In recent years, hard seltzers have gained a lot of popularity. Whether it's due to new products hitting the market, a rise in health-conscious consumers who prefer low-carb, low-sugar, low-calorie, and often gluten-free drinks, or phenomenal marketing, hard seltzers are here to stay. Every time you go to the store, you'll likely find new flavors and brands putting out their version of a hard seltzer, most of which come in delicious flavors.
While most hard seltzers are delicious to drink as is, you can also enhance the flavor by adding mixers to create new, exciting cocktails. Adding drinks to your hard seltzer is also a great way to make them more or less potent, depending on what you're in the mood for. Or, if you're stuck with your least favorite flavors at the end of a variety pack, adding another drink can make them more enjoyable. Either way, there are a surprising amount of excellent beverages you can add to hard seltzers. I tapped into my love for drinking hard seltzers and years of serving them in bars and restaurants to come up with a list of drinks you can add to hard seltzers to reinvigorate them and keep things fresh.
One of the best things you can add to hard seltzers is rum. Not only does it turn things up a notch, but it blends perfectly with the alcohol used to make them. Most hard seltzers are made with fermented sugar cane, which isn't quite the same as rum, but considering they both start as sugar cane, it's pretty close. Some hard seltzers are made with fermented barley, but they go nicely with rum, too.
One of the best things about mixing in rum is that it complements almost any hard seltzer flavor. Thanks to being derived from sugar cane, both light and dark rum have a somewhat sweet, nectary taste. When paired with hard seltzers, which are notoriously low in sugar and minimally sweet, it results in a sweeter taste that many people prefer. Additionally, rum doesn't add a lot of other flavor, like whiskey or gin would, so it works well with any flavor hard seltzer.
Vodka is another fantastic way to create a more potent cocktail out of hard seltzers. You're less likely to find hard seltzers made with vodka in the United States, but vodka has a neutral taste that blends well with most drinks, hard seltzers included. If you're craving a cocktail, you can pour hard seltzer and vodka over ice and even add fresh herbs or garnish with citrus for the ultimate beverage. Or, if you're feeling feisty, you can skip the bells and whistles and simply pour a shot of vodka straight into the can after you've sipped out enough space for it.
Similar to rum, vodka goes well with any flavor of hard seltzer. From black cherry to grapefruit to mango and everything in between, vodka doesn't disappoint. After all, you can probably think of several cocktails that combine vodka with fruity flavors, and this is no different. However, you'll probably want to use a bit less vodka than a traditional cocktail because hard seltzer already has alcohol in it, unlike typical mixers.
Another Flavor Of Hard Seltzer
While a bit obvious, mixing two or more flavors of hard seltzer can lead to delicious flavor combinations. Many hard seltzers now come with blended flavors, but you can easily blend them yourself, too. Of course, this means you'll have to commit to drinking more than one can at a time, but that shouldn't be a problem for most people, especially if you're sharing with someone else.
There are so many hard seltzer brands on the market that finding great flavors to mix should be easy and fun. It also gives you a chance to get creative. Combining different fruit flavors like mango, passion fruit, and pineapple makes for a yummy tropical blend. For something light and refreshing, try mixing various citrus flavors, like lime, grapefruit, and lemon. Berry-flavored hard seltzers also make a great pair. Lastly, lime hard seltzers are super versatile when blending flavors. They go exceptionally well with a broad range of flavors like black cherry, pineapple, watermelon, strawberry, and more.
If you want a healthier mixer for your hard seltzer, coconut water makes an outstanding choice. It has a mild sweetness and easily blends into numerous hard seltzer flavors without overpowering the taste. As you probably know, lime and coconut are an iconic flavor combination, so mixing coconut water with lime seltzer is a surefire win. In addition, coconut water is particularly delicious when mixed with tropical seltzer flavors like pineapple, mango, and watermelon. It also tastes yummy when mixed with berry seltzers like strawberry, raspberry, and blueberry, so it is quite versatile.
Coconut water isn't for everyone, but if you like it, it is a great way to proactively get ahead of a hangover. It is super hydrating and full of nutrients, both of which can help you feel great the next day. Just keep in mind that a lot of coconut waters have a significant amount of sugar in them. So, if you love hard seltzer because of its reduced sugar levels, there may be better choices than coconut water.
If you like drier beverages with a mild flavor, soda water is a fantastic drink to mix with hard seltzer. Actually, seltzer is another name for soda water, so it's probably already a main component of your hard seltzer. It is perfect over ice, refreshing, and ideal for warm days when you want to imbibe but don't want to overdo it. Thanks to its lack of flavor, soda water can be mixed into any hard seltzer flavor. The only noticeable differences are a reduction in flavor potency and potentially more bubbles.
One of the best things about this combination is that it doesn't add any calories, carbs, or sugar to the drink. As a result, it is an excellent choice for health-conscious consumers. Considering it dilutes the hard seltzer, it is also a good option if you're splurging but want to savor the experience for longer. Think of it like a hard seltzer spritzer. Tonic and seltzer water are not the same thing, but tonic works in hard seltzers, too. It just adds a subtle sweetness and a touch of its signature quinine taste.
