Hard seltzer has been a popular beverage in the US for a few years now, and lucky for us, the alcohol-infused sparkling water has finally made its way over to the UK. Being naturally gluten-free with a low ABV, calorie and sugar content, hard seltzer has become a big hit with health-conscious drinkers, or those who prefer the taste of something lighter and less boozy.
Whether you prefer gin or vodka, an array of different alcohol bases are blended with fruity and botanical flavours to make this uniquely refreshing drink you're sure to love. So if you're thinking of trying this tangy tipple, our buying guide is here to tell you all you need to know about hard seltzers! We've also included our top to faves from Amazon, Tesco and Asda. To your health!
Emily is a registered integrative, naturopathic nutritionist trained in the principles of functional medicine, biomedicine and human sciences, and she has a Master’s Degree in nutrition. She has extensive clinical experience in both private practice and the public health and wellbeing sector. Her work embraces the interplay between nutrition, bio-individuality and mindset, educating and empowering clients to make lasting changes wherever they are on their health journey.
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Emily is a registered integrative, naturopathic nutritionist and has a Master’s Degree in nutrition. Her work embraces the interplay between nutrition, bio-individuality and mindset, educating and empowering clients to make lasting changes wherever they are on their health journey. You can check out her work from her Instagram account and website.
The sugar content in a can of hard seltzer can range from 0g - 3g, which at its highest, is still less than the average can of beer or glass of wine. Seltzers with 2g of natural sugar will be subtly sweet, but if you are trying to avoid sugar there are lots of seltzer options that contain only trace amounts of naturally occurring sugars.
Be sure to check the ingredients and nutritional information when choosing a seltzer, as it can't always be taken for granted as a 'healthier' option. Some brands contain aspartame and other artificial sweeteners, which can potentially play havoc with your health and waistline if consumed regularly. That's why it's best to avoid it entirely and opt for seltzers with natural fruit flavourings instead.
For more fruity drink options, try one of our favourite Spanish wines!
There are certain ‘foods’ I think we need to be mindful of due to the lack of long-term research on health implications. Artificial sweeteners, for me, are one of those ‘foods’.
The emerging research suggests that artificial sweeteners can wreak havoc on our gut microbiota, and products with a sweet taste without any calories can result in an increase in appetite! So keep an eye out for artificial sweeteners, they can often be found in seltzers listed as sugar-free.
A lot of manufacturers use gluten in the production process, and then extract most of the grains during fermentation, but these drinks can't be called "gluten-free" as there may still be traces of gluten in the final product.
If you suffer from Celiac disease, even slight traces of gluten could be harmful to your health, so keep this in mind when choosing the best hard seltzer for you. Opt for a brand that uses cane sugar instead of gluten to produce the alcohol, as these are the only products that will be truly gluten-free.
Generally, the calorie content of hard seltzer can range from 55 to over 100 calories per can depending on which one you choose. The seltzers on the lower end of the scale may be better for your waistline, but they will also usually contain less alcohol and sugar, which may result in a less flavourful drink.
Seltzers on the higher end will contain a higher alcohol percentage and often more sugar, which makes for a more fun and tasty drink. Regardless of which one you pick, you'll still want to watch your intake as hard seltzer can be dangerously drinkable!
Hard seltzers commonly contain fewer calories per serving than most other alcoholic drinks, but it’s always important to remember that this doesn’t mean they are a health drink!
That being said, I firmly believe that restricting yourself from a particular food or drink that you love results in a much unhealthier life, so if you want to enjoy a seltzer whilst keeping a check on your health, then try to opt for a lower-calorie option.
With many hard seltzer options catering to a healthy lifestyle, as well as including all-natural ingredients, they contain less alcohol than many other drinks. So if you like to have a light drink that allows you to get up early with a clear head, look for cans with a lower ABV.
Most hard seltzers contain around 4.5% ABV, which is a happy medium that's still lower than the standard can of gin and tonic. However, some hard seltzers have a decent kick at 5% ABV, so be sure to read the label to help you drink responsibly and find the right one for you.
If you're feeling adventurous, try something stronger from our top Shochu list!
Alcoholic seltzer comes in a range of different fruity flavours, with some of the most popular ones being lime, raspberry and black cherry. There's nothing quite like zesty lime in a sparkling drink, and the deep, juiciness of dark fruit creates a gorgeously mellow tipple.
If tropical flavours are more your thing, pineapple, passionfruit, orange and grapefruit bring the perfect balance of sweetness and acidity. For something a little more unusual, strawberry with rhubarb is a tangy treat, or choose a can that combines fruit with herbs such as cucumber and mint, or raspberry and elderflower for an elegant twist.
For more flavourful drinks, try our best premixed cocktails
Whilst food processors must list all the ingredients that have gone into a food product, the same is not true for flavour manufactures. Just one ‘natural flavour’ can include more than 100 ingredients! So wherever you can, try to opt for natural hard seltzers with little to no added flavourings.
