The round-up: your guide to hard seltzers – the unofficial drink of summer
So, let’s talk about seltzers. In particular, hard seltzers. It’s pretty much being dubbed the unofficial drink of summer, but what the heck is a seltzer? It’s pretty simple. It’s boozy, fizzy water and it’s starting to dominate the normally sugar-heavy and calorie-laden RTD market. Seltzers have been big business in America for a while, and it’s now making waves in Australia, with a bunch of breweries and booze makers (from the big players to the local outfits) jumping on board to create their version of the carbonated sort-of-healthy sip. Traditionally, seltzers are ‘brewed’, kind of like beer, with fermented grain or rice creating the booziness – or there are some brands simply adding alcohol to fizzy water. Either way, these gluten-free, low-calorie, not-too-sweet sips are gathering steam, and it looks like they are here to stay. To help you navigate, we’ve popped together a handy guide of some top Aussie brands hawking must-sip seltzers this summer.
This refreshing imbibe – which is gluten free, vegan and boasts only three grams of sugar – comes from the beer-making brainiacs from Stone & Wood. While some hard-seltzer brands use vodka as the so-called ‘hard’ stuff, Sunly is created using a similar process to beer – it’s brewed with gluten-free grain sorghum, hops, water and yeast, and finished with an infusion of natural ingredients, resulting in a vibrant and refreshing sparkling sip. Sunly is made in three fruity flavours – Davidson plum and berry, ginger and lemon, and blood orange and grapefruit. You can order direct from the website.
Tidal Artesian Seltzer
With its key ingredient (water) sourced straight from a natural artesian aquifer – conveniently located below its Mornington Peninsula property – Tidal Artesian Seltzer is about as pure as it gets. Choose from the zesty yuzu citrus or the zingy lime flavour – both are in 330-ml tinnies, which can be ordered online here and delivered to your door.
Saintly Hard Seltzer
Driven by the punchline “just the right amount of wrong”, this seltzer puts some tongue-in-cheek branding out there to summon you to sip its ‘holy water’. Throw back flavours like Hail Mango, Blessed Lime, Holy Watermelon and Mint, and Forbidden Pink Grapefruit and try not to giggle at the irreverent banter on the side of the can. You’ll find Saintly on the shelves at major liquor retailers.
Lost Palms Brewing Co’s Peach Hard Seltzer
This Gold Coast-made peach-spiked drop is ideal for those looking for a sip with little-to-no guilt. Crafted by the beach in Miami, Lost Palms’ Hard Peach seltzer is brewed from rice and blended with real peaches for a light and fruity flavour. It’s low in calories, carbs and sugar, and is also gluten free, vegan and preservative free. Grab them online or straight from the source at the Lost Palms Miami brewery.
Sporting a minimalist vibe and a lot of personality, the newly launched Fellr tinnies are all natural, have less than one gram of sugar, just 83 calories, are entirely gluten free and (one more thing) are vegan friendly. The first release features three flavours – watermelon, lime and soda, and dry and lime. You can grab Fellrs online or out and about at these stockists.
Aimed at the millennial sippers, these fun seltzers are made from a neutral grain spirit and purified sparkling water, resulting in a crisp, full-flavoured beverage … minus the regrets. The Basic Babe seltzers come in at just 55 calories, have no preservatives, additives or sweeteners, and are available in two refreshing flavours – watermelon or ginger and lime. Grab them in slim 250-ml cans online and at various stockists.
Ray is the handiwork of Footscray brewery Hop Nation, who set out to put a Melburnian twist on the seltzer trend. Named after the suburbs it’s made in (get it?), Ray is brewed just like beer, using a cereal grain and a two-to-three week fermentation process – the flavour is derived from real fruit, which is added late in the fermentation process, providing just a hint of sweetness. The first drop released three flavours – watermelon and mint, lemon and lime, and peach – which come in quaint 330-ml cans. Grab Ray’s slim tinnies online.
ARC Hard Seltzer
From its home on the Great Ocean Road, ARC’s seltzers are all natural, certified vegan, have less than 90 calories and are full of feel-good vibes. Aiming to give you a ‘healthy sense of summer’, ARC offers unique flavours like outback finger lime and mango (yum) and lemon myrtle and pink grapefruit (also yum), and ships its spiked beverages Australia wide. Grab the goodness online.
This all-Aussie sparkling seltzer (which is naturally gluten free) offers a delicate, clean and dry taste. The two flavours – passionfruit and lime – aren’t super sweet and have no added preservatives, making it an ideal warm-weather sip that wont overload you with unwanted sugar. Grab them online and at most big liquor retailers.
Cult US seltzer White Claw is due to make its Australian debut this October – it’s just weeks away! Each can has just 100 calories, two grams of carbs and an alcohol content of 4.5 percent. Made from a delicious mix of sparkling water, triple-distilled spirit and natural fruit flavour, White Claw’s first wave of fizzy booze will come in three energising flavours – mango, natural lime and ruby grapefruit – with more to come. Suss the claw online.
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