If you want to like hard seltzers but they just aren't sweet enough for your palate, flavored liqueurs could be your new best friend. They come in a wide spectrum of flavors, have a sweet, syrupy taste, and add a ton of flavor to anything you mix them with. The only drawback to adding flavored liqueurs to hard seltzers is that they seriously increase the amount of sugar per drink, so you may want to limit yourself to one or two to avoid feeling adverse effects the next day.
Liqueurs are available in a nearly limitless amount of flavors, some of which are better for mixing with hard seltzer than others. For example, you probably don't want to incorporate a coffee-flavored liquor with a hard seltzer unless it is a flavorless hard seltzer, like White Claw Pure, and you certainly want to avoid mint liqueurs. Fortunately, there are plenty of other flavored liqueurs that make a fantastic duo with hard seltzers, such as peach schnapps, melon-flavored Midori, raspberry liquor, Limoncello, and orange-flavored liqueurs like Cointreau, triple sec, and Curacao. You could even make a play on an Aperol spritz with a lemon-flavored hard seltzer.
Limeade is both sweet and tart all at once, making it a fantastic drink mixer for hard seltzers. Lime is also extremely versatile, so it pairs well with lots of different flavors. Its adaptable taste is one of the reasons it is a popular garnish for a myriad of cocktails. Top Chico's Aguas Frescas line of hard seltzers, which includes hibiscus lime, ripe watermelon, passionfruit mango, and citrus tamarind flavors, goes particularly well with limeade. More basic flavors of hard seltzers like lemon, strawberry, pineapple, and watermelon also make a great choice. Or, if you love the taste of lime all by itself, add it to a lime-flavored hard seltzer for a ton of easy-to-drink flavor and sweetness.
You can easily make limeade at home with fresh limes, sugar, and water. Or, you can just pick some up from the store. It may not be available at all grocers, but the popularity of brands like Simply is making it more common, and you can almost always find it at higher-end health food grocers like Whole Foods Market.
Just like lime, lemon is a highly versatile citrus flavor. It makes a great addition to all kinds of drinks, including hard seltzer. So, if you want a full-flavored, sweet lemon cocktail, try adding lemonade to your hard seltzer. Lemonade turns your average hard seltzer into a refreshing drink, ideal for enjoying on hot days. Best of all, you are unlikely to find a flavor of hard seltzer that does not complement it.
Some flavors of hard seltzer result in more complex, delicious pairings with lemonade than others. For example, there are several iced tea White Claw flavors that make for an outstanding Arnold Palmer-like cocktail. In contrast, mixing lemonade with a more toned-down, simple flavor could result in the seltzer's taste being overpowered. However, that could be a benefit if you don't like the flavor of the hard seltzer you have. Lemonade is also a convenient mixer because it is easy to make and available at all grocery and convenience stores.
Ginger beer is an outstanding drink to mix with hard seltzer. It has a potent ginger flavor combined with spicy and sweet elements, leading to a complex, well-balanced cocktail when mixed with spirits. While it mixes well with most citrus and berry-flavored hard seltzers, lime is probably the best flavor to mix with ginger beer. It creates a beverage similar to a Moscow mule but with a more subtle lime taste. In addition, spicier ginger beers tend to have a more powerful taste that is great for masking the flavors of hard seltzer you may not like as much.
Ginger ale also makes a good mixer for hard seltzer. It won't be as flavorful or overpowering as ginger beer, but it works well with all the same flavors. Ginger ale is also much less expensive, and it is readily available at both convenience and grocery stores, so it is easier to find than ginger beer.
Cranberry juice is a common mixer used in a never-ending list of classic and contemporary cocktails. While you may not have thought of it before, it also makes a wonderful addition to hard seltzer. It adds a bright sweetness and a slight tartness, resulting in a beverage that isn't overly sweet. Typically, drinks are made with what is called a cranberry juice cocktail, but if you want to minimize sugar, you can always opt for a more pure cranberry juice without all the added sugar. Pure cranberry juice may not be as widely available, but you should be able to find it at health food stores.
Whichever type of cranberry juice you prefer, you can mix it with a bunch of different hard seltzer flavors. Lemon and lime flavors are the most complimentary if you want to enhance tartness. If you like your drinks a bit sweeter, berry flavors like blueberry, raspberry, and strawberry make great choices.
Pineapple juice has a distinctly tropical flavor with lots of sweetness and bright, citrusy elements, even though it is not technically a citrus fruit. As such, it is a fantastic drink to mix with other tropical, citrus, and berry-flavored hard seltzers. Pineapple juice tastes delicious with lime, mango, passionfruit, watermelon, strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, lemon, and black cherry hard seltzers.
