What Is A Hard Seltzer And Why Is It So Trendy?

If you follow drinks trends, then Hard Seltzer must have popped up on your social feeds. The beverage gained a cult following amongst drinks enthusiasts over the last couple of years. The sudden boom in interest has been fuelled partly by the drink’s inexpensive, low in sugar and low-alcohol characteristics.

What exactly is a hard seltzer?

In simple terms, it’s flavoured sparkling water with alcohol. Also known as ‘hard soda’, the drink is low in sugar, making it less likely to lead to killer hangovers. Winning!!

Hard seltzer’s skyrocketing popularity has been fuelled by industry experts and retail trend professionals. “This is not a fad,” Ricardo Marques, vice president of core and value brands at Anheuser-Busch, told CNN. “Hard Seltzer’s is here to stay.”

The History Of Hard Seltzer

Hard seltzer is nothing new. American brewery Coors introduced a drink called Zima in 1993, to mimic popular low-ABV beverages like wine coolers. Despite good sales, Zima was largely met with ridicule with some calling it a drink for effeminate weirdos. The brand was discontinued in 2008 and made a brief comeback in 2017. It has ever since halt production.

In 2013, a new brand of hard seltzer took the market by storm. This after two men in Boston, inspired by their wives’ love of sparkling water, decided to home-brew an alcoholic version. SpikedSeltzer was born and by 2015 the brand sold more than a quarter-million cases.  In 2016, it had been acquired by Anheuser-Busch, who rebranded the beverage to Bon & Viv.

What Made Hard Seltzer So Trendy?

None of this explains why these things are so popular, though. Hard seltzer became the drink of summer because it exists at the crossroads of a handful of current consumption trends. Some would say it’s the healthier option, calling hard seltzer a guilt-free, not-too-sweet nor too intense burst of joy, dressed up in a striking can. With more people giving up soda, hard seltzer sales skyrocketed with no slowdown in sight.

Is Hard Seltzer Really A Healthier Alternative?

Truth be told, alcohol isn’t actually good for you and neither is seltzer. Some reports claim it rots teeth. Even when it’s unflavored, fizzy water contains carbonic acid that gives it its bubbles. That acidity can gradually wear away tooth enamel. The good news is, it’s a relatively weak acid. Unless they’re flavored with citric or other acids.

You can love hard seltzer for its portability and novelty, but let’s be honest, no one really loves hard seltzer for the way it tastes. There is always going to be a far more delicious way to get drunk. Hard seltzer cannot compete with a dry rosé with an ice cube in it or as soul-hugging as a craft beer. That being said, there’s little in it to hate. It is, in fact, the most inoffensive way to consume alcohol.