In this case we define other alcohol products to be those outside the traditional beer, wine, and spirits trinity. This includes Read-to-Drink (RTD) items such as premixed cocktails, wine coolers (popularized in the 1980s); and hard ciders and seltzers (such as White Claw and Apple & Pear Ciders).
Also known as spiked seltzer, alcoholic seltzer, or hard sparkling water, hard seltzer is carbonated water combined with alcohol and fruit flavoring. Depending on the hard seltzer brand, these fruit flavors can come from real fruit juice or artificial flavoring.
Whether it's television and YouTube commercials or social media posts, it's hard to escape the latest alcoholic beverage craze: hard seltzer. From the wildly popular triumvirate of White Claw, Bon & Viv, and Truly Hard Seltzer to mainstream beer brands like Bud Light, Corona, and Michelob Ultra, it's clear that the hard seltzer market is having a moment — a really big moment.
In 2019, hard seltzer sales were at $4.4 billion and those figures are expected to climb more than 16% from 2020 to 2027. But what is hard seltzer, exactly? And is it true that it's a healthier option than high-calorie, high-sugar booze? Join us as we find out what the buzz is all about with this bubbly beverage.
Hagan, M. (2021, May 6). What Is Hard Seltzer? The Truth About This Fizzy Fad. Usual Wines.
Originally, wine coolers were home-made from light white wines (dry Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio) and lemon-lime soda. However, in the early 1980s, they were bottled and sold commercially by some pretty heavy hitters (guys like E. & J. Gallo and Seagram’s.)
Marketed as sort of soda pop for adults, they contained pulp, artificial fruit flavors, cheap wine, and about as much alcohol as your average craft beer (4-6%).
Wondering what could possibly be the appeal of such a beverage? Well, aside from a sessional ABV, one didn’t have to open a whole bottle of Chardonnay to enjoy something on the lighter side.
Not to mention the easy twist-off cap was a convenient feature in the go-go decade. Combine that with all the flavoring and it’s no surprise wine coolers became a full-blown phenomenon–especially in an era of sluggish beverage sales.
And a full-blown phenomenon they were. According to the Chicago Tribune in 1985, they accounted for close to 10% of all wine consumption in the United States! Yeah, we know. We couldn’t believe it either.
Rendoni, V. (2022). The Rise and Fall of Wine Coolers. Wine Folly.
What's better than a delicious drink after a long day or a refreshing cocktail at a summer barbecue? One that you don't have to make yourself! As specialty spirits (like peanut butter-whiskey) have gotten super popular in recent years, it probably comes as no surprise that pre-made canned cocktails have, too. From classic mimosas and vodka sodas to intricate flavor blends of cucumber and mint or whiskey and honey, there's truly a canned cocktail for everyone today (even beer lovers and wine aficionados).
But with so many convenient adult beverages choose from, what are the best canned cocktails? To figure that out, we researched the best-selling, brand-new and most unique flavors available. Then the editors in the Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen sampled more than 150 canned cocktails and narrowed down their favorites to the 10 listed below. None of them contain grain alcohol or artificial sugar. Buy anything off this list and you can be sure your next canned cocktail will taste good without spending a fortune trying everything at the liquor store.
Consider this your pre-made cocktail buying guide. No matter what your alcohol preferences are or what occasion you're celebrating, we've got your next drink covered. The best part is you literally have to lift just one finger to enjoy every option in this roundup — no mixing and shaking and blending of a million ingredients required. Just tuck some of our picks for best canned cocktails into your beach bag, picnic basket or tailgate cooler and thank us later. Cheers!
Pirie, K. (2022. April 15). 10 Best Canned Cocktails to Sip in 2022. Good Housekeeping.