Pineapple juice may not be the best choice for people trying to limit their sugar intake, but it is excellent for hiding flavors you don't enjoy. For example, if you add pineapple juice to grapefruit hard seltzer, chances are low that you'll taste any grapefruit. It doesn't have to be that way, though. If you want to avoid overpowering the flavor of the seltzer, only add a small amount of juice. A couple of ounces of pineapple juice is plenty when aiming for a more balanced flavor. Be careful, though. It covers other flavors so well you may forget there's even alcohol in your drink.
Hard seltzers and orange juice also go hand in hand. Orange juice has a vibrant citrus flavor and just enough sweetness to make hard seltzers shine. Mixing a touch of orange juice with a hard seltzer is similar to a mimosa but with a hint of an additional flavor. In fact, you've probably had a flavored mimosa before, and this combination isn't far off the mark. Hard seltzer and orange juice make a fantastic choice for breakfast and brunch cocktails and are super refreshing.
When it comes to the ideal hard seltzer flavors to mix with orange juice, citrus options are the safest bet. Orange juice also complements pineapple and berry flavors like strawberry, raspberry, and blueberry. Black cherry hard seltzer may not be as enjoyable, but if you add enough orange juice, you can easily cover it and other undesirable flavors. Adding a significant amount of orange juice also increases nutrients and gives your drink a decent amount of vitamin C, something health-conscious consumers can appreciate.
Bitter yet smooth, grapefruit juice is another excellent choice for mixing with hard seltzer, especially if you prefer drier cocktails without a lot of sweetness. Of course, grapefruit juice does have sugar in it, but it has an overwhelmingly sour taste that all but eliminates sweetness on the tongue. Instead, it provides you with a bitter flavor followed by a dry aftertaste. If you prefer something a tiny bit sweeter, try ruby red grapefruit juice. Ruby red grapefruits are known for their red fruit, obviously, and balanced sour and sweet taste. It definitely is not a sweet fruit, but compared to a typical grapefruit, the difference is pretty noticeable.
Mixing grapefruit juice with hard seltzer creates a stimulating cocktail. If you like greyhounds or Palomas, chances are you'll like this combination, as well. This mix is also somewhat similar to a mimosa but more sour. The obvious hard seltzer to mix with grapefruit juice is grapefruit, but other flavors go really well with it, too. Lime and lemon hard seltzers add a bright flavor element while still remaining light overall. Or, to sweeten things up, mix grapefruit juice with tropical and berry flavors such as strawberry, pineapple, and raspberry.
Peach juice may not be a common mixer in bars, but that doesn't mean it is not suitable for use in cocktails. It has a sweet, nectary taste that most people find delicious, and it complements a range of fruity flavors. One of the main reasons this mixer is not commonly used is that it is not always readily available. In fact, it was pretty hard to find outside of a health food store before Simply Peach, but now it is in most grocery stores.
The one drink you're likely to find at a restaurant or bar that contains peach is a Bellini (a mimosa with peach instead of orange juice). Even so, establishments typically use peach nectar, not peach juice. When you mix hard seltzer with peach juice, it comes out quite similar to a Bellini, so you know it's going to be yummy. For the best flavor combination, mix peach juice with lemon or berry-flavored hard seltzers. Cherry and mango hard seltzers are also fantastic options. Just remember, peach juice is exceptionally sweet, so a little goes a long way when mixing cocktails. Additionally, if you use too much, it will easily overpower the flavor of the hard seltzer.
Sugary and sweet, orange soda is a favorite for kids, but it also makes a tasty mixer for hard seltzer. Its indulgent sweetness changes the flavor profile of a hard seltzer completely, so if you dislike how dry they typically are, orange soda is a great solution. All you need is a shot or two to transform your seltzer into a totally different cocktail, perfect for summer, brunch, or, really, any time you're craving a sweet treat. The best hard seltzers for mixing with orange soda include lemon, lime, grapefruit, and pineapple. Berry-flavored hard seltzers like strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, or even cherry also taste great with orange soda.
The main drawback to using orange soda as a mixer is that it contains a massive amount of sugar, something many hard seltzer drinks try to limit. In addition, you are unlikely to find orange soda at a bar, although it may be available in some family-friendly restaurants.
Lemon-lime sodas such as Sprite and Sierra Mist feature a sugary flavor with a touch of citrus. When combined with hard seltzer, they lend their flavor to the overall drink without taking over the entire cocktail, even if you mix quite a bit in. As such, they are a fantastic option for mellowing out a hard seltzer. They also add bubbles so the beverage retains its effervescent qualities.
As you may have guessed, lemon-lime sodas make a great pair with both lemon and lime hard seltzers. The combination is subtly sweet, refreshing, and, above all, delicious. Lemon-lime sodas also taste fantastic when mixed with grapefruit, berry, and tropical fruit-flavored hard seltzers. Actually, they complement just about any flavor of hard seltzer, so feel free to try it out with all of your favorites. Plus, you can find lemon-lime soda in any bar, restaurant, convenience store, or grocery store, so it's one of the most readily available mixers for a hard seltzer.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.