Seltzer 101

March 16, 2020

seltzerIt seems every few years there’s a drink that’s so on trend it starts showing up everywhere.

Remember lime beer? Hard lemonade, low carb beer, coolers, or beergaritas? This year might just see the summer of seltzer. 

Hard seltzers are climbing the list of trendy drinks, but with an increased global focus on healthier options, this is for good reason. Seltzers generally do away with all the sweetness of juices and pop-based mixers and bring infused flavours— with a kick from the spirits.

What is a seltzer?
Seltzer is just carbonated water or water that’s been bubbled up with carbon dioxide. If you have a Sodastream-type device, you’re basically making seltzer with it. 

Seltzer is similar but different from other drinks like Club Soda (where compounds like sodium bicarbonate and potassium sulfate are added for a mineral tang) and Tonic Water (which adds quinine and sugar). 

Drink Healthier: The Seltzer Phenomenon 
You’ll see seltzers on store shelves at the local grocer with natural fruit flavourings now too. 

Brands like la Croix and Pellegrino are infusing citrus or berry flavour without added sugars and juices. You can use these to mix drinks if you like, and some folks are even using them for creating infused wine spritzers and layered Aperol Spritzes. 

social lite2When it comes to adding the booze, several companies are making pre-mixed drinks like vodka sodas with natural flavouring, like Social Lite Vodka Sodas. You can find their Strawberry, Blood Orange and Lemon Cucumber Mint Vodka Soda (among others) at your local Co-op Wine Spirits Beer. Another popular brand is Nude Vodka Sodas.

White Claw Comes to Alberta 
New-ish to Alberta is White Claw, a hugely popular alcoholic seltzer brand that’s taken the U.S. by storm. Stores reportedly had a hard time keeping enough in stock to match the demand last summer, so when patio season hits again, watch for it to start popping up everywhere. 

White Claw Hard Seltzer is available in Black Cherry, Mango, Natural Lime and Ruby Grapefruit and you can find it at your local Co-op Wine Spirits Beer. 

White Claw uses the light tasting, low-cal formula that’s making seltzers popular with health-conscious sippers: it’s made from a blend of seltzer water, a gluten free spirit base, and natural fruit flavour. The ingredients are simply carbonated water, alcohol, cane sugar, natural flavour, and citric acid.

If you’re trying to drink healthier it pays to check the ingredients on your hard seltzer of choice, since some, like White Claw, do contain added sugar, while brands like Canadian Social Lite do not. 

nudeWatch For More Hard Seltzers Coming to Canada
Don’t think you won’t start seeing a lot more seltzers hit stores this season, particularly from bigger brands. In the U.S., Anheuser-Busch released Bon & Viv, Miller Coors created Henry’s Hard Sparkling Water and Pabst Blue Ribbon, Smirnoff and Natural Light all have hard seltzers. We all know, what starts in the U.S. inevitably trickles north.

DIY Hard Seltzer is Easy
Of course, you can also make your own hard seltzer at home by adding ingredients like citrus peel, frozen raspberries, mint leaves or cucumber slices to a bottle of water before you insert it in your Sodastream. Add vodka, gin or tequila, and voila! Hard seltzer!

Or, just pop into your neighbourhood Co-op Wine Spirits Beer store and pick up some hard seltzer cans to stash in the fridge and share with friends to be very on-trend this spring and summer.

 

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