Looking for a new bev of choice now garden gatherings are heading back? Hop aboard the hard seltzer bandwagon
By Sophie Swift
With the prospect of garden visits looming ever closer and – dare we even say it – beer gardens on the not-too-distant horizon, we at HLN have been busy doing a little investigating.
Sure, you can’t beat a G&T when the sun shines. Sometimes there’s literally nothing better than a big glass of red at the end of your workday. And we’re always partial to a cheeky whisky on the rocks. But is there more to the world of alcohol? And has lockdown taught us that by switching up our drinking habits just a touch, we could be quite a bit healthier?
Our worlds were changed not too long ago with the arrival of hard seltzers from RIDE, a husband-and-wife-led brand based up in Allendale. A healthier alternative to your glass of wine or bottle of beer, truly ‘hard’ seltzers are pure and clean; they contain no gluten, liquor, or spirits – the alcohol comes from fermenting the all-natural cane sugar. Generally, these drinks are lightweight, fruity, and sparkling. They have little to no additional sugars and generally remain in the 100-calorie range. They’re a cheap and easy way to celebrate, are available in most supermarkets and offer a similar special feel to canned cocktails.
Piqued your interest? Here are some of our favourite hard seltzer tipples you can enjoy on your deckchairs in that warm April sunshine… (just remember your scarf!)
RIDE was the first company to fully make and can hard seltzer in Britain. Owned by husband-and-wife team Lucy and Tom Hick, RIDE launched their products during lockdown when things at big brother brand Allendale Brewery quietened down. All of RIDE’s creations are artificial sweetener-free, low carbohydrate, low calorie, gluten free and vegan; they’re crafted in small batches, canned on site and made with all UK ingredients. Excited that so many people took to seeking a healthier, lower-calorie alternatives to other alcoholic drinks, Lucy and Tom have developed their range and now offer a deliciously-decadent selection of flavours to choose from – with everything from Mango & Passionfruit to Tropical Guava on the menu.
Whisp are a 100% British hard seltzer company which promises to provide the perfect pick-me-up for a garden picnic with five of your friends. Offering two refreshing flavours – Cucumber & Mint, and Raspberry & Elderflower, each of which are made from natural and sustainable sources here in Britain – Whisp’s drinks are 100% vegan and gluten free, as well as containing no added sugar and less than 66 calories per can. Something that we really love is that they’re plastic-free too; Whisp use 100% recycled cans, and promote a climate-positive message. Better for you, better for the planet, still contains alcohol… what’s not to love?!
Long Shot are all about good, clean fun. Bored with the whole 9-to-five corporate scene, Long Shot took a, well, long shot and created a deliciously-simple new way to drink. Each drink is 4% ABV, under 70 calories, gluten-free, suitable for vegans, low in sugar, and keto friendly. And with drinks flavours such as Grapefruit, Raspberry & Blackcurrant and Strawberry & Rhubarb, we’re sure they’ll hit the spot when April comes round.
Keepr’s hard seltzers are made with a superior copper-distilled, small-batch vodka base – this combined with 100% natural ingredients never fails to deliver a smooth, uber-refreshing flavour kick. Pick from three summer-day flavours – Pear & Ginger, Pomegranate & Rose, and Passionfruit & Elderflower – with each concoction completed by the hint of the company’s signature British honey from its own fully traceable hives. As with the above, Keepr’s selzters are good for the waistline too – all are no more than 90 calories per 250ml can. Can we get a refill over here, please?