Summer Seltzer Craze

Topo chico just released their own version of a hard seltzer in a time when it seems like there is zero room left in the market. The fizzy and low alcohol-by-volume drink has taken over liquor store shelves since the summer of 2019. Here are some of the most popular hard seltzers on the market and what you need to know about them.

White Claw

“Even though it’s been around for years and so many other brands of spiked seltzers have hit the market, I still always find myself buying White Claw,” SMU senior Celia D’Olive said. “I especially love their newest flavor pack; the strawberry and blackberry are my two new favorite flavors.”

There are three different White Claw collections: White Claw© Hard Seltzer, White Claw© Iced Tea, White Claw© Surge. The Hard Seltzer and Iced Tea collections come in packs of 12, 18 or 24, but each collection and flavor can be purchased individually.

The Hard Seltzer collection is 100 calories, 5 percent alcohol and 2 grams of carbs per 12oz can. This collection has the most flavors: black cherry, mango, watermelon, natural lime, ruby grapefruit, raspberry, lemon, tangerine, strawberry, blackberry and pineapple.

The Iced Tea collection is made with “sustainably sourced tea.” The collection is 100 calories and 5 percent alcohol, and it contains only 1 gram of sugar per 12oz can. The Iced Tea collection has four flavors: lemon, raspberry, mango and peach.

The Surge collection has 8 percent alcohol, which is the highest alcoholic content of all the collections. Each 16oz can contains 2g of sugar, and there are two flavors: blood orange and cranberry. – Caroline Waters.

Truly

Truly Hard Seltzers launched in April 2016 by Boston Beer Company, which also owns the brands Twisted Tea and Angry Orchard Cider. However, as of Feb. 2020, Truly Hard Seltzers comprised 22 percent of Boston Beer Company’s market share.

There are three different Truly Hard Seltzer collections: Truly Hard Seltzer, Truly Lemonade, and Truly Iced Tea.

The Truly Hard Seltzer collection has three flavor pack variations, such as Berry, Citrus and Tropical. For one can, it is 100 calories, 1 gram of sugar, and 5% ABV.

The Truly Lemonade collection is a mix of lemonade and the original hard seltzer. Similar to the original seltzer, each can is 100 calories, 1 gram of sugar, and 5% ABV.

The Truly Tea collection combines real brewed tea, fruit flavor and hard seltzer. Each can is 100 calories, 1 gram of sugar, and 5% ABV.

If you are a real super fan of Truly Hard Seltzer, you can check out their merchandise website, which has t-shirts, Koozies, and dog toys all branded with the Truly logo.

“Truly is my favorite hard seltzer, especially the lemonade ones,” senior Addie Mena said. “I love to drink them during the summer by the pool because they are refreshing, low calorie, and low sugar.” – Alexa Vickaryous

High Noon

High Noon is a hard seltzer that combines real vodka and real juice for a refreshing summer drink. The sparkling water and natural flavors, without added sugars and gluten, make it readily enjoyable for anyone looking for a diet-friendly, alcoholic drink. Each can is 100 calories, eliminating any need to compare the calorie counts between flavors.

High Noon has a simple business model, keeping their products limited to 6 different flavors that can be purchased in 8- and 12-can variety packs. The flavors included are pineapple, grapefruit, lime, peach, watermelon and black cherry. Lime, peach and watermelon have 2.3g of sugars each, grapefruit and black cherry each have 2.6g of sugars each, and pineapple has 2.9g of sugars each. All the sugar comes from the natural fruit that is added for flavor, so you can feel confident that the sugar is good for you.

“High Noon is the perfect drink to sip by the pool with friends. It’s light and refreshing, just what you need for sunny summer days,” says SMU senior Sophie Pasternak.

High Noon differentiates itself in that its ingredients are more than just soda water, alcohol, malt liquor and sugar. The real vodka and real fruit juice in 100 calories sets them apart from the competition. Also, High Noon offers free virtual backgrounds on their website to bring some fun to your virtual happy hour! – Mira Sewaiseh

Topo Chico

The rollout for Topo Chico Seltzer started in Latin America and in Europe in late 2020, both with successful endeavors. The Coca-Cola-owned brand of sparkling water then brought their version of the popular alcoholic drink to select States in late March of this year.

Having grown 35% since last year, the hard seltzer industry, now worth $2.5 billion, is not slowing down anytime soon, according to a hard seltzer market share and industry growth report.

No wonder every beverage company wants in on the business, and the beloved Topo Chico sparkling water seems like the perfect match.

Since this product is particularly new, take a look at each flavor review by Thomas Magee, SMU Alumnus, Class of 2020 to decide if you want to try the Topo Chico hard seltzer yourself!

1. Tropical Mango: 5/10

“If you didn’t tell me it was mango I wouldn’t know. It tastes more like a generic fruit seltzer – if they dropped the mango and just called it tropical it would be more spot on.”

2. Strawberry Guava: 7/10

“I don’t get strawberry from this one. I also don’t know exactly what guava tastes like. I’m getting strong gushers vibes.”

3. Exotic Pineapple 10/10

“This one smells like straight pineapple. It smells and tastes like those pineapple dole cups. This is definitely the best one. I like this more than a lot of other seltzers to be honest. The one downside that every White Claw has, it has that bite at the end of it and these don’t – and they taste better than Trulys.”

4. Lemon Lime: 8/10

“Smells like a Topo Chico, it tastes like an in-between of Topo Chico and Sprite, it’s pretty good.”

Best: Pineapple

Worst: Mango

Overall rating as a pack: 8/10 – “I’d buy this over white claw,” says Magee.

Enjoy the Texas heat of summer guilt-free with a delicious and low-calorie hard seltzer! (21+ of course!)

Maria Ryan

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