The Liquor Cabinet

5 of the Best Hard Seltzers To Try Right Now

The hard seltzer has gone from underdog to MVP in just a few years in Australia. Here’s an expert’s taste test of the best alcohol seltzer flavours out there.

It’s called the “White Claw Phenomenon”. It’s spawned an entire lifestyle and a generation of memes. And it’s practically designed for summer.


As it gets more popular here in Australia, let’s take a look at what is a hard seltzer? Essentially it is alcoholic sparkling water, or flavoured water or soda spiked with alcohol. The invention of hard seltzer drinks as we know it can be attributed to Nick Shields, who was managing a small beer brand in Connecticut, and sought to fill a gap in the market back in 2013. Clearly, he was rather successful considering that in 2020, the hard seltzer global market was valued at a whopping USD5.6 billion.

It’s not hard to see the appeal of alcoholic seltzer ‒ it’s low carb, low calorie, sugar free and gluten free, among other things. Apart from the perceived “wholesomeness” of the drink, the convenience and accessibility of the ready-to-drink (RTD) format doesn’t hurt either.


But with the RTD hard seltzer market booming, how do you choose from the wide range of options out there? We’ve made it easier for you, with cocktail expert Daniel Strahand, Beverage Manager of Sydney bar Frank Mac’s, reviewing five of the best seltzer drinks right now. Happy shopping!


White Claw Hard Seltzer Natural Lime


If it’s good enough for America’s most seasoned drinkers ‒ college girls ‒ a White Claw is good enough for us! Reminiscent of a lime ice block, the flavour of this lime seltzer drink takes me right back to my childhood. The crisp, no-nonsense, refreshing White Claw seltzer is the perfect companion for any outdoor activity. The texture and finish does not compromise on depth despite the simplicity of the zesty lime profile.


Smirnoff Seltzer Passionfruit


This is exactly what I expected from the world’s most recognizable vodka brand: Smirnoff. The only surprise here is the zero sugar label ‒ unexpected for such a delightfully sweet finish. A crowd pleaser, this easy-breezy passion fruit Smirnoff seltzer, with a sparkling punch of natural flavours, is definitely a good bet for your holiday get-togethers. Garnish it with a tropical fruit for a light alternative to a poolside cocktail.


Somersby Hard Seltzer Mango & Passionfruit


It’s no surprise with their background in cider, the award-winning team at Somersby were able to nail the balance of this passionfruit and mango seltzer so perfectly. Neither fruit are vying for your attention ‒ they are both present in the drink, but what is not, is the taste of alcohol. This one is almost too easy to drink, and tastes like a music festival with friends. I found this to be the most interesting seltzer of the bunch, with a cheeky marriage of tropical flavours.


Actual Vodka Seltzer Lime


Actual Vodka Seltzer is actually just a better vodka-lime-soda ‒ and in a sleek and portable package to boot. Perfect amounts of lime in the mix is thirst-quenching, but the taste has you wanting more. The lime hits hard in this vodka seltzer ‒ it’s crisp and invigorating with an effervescence that keeps the palate refreshed and chilled. And the cool, millennial-teal can looks great in the fridge or packed in the esky to-go.


Somma Seltzer Watermelon & Lime


A flavour-forward watermelon and lime seltzer, this one is redolent of a cocktail on the beach. It has a nice, dry finish with a moreish mouthfeel ‒ think a Sour Patch Kids zing. This is probably the sweetest seltzer of the lot, with watermelon tones carrying the bubbles for a funky mouth party. The lime finish rounds off the sweet watermelon so it stays nuanced and enjoyable. Somma’s branding hits the nail on the head and is also very playful.


Whatever your flavour preference, there’s a hard seltzer on our shelves for you.

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