Hard Seltzer 101

Last Updated: September 6, 2023

In the simplest terms, hard seltzer is alcoholic bubbly water. The overwhelming majority of options contain some form of natural fruit flavoring and arrive at around 5 percent ABV. Almost all of the market leading brands make hard seltzer by fermenting cane sugar, though examples made with base spirits and even wine are becoming ever more common.

Hard seltzers’ low-calorie and low-carb counts put them ahead of beer and ready-to-drink cocktails for health-conscious consumers. This, and the fact producers make that information clearly visible on their packaging, has been the driving factor for the category’s meteoric rise in recent years.

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