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Hard Seltzer Mixed Flavour Pack
A Deluxe Pack of Three Delicious Flavours
Natural Lime Hard Seltzer
A Premium Seltzer With a Zesty Lime Flavour
Raspberry & Elderflower Hard Seltzer
Made in the UK From Sustainably Sourced Ingredients
Raspberry Hard Seltzer
Made With Sparkling Water, Triple Distilled Spirit and Natural Raspberry Flavouring
Hard Seltzer Mixed Variety Pack
British Sparkling Water Infused With Fresh Wonky Fruit
Hard Seltzer Mixed Pack
Combines Real Fruit Juice and Neutral Grain Spirit for a Purer Taste
Hard Seltzer Mixed Case
A Healthy Seltzer That Doesn't Compromise on Flavour
Black Cherry Hard Seltzer
Light and Refreshing, With Notes of Juicy Black Cherry
Sugar-Free Hard Seltzer
From the Creators of Britain's Well-Loved Wines
Hard Seltzer Elderflower, Lemon & Mint
Making use of all-natural flavours and colours, Berczy is a brand that it truly committed to the health of its customers and the protection of the environment. Through their partnership with UKHarvest, they have joined the fight to end hunger and food waste, donating 1% of all profits towards the cause.
You can choose from multiple flavours including Lemon & Lime, Passionfruit & Turmeric, Peach & Raspberry. But we recommend the mixed flavour pack to try them all. Delicious, environmentally conscious and UK based, Berczy are creating some of the most exciting hard seltzers out there!
Since it was founded in 2016, White Claw has grown in popularity year by year and is now the most well-known and popular hard seltzer brand to come from the US. With a cool name and iconic can, White Claw has a 5% ABV, but with fewer calories than most others.
Available in raspberry, black cherry and natural lime, they're all heavenly, but Natural Lime Hard Seltzer just has that zesty edge to take you back to summer! Made with triple-distilled spirit and without any artificial sweeteners, it's perfect for those who love a lighter taste but with a bit of a kick.
With Whisp's gorgeous branding and focus on health and sustainability, it has to be the most elegant hard seltzer option on our list! This Raspberry & Elderflower hard seltzer is extremely low in sugar, whilst still tasting delightful.
Made by a female run start-up in the UK, there are no sweeteners or preservatives used. Whisp even contains milk thistle, a natural detox hero. The packaging is plastic-free and fully recyclable, Whisp even plant 12 trees every month per staff member in conjunction with Offset Earth.
One of two White Claw offerings on our list, their Raspberry Hard Seltzer is juicy, fruity and fabulously fizzy. Made using sparkling water, triple distilled spirit and natural raspberry flavouring, it's gorgeously light while still being potent!
Gluten-free, low calorie and made without any artificial sweeteners, it's hard to choose which of the flavours in the White Claw range is the greatest. That said, you definitely can't go wrong with the full-flavours offered by this truly tasty and massively refreshing drink.
Coming in a beautifully designed box, Served's Hard Seltzer offers a lighter way to enjoy a drink with friends. Made with Scottish raspberries and Brazilian limes, there are no artificial flavours or sweeteners added, making for a crisp, fresh taste.
A more sustainable choice, this hard seltzer is made from British sparkling water blended with an ultra-pure four-times distilled spirit and wonky fruit, which would otherwise go to waste.
With a bright and cheerful can design, Long Shot Hard Seltzer looks tempting and tastes delicious. Made from a neutral grain spirit, it has a purer taste with no residual sugars. When combined with real fruit juice and sparkling water, this creates an exciting spiked seltzer!
Made with all-natural ingredients and low in calories, Long Shot is much more inspiring than a gin in a tin! We've chosen the mixed pack of three flavours, including raspberry & blackcurrant, grapefruit, and strawberry & rhubarb. But you can get single flavour multipacks too.
With zero gluten, three delicious flavours, and zero grams of residual sugar content, its no wonder this DRTY seltzer has made it to our list! It's the perfect concoction for those looking for a healthy seltzer with a flavour that won't disappoint.
Whether you prefer the sweet sparkle of Raspberry Rosé, the zingy kick of White Citrus, or the smooth delicacy of Mango Passion, there's no doubt that this mixed case has it all.
Originally created in Canada, Mike's hard seltzer is a refreshing blend of purified sparkling water, five-times distilled spirit and natural black cherry flavouring. Other flavours include natural lemon and lime, but black cherry is by far our favourite with its juicy, dark fruit notes.
The ethos behind Mike's is to have fun and not take yourself too seriously. So naturally, its made with a decent amount of alcohol (5% ABV) without compromising on calories or taste. Overall, it's a good quality hard seltzer, and you'll like the price too!
With triple distilled vodka and all natural fruit flavours, AndSoda are a true example of the very best that hard seltzer has to offer. If you're looking for a sugar-free option that packs a punch, this 5% seltzer could be the match for you!
The crisp, clean flavours are backed by a delicate fizz that doesn't overwhelm the palette. With a choice of Classic Lime, Raspberry, or Orange flavours, this mixed pack is guaranteed to hit the spot on every occasion.
Bodega Bay's hard seltzer is an intricate blend of delicate flavours that's sure to satisfy your craving. They also offer an Apple, Ginger & Açai Berry flavour, but this Elderflower, Lemon & Mint option is certainly our favourite.
With recipes that are both vegan and gluten-free, made exclusively with gently carbonated spring water, Bodega Bay are a guaranteed hit if you're catering to dietary restrictions, or just looking for that perfect flavour you can't find anywhere else.
Written and researched by Melanie McPhail
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