The Best Citrus Seltzers | Wine Enthusiast
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.
Smaller operations might zest or squeeze hundreds of pounds of citrus themselves before adding to a seltzer, while others might utilize purees or juices from orchards or other fruit companies. The addition of real fruit typically lends to longer-lasting flavor, and citric acid also helps tamp down sugar flavors—artificial or otherwise.
Citrus is what helped usher in flavored hard seltzers several years ago, and while the industry has evolved into exotic fruits and surprising combinations, the humble workhorse continues on bringing refreshment to each sip.
The 8 Best Citrus Seltzers
H2Roads Grapefruit (Hard Seltzer; Two Roads Brewing, CT)
Truly Lime (Hard Seltzer; Boston Beer Co., MA)
86 Points Wine Enthusiast
Enjoyable aromas and flavors of key lime with a subtle sweetness that grows with each sip but does not become cloying. A refreshing bit of warm citrus best served super chilled. 100 calories.
H2Roads Meyer Lemon (Hard Seltzer; Two Roads Brewing, CT)
Truly Grapefruit (Hard Seltzer; Boston Beer Co., MA)
85 Points Wine Enthusiast
The tart aroma is lovely with dried grapefruit and fresh–squeezed peel. The body is thin and the citrus takes a back seat to the sugary punch that arrives with the first sip. 100 calories.
Truly Lemon (Hard Seltzer; Boston Beer Co., MA)
86 Points Wine Enthusiast
A bright candied–lemon aroma with a flavor to match. Clear, with strong carbonation, the lemon flavor tastes processed at times with an artificial sugar sweetness that peeks through at the finish. 100 calories.
Reuben’s Fruitfizz Grapefruit (Hard Seltzer; Reuben’s Brews, WA)
Reuben’s Fruitfizz Orange Zest (Hard Seltzer; Reuben’s Brews, WA)
Wormtown Orange Zest (Hard Seltzer; Wormtown Brewing, MA)
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Published on January 20, 2023