Images Courtesy of the Merchants
Talk to drink makers who follow trends and they’ll be quick to tell you that citrus sells. This is nothing new, of course, but as hard seltzer continues to innovate with ingredients, there are still classic flavors that delight in the glass.
For single-citrus hard seltzers, makers stick to the familiar, with lemon, lime, orange and grapefruit getting the most attention. But not all are sliced the same.
Some seltzer makers focus on “natural flavorings” that can mimic real fruit, but also run the risk of smelling like a car air freshener or a cleaning product. These also usually finish quickly flavor-wise on the palate, setting up the tastebuds for a fresh hit on the next sip.
In contrast, the seltzers that make a point of using real fruit or juice often deliver bolder flavor and have a cocktail-like essence. From the peel and the pith to the flesh and zest, different parts of the fruit bring varied flavors and dimensions to the finished product.
Juice added to a seltzer typically results in a cloudier or colored beverage, a departure from the crystal-clear bubbly water that most look for. Haze is a feature here and fits into the changing nature of hard seltzers, which sees producers stressing authenticity. The visual component plays a part of that, although many consumers still drink directly from the can and may not immediately note it.