What type of alcohol is in hard Seltzer?

Answered by Jeremy Urbaniak

Hard seltzers have gained immense popularity in recent years, becoming a go-to choice for many individuals seeking a refreshing and low-calorie alcoholic beverage. The alcohol content in hard seltzers can vary depending on the brand and the specific type of alcohol base used.

One common type of alcohol base used in hard seltzers is fermented cane sugar. This involves fermenting sugar derived from cane or beet to produce alcohol. The fermented cane sugar is then combined with seltzer water and flavored to create the final product. This type of alcohol base gives hard seltzers a clean and crisp taste, and it is often preferred by those looking for a gluten-free option.

Another alcohol base that can be used is malted barley. Malted barley is commonly used in the production of beer, and it can also be used as a base for hard seltzers. The barley is malted, meaning it is soaked, germinated, and then dried, which activates enzymes that convert starches into fermentable sugars. These sugars are then fermented with yeast to produce alcohol. When combined with seltzer water and flavors, malted barley creates a slightly different taste profile compared to fermented cane sugar-based seltzers, with a hint of graininess.

Grain neutral spirits, such as vodka or grain alcohol, can also be used as the alcohol base in hard seltzers. These spirits are typically made from grains like corn, wheat, or rye and are highly distilled to remove impurities and flavors. When mixed with seltzer water and flavors, the resulting hard seltzer has a more neutral taste, allowing the flavors to shine through without any additional influence from the alcohol base.

Lastly, some hard seltzers are made with a wine base. This means that instead of using fermented sugars or grains, the alcohol is produced through the fermentation of grapes or other fruits. Wine-based hard seltzers tend to have a more sophisticated and complex flavor profile, often resembling the flavors found in traditional wines.

It’s important to note that the alcohol content in hard seltzers can vary, typically ranging from 4% to 6% alcohol by volume (ABV). Some brands may offer higher or lower alcohol content options to cater to different preferences.

Hard seltzers can be made with various alcohol bases, including fermented cane sugar, malted barley, grain neutral spirits, or wine. Each type of alcohol base imparts a distinct flavor profile to the final product, allowing consumers to choose a hard seltzer that suits their preferences.