand getting into the alcoholic seltzer game is going for a very specific aesthetic. All the branding is very clean and “clear” with a pop of color — specifically lots of greens and reds. I imagine this is aimed specifically at the wellness or health community. Most of the beverages claim to include “nothing artificial” and that they are “low-carb.”

According to Market Watch, beverage suppliers claim that they are simply meeting the demand for low-calorie alcoholic beverages. Regular seltzer has also been gaining in popularity over the last couple years (hello, La Croix!), so it makes sense that they would want to include this as a part of a new product.

Have you tried any of these alcoholic seltzers in the past year? If so, do you have a favorite that we should try out? Let us know in the comments.