If you haven't heard the frenzy around the must-have summertime drink, hard seltzer, don't worry. There's still plenty of time to join the party and get your guilt-free buzz on! This low-carb, low-calorie alcoholic beverage has Millennials and Gen Xers alike swapping out their beloved brews for bubbly and refreshing hard seltzers. With all the buzz around LaCroix sparkling water (also in a can), it’s quite the no-brainer that alcohol would soon become part of the equation.

Hard seltzers originally hit the shelves way back in 2013, but with each passing summer, their popularity continues to grow. Today, hard seltzers are living out their true market potential having exceeded $585 million for the 52 week-period that ended on March 23, 2019. Brands like White Claw and Truly are proving to the $119 billion beer industry, that they are a force to be reckoned with.

Now that we're clear on why hard seltzer should be a V.I.P. guest at all of your summer festivities, let's dive into some must-try brands!

White Claw Hard Seltzer

Price: $13.99 (12pk)

Calories: 95 Carbs: 0-3g ABV: 4.5%

Flavors: Black Cherry, Clementine hibiscus, Cranberry, Grapefruit, Lemon Lime, Pear Elderflower, Prickly Pear

Truly Spiked & Sparkling Water

Price: $14.99 (12pk)

Calories: 100 Carbs: 2g ABV: 5%

Flavors: Black Cherry, Blueberry & Acai, Colima Lime, Grapefruit & Pomelo, Lemon & Yuzu, Mango, Orange, Passion Fruit, Pineapple, Pomegranate, Raspberry, Rosé, Wild Berry

Bon & Viv SpikedSeltzer

Price: $14.99 (12pk)

Calories: 90 Carbs: 2g ABV: 4.5%

Flavors: Black Cherry Rosemary, Cranberry, Clementine Hibiscus, Grapefruit, Lemon Lime, Pear Elderflower, Prickly Pear

Henry's Hard Sparkling Water

Price: $12.99 (12pk)

Calories: 88 Carbs: 2.9g ABV: 4.2%

Flavors: Blueberry Lemon, Lemon Lime, Passion Fruit, Peach Mango, Pineapple, and Strawberry Kiwi

Smirnoff Spiked Sparkling Seltzer

Price: $14.99 (12pk)

Calories: 90 Carbs: 1g ABV: 4.5%

Flavors: Berry Lemonade, Cranberry Lime, Orange Mango, Piña Colada, Pink Apple Rosé, Raspberry Rosé, White Peach Rosé , and Watermelon

What exactly is hard seltzer?

With all of this talk of groundbreaking sales, you might wonder what they really put in it. A lot of consumers feel that hard seltzer is similar in taste to their go-to vodka soda, just in a convenient shatter-proof can. It’s actually quite clean and simple. The majority of hard seltzer is produced from either a brewed-malt or fermented-sugar. Carbonated water and flavor are added as the final ingredients.

At an impressive 100 calories, minimal carbs, and gluten-free ingredients, hard seltzer is a great flavored alternative for the health conscious. As an added bonus, while scaling back on calories, hard seltzer doesn’t compromise in terms of ABV. On average, majority hard ciders range from 4.5% to 6%, which is relatively similar to the ABV of most light beers.

Just A Fad? Or Here To Stay?

Are you in love yet? We know. Us too! The good news is, hard seltzers are here to stay! After taking a close look at the Neilson report, the data alone shows that hard seltzer will continue its upward trajectory as beer, spirits, and wine sales essentially flatline. Companies are even making strong efforts to bring back the wine spritzer era. And yes, they have rosé! Summer is coming ladies and gents, so stock up and party on!

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