Your scribe has sipped, slurped and on the odd occasion, skolled his way through another summer and is looking forward to a cooling of the weather where the constant need to rehydrate isn’t as prevalent. Tony Cox does a quick recap of summer and discovers an emerging drink delight.
What an explosion of fun drinks! More local breweries, more local distilleries and the arrival of the totally refreshing seltzers. With seltzers, or more technically correct ‘hard seltzers’ predominantly having less than 100 calories per serve perhaps yours truly may wish to avert a waistline going the same way as Government debt and develop a seltzer habit instead.
So what exactly are hard seltzers? They are simply sparkling or soda water with alcohol added and finished with fruit and an emphasis on refreshment. Given the weighting on low calorie as a key marketing point is it any surprise hard seltzers originated in California?
Many of the seltzers in Australia are craft breweries adding another string to their bow. Fellr, which is brewed in Sydney, comes in at a comfortable 4% ABV and has a gluten-free alcohol base and is available in the refreshing flavours of watermelon; dry & lime; and lime & soda. With a tiny 83 calories per can you can go easy on the alcohol and easy on the waistline.
The team from Two Birds Brewing, Australia’s first female-owned brewery located in the inner west Melbourne suburb of Spotswood, produces Chirpy Seltzer in two flavours – watermelon; and mango. Weighing in at a meagre 63 calories per can and with no added sugar just thinking about a couple of these has my belt coming in a few notches!
With a new category beginning to rapidly grow, it hasn’t taken long for some of the bigger players to get in on the act. Smirnoff has entered the fray with their own alcohol-spiked seltzer. Having no added sugar, the available flavours are centred on fun and refreshment. My only real query here is why the brand extension into a spiked 8% ABV range when you are talking about an easy drinking product designed to quench a thirst in the summer sun?
Closer to home (and hot-off-the-press!) Cooroy’s 20 20 Distillery is about to release its gin-based 20 20 Seltzer with fun and fresh flavours namely, OMG (orange, mango and ginger) and LOL (lemon, orange and lime)! We love the names and at 88 calories with less than one gram of sugar and 3.8% alcohol content, it’s sure to be a winner.
Founder and Distiller Brian Bedding said the gin seltzers use Cooroy Mountain Spring Water that is carbonated with
20 20’s signature gins and in tropical flavours that reflect and capture the sunshine of the regions. Job done!
Hard seltzers are a fun new addition to warm weather drinking and are carving out a niche for the health conscious. Given Noosa’s penchant for Indian summers I will be doing my best to track down a few more of these before I pull out a pinot noir or bust out a Barolo as the cooler weather moves in.
Cheers and good drinking!