Hard seltzer has become the drink of the year, and here’s why

Gin and tonic may have been the drink du jour for the last few years, but there’s a new tipple on the scene and it looks set to be the drink of 2020: hard seltzer.

Hard seltzers have been a big deal in the US for a few years now, but they’ve only just migrated their way across the pond this year. However, they’re already being hailed as the latest boozy phenomenon.

What is a hard seltzer?

Seltzer is a catchall term for sparkling or fizzy water – so a ‘hard’ seltzer is simply carbonated water mixed with alcohol and fruit flavouring. It all sounds very delectable, extremely refreshing and highly drinkable, but the real draw comes from the low alcohol and low calorie content, which plays into the rising health-driven trend for conscious and ‘sober-curious’ drinking.

hard seltzer in glass
Getty Images

Much like the boom of flavoured gins that propelled the spirit’s recent rise in popularity, hard seltzers come in a wide variety of fruity flavours and alcohol mixes, making the options endless and their appeal vast. They also tend to come in rather chic looking cans, which never hurts and only adds to our desire to bring one (or a few) to our next socially-distanced picnic or BBQ.

With Google searches for hard seltzer in the UK up 67 per cent in May this year, it’s no surprise that cult American brands such as White Claw (who make up over half of US hard seltzer sales) are making their way onto British supermarket shelves, while established names like Smirnoff and Kopparberg have been quick to jump on the hard seltzer bandwagon and launch their own versions too.

But, unlike our US counterparts, us Brits aren’t quite connoisseurs of the booze-lite tipple just yet, so here are some of the top brands to sample.

12 of the best hard seltzers to try

Good One

good one hard seltzer
Good One

The ultimate Instagrammable tin, with three refreshing botanical flavours to choose from: Cloudy Grapefruit & Thyme, Lime & Cucumber and Raspberry, and Basil & Lime. You can shop them online at haveagoodone.co.uk.

Two Days

two days hard seltzer
Two Days

Two Days comes in two flavours – Vodka Lime Soda & Vodka Raspberry Soda – which are both made with five-times distilled British vodka, lightly sparkling water and natural fruit extracts. It’s a lower alcohol option and only 65 calories per (exceptionally pretty) can. 

White Claw

White Claw
White Claw

The king and queen of hard seltzers after first rising to fame in the US, White Claw is available in three natural flavours of raspberry, black cherry and natural lime. Available at Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons.

Something & Nothing

Something & Nothing seltzer
Something & Nothing

Made using only natural ingredients, these Cucumber, Yuzu and Hibiscus & Rose flavoured seltzers are a balanced and refreshing drink created using sparkling water infused with natural fruit flavours and botanicals, inspired by the travels and experiences of the founders. Buy it online at somethingandnothing.co.

Smirnoff Seltzer

Smirnoff Seltzer
Smirnoff

Made from a mix of Smirnoff No.21 Premium Vodka, sparkling water and natural fruit flavours, a 250ml serving of Smirnoff Seltzer is just 72 calories. Choose from Raspberry & Rhubarb or Orange & Grapefruit and purchase from Sainsbury’s, Tesco or Waitrose.

Served

Served seltzers
Served

Served’s low-calorie and lower ABV sparkling alcoholic drinks are made with an ultra-pure spirit, which is paired with British sparkling water and infused with wonky, sustainably sourced fruit that would have otherwise gone to waste. Two tasty flavours are available, raspberry and lime, and they’re just 57 calories each. Served launches exclusively in Selfridges and at serveddrinks.co.uk from 22 July.

Kopparberg Hard Seltzer

Kopparberg hard seltzer
Kopparberg

Kopparberg have also got in on the hard seltzer action and have launched there bold and fruity flavours reminiscent of their bestselling fruity ciders – mixed berries, black cherry and passionfruit. Available to buy across Tesco and Morrisons.

chase’s Gin Seltzer

chase hard seltzer
Chase Distillery

Crafted in the UK with award-winning Chase Distillery gin, sparkling water and natural botanical flavours, this is the world’s first gin seltzer. Launching today, flavours include Seville orange, pink grapefruit and pomelo and London Dry and lemon and at just 89 calories a can, this is a delicious health-conscious swap for a regular G&T. Purchase via the Chase Distillery website.

Bodega Bay

Bodega Bay hard seltzer
Bodega Bay

Marketed as ‘a hard seltzer for healthy hedonists’, Bodega Bay comes in with one of the lowest calorie contents on this list at just 73 calories per can. With two flavours to choose from – apple, ginger & açai berry or elderflower, lemon & mint – pick up one of these classy looking cans at your local Morrsions or online on Amazon.

Mike’s Hard Seltzer

Mike's hard seltzer
Mike’s Hard Seltzer

Mike’s canned mixes of water, alcohol and bubbles are infused with a hint of natural lemon, lime or black cherry for a refreshingly light beverage. Get yours at Tesco and Morrisons stores across the country.

Drty Hard Seltzer

Drty hard seltzer
Drty

Drty Hard Seltzer’s are not just sugar- and sweetener-free, they’re also one of the few low carb seltzers on the UK market. Personally, we just love the chic cans and the even chicer flavours – raspberry rosé and white citrus. Delicious. Available at Whole Foods, Amazon and Ocado.

Nordic Wolf

Nordic Wolf hald seltzer
Aldi

An Aldi own-brand invention, Nordic Wolf is the supermarket’s first ever hard seltzer. The canned tipple comes in four delicious flavours including juicy lemon, tangy strawberry & lime, sweet yet sour cranberry & cherry and refreshing raspberry & blackcurrant. Available only at Aldi.