The rise of hard seltzer has been nothing less than astonishing. Not only are there many brands and hard seltzer flavors to choose from, but these drinks are both refreshing and the perfect choice for almost any occasion.
Below, we outline some of the most common hard seltzer cocktails along with ingredient lists and how to make them. Let’s get started.
The Best Hard Seltzer Cocktails
Before we go any further, remember this: the word “best” is subjective. For this reason, your bar or restaurant should offer a nice selection of cocktails. This ensures that you have something to offer everyone.
If you need a jumping-off point, here are nine delicious hard seltzer cocktails to serve in 2023.
Key takeaway: With so many hard seltzer cocktails to experiment with, keep an open mind in regard to what you add to your menu.
Marrying the effervescence of seltzer with the rich, fruity essence of traditional Sangria, the Seltzer Sangria has become a popular choice for its adaptability to various fruits. This versatility makes it a preferred option for social gatherings and events.
To prepare this cocktail, gather 1 bottle of red wine, 2 cups of assorted chopped fruits such as apples, oranges, and berries, 1/2 cup of brandy, and 2 cans of hard seltzer in berry or citrus flavor. In a pitcher, blend the wine, brandy, and chopped fruits together. After stirring thoroughly, complete the mixture with the hard seltzer, then serve chilled over ice.
Tropical Seltzer Cocktail
This tropical cocktail is a favorite for its beachy vibes and sweet, tangy flavor. It uses tropical fruits and flavors, transporting you to an island paradise with every sip.
For this, you'll need 2 oz pineapple juice, 2 oz coconut rum, and 1 can of lime hard seltzer. Mix the pineapple juice and coconut rum in a glass, add ice, and then top off with lime hard seltzer. Stir gently to combine.
Spiked Seltzer Mojito
This cocktail draws its popularity from the traditional mojito, a beloved and refreshing rum cocktail. The hard seltzer brings a modern twist, lightening the drink and adding subtle fizziness.
Get started by collecting these ingredients: 1.5 oz of white rum, juice from 1 lime, 1 teaspoon of sugar, several fresh mint leaves, and 1 can of lime or mint-flavored hard seltzer. Crush the mint leaves, sugar, and lime juice together in a glass. Finally, add rum and ice to fill the glass, and finish with your chosen hard seltzer.
The Seltzer Mule is a take on the classic Moscow Mule. It's popular for its balance of sharp ginger and fresh lime, tempered by the effervescence of hard seltzer. To make it, combine 1.5 oz of vodka, the juice of half a lime, and 1 can of ginger or lime hard seltzer in a mule mug. Add ice and stir to blend. You'll find this is equally as tasty as a gin and tonic recipe.
Hard Seltzer Paloma
The Paloma is a classic Mexican cocktail that's known for its refreshing grapefruit flavor. This version substitutes soda for grapefruit hard seltzer, keeping the refreshing flavor but with fewer calories.
To prepare this, mix 2 oz of tequila, 1 oz lime juice, and a pinch of salt in a glass. Add ice, then top with grapefruit hard seltzer.
Pomegranate Seltzer Spritz
The Pomegranate Seltzer Spritz is a favorite at all times of the year. It consists of 2 oz prosecco, 1 oz pomegranate juice, and 1 can of pomegranate hard seltzer. Begin by mixing the prosecco and juice in a glass, add ice, and then finish it off with the seltzer. This is one of the most delicious prosecco cocktails to make!
Spiked Seltzer Lemonade
The Spiked Seltzer Lemonade is a hit in hot weather, with the classic tartness of lemonade blended with the refreshing fizziness of hard seltzer. It requires 2 oz of vodka, the juice of 1 lemon, 1 teaspoon of sugar, and 1 can of lemon or unflavored hard seltzer. Mix the vodka, lemon juice, and sugar in a glass. Fill the glass with ice and top off with hard seltzer.
Spiced Seltzer Cider
The Spiced Seltzer Cider, with its blend of comforting apple cider and warm spices offset by the freshness of hard seltzer, is a preferred choice for the chillier seasons (it’s a popular fall cocktail). This drink requires 2 oz bourbon, 2 oz apple cider, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and 1 can of apple hard seltzer. In a glass, blend the bourbon, cider, and cinnamon, stir, then add ice and complete with apple hard seltzer.
Pineapple Seltzer Cooler
The Pineapple Seltzer Cooler, celebrated for its sunny, tangy profile, requires 2 oz coconut rum, 1 oz pineapple juice, and 1 can of pineapple hard seltzer. Mix the rum and juice in a glass, introduce ice, then complete with the seltzer. Finally, stir for a tropical delight.
Frequently Asked Questions About Hard Seltzer Cocktails
Running a restaurant is all about choices backed by knowledge and facts. Answering these questions can help clear the air.
What is a hard seltzer cocktail?
A hard seltzer cocktail is a mixed drink that includes hard seltzer, an alcoholic beverage containing carbonated water, alcohol, and often fruit flavorings. It's combined with other ingredients like juice, liquor, or fruits to create a light and refreshing cocktail.
Are hard seltzer cocktails lower in calories than regular cocktails?
Generally, hard seltzer cocktails tend to be lower in calories than traditional cocktails. This is because hard seltzer itself is typically lower in sugar and calories compared to other mixers like juice or soda.
How are hard seltzers made?
The process of making hard seltzers involves fermenting sugar using yeast, a step that transforms the sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide — this is what gives the drink its kick and fizz. Following fermentation, the brew undergoes filtration, and then either natural or artificial flavors are introduced, resulting in a light, sparkling, flavored alcoholic beverage.
Does hard seltzer go bad?
While hard seltzer doesn't usually become unsafe to consume, its quality, including taste and fizziness, may decline over time. It's generally advised to drink unopened hard seltzer within 3-6 months of buying, and if opened, it should be consumed within several days when kept refrigerated.
What are the differences between hard seltzer and beer?
Hard seltzer, made by fermenting cane sugar, typically has fewer calories, less sugar, and is often gluten-free. In contrast, beer is produced by fermenting barley or other types of grains and usually contains more calories, sugar, and gluten.
Use Hard Seltzer Cocktails to Your Advantage
It doesn’t matter if you’re opening a bar or looking to boost your restaurant’s profit margin, offering hard seltzer cocktails should be on your radar. Start with a few, gain feedback from your customers, and make changes accordingly. And of course, consider which cocktails are best at different times of the year.
Once you have your restaurant menus in place, technology can help you maintain your inventory.
With all this technology on your side, you’ll always have what you need to make the best hard seltzer cocktails for your customers.