What to Drink

Fizzing up the Windy city - Hard Seltzer craze

The Era of bubbly Hard Seltzer is favorable for many Chicagoans. This low-calorie fizzy drink is everyone’s favorite in Illinois, increasing its growth by USD 6.53 billion in 2023 across the USA.

Less alcoholic, more flavourful with few calories, sugars, and carbs than many traditional alcoholic beverages has, hard seltzer somewhere consist around 5% of alcohol, making it a much healthier choice for drinkers with a conscious for nutritional intake.   

In recent years, a bubbly revolution has swept across Chicago's drink scene, leaving a trail of effervescence in its wake. The beverage in question? Hard seltzer – a fizzy, low-calorie alternative that has quickly become the drink of choice for many in the Windy City. This blog delves into the rise of hard seltzer, exploring its impact on Chicago's drink market, and tag along to explore some of the finest hard seltzers from Bartender Spirits Awards 2023. 

Winning Hard-Seltzers from Bartender Spirits Awards 2023 - listed below : 

1. Sunray Hard Seltzer Strawberry

Image source: Sunray

Marvely Sunray Hard Seltzer Strawberry scored an impressive 98 points & a Double Gold award in Bartender Spirits Awards 2023. Our Judge Jessica Schjavland was left in WOW, as she embraced that ‘Strawberry, melon over a decadent mouthfeel with Rich flavors and delicate balance. So Strong! Definitely number one in my Book”. 

Tasting Notes:
Beautiful, baked berries and melon over a decadent mouthfeel. Rich flavors and delicate balance.

2. Sunray Hard Seltzer Peach

Image source: Sunray

Ripe, fruity and refreshing. Made with premium real fruit and sparkling water. Refreshingly light and packed with fruity peach flavor perfect for a hard seltzer lover. 

Tasting Notes:
Full bodied bubbles. Ripe, juicy peach and toasted stone fruit along with light semi sweet aromatics.

3. PAMA Mandarin Orange Pomegranate Seltzer

Image source: pamaliqueur

Made with real pomegranate & mandarin, PAMA seltzers pack a fizzy punch with real vodka, with 4.5% ABV this seltzer holds the crisp taste of pomegranate juice with a bit of tequila for delight. 

PAMA Seltzers are meant to be gluten free, healthier choice for Dump January too. 
Participating in ‘Dry January’ or need a rest to reset your health choices? Check out our blog on 11 Non-Alcoholic Spirits That'll Get You Through Dry January 2024

Tasting Notes:
Zesty lemon breeze over a cooked flavor of sweet pomegranate.

4. PAMA Pomegranate Seltzer

Image source: pamaliqueur

Real taste on palate, scarlet hard seltzer is authentic with fruit & low in alcohol. The fresh taste of pomegranate, sparkling bubbles, and a flavorful burst of real fruit juice in a can is favorable for every season. 

The main appeal of hard seltzer, other than its refreshing carbonation and delicious natural flavors, is that with less sugar, carbs or calories you can make it a fantastic alternative to other alcoholic drinks. 

Tasting Notes:
Cotton candy and bubble gum on the nose. Aromas come through on the palate and end with a crisp pomegranate finish.

5. PAMA Blueberry Pomegranate Seltzer

Image source: pamaliqueur

Heaven Hill’s Pama Blueberry pomegranate hard seltzer holds extraordinary flavor with a pleasing after-taste & a long finish from blueberries with a subtly sweet and tart hint of ruby pomegranate. Balanced in every sip, this Hard seltzer stood great with 85 points in Bartender Spirits Awards 2023 along with a Silver Medal. 

Tasting Notes:
Big and bold berry and pomegranate nose with a complimenting bright inviting taste that stays until the finish.

6. Deep Eddy Ruby Red Vodka + Soda

Image source: deepeddyvodka

Well fruity balanced hard seltzer for a refreshing day or joyful light night. Deepeddy Ruby Red vodka is exceptionally light, balanced infused with fizzy real vodka surfacing an elegant floral note with scarlet red color. 

Delicious grapefruit combinations contain 68 calories, 3g of carbs & only 3g of sugar, additionally deepeddy vodkas are gluten free. Healthy Chicagoans can forever choose this seltzer.

Tasting Notes:
Intense grapefruit on the nose and possibly some blood orange. Surprisingly soft on the palate with a floral touch that fills the mouth with a smooth elegant full bodied flavor.

7. Deep Eddy Lime Vodka + Soda

Image source: deepeddyvodka

Crafted in small batches & with use of peculiar ingredients delivering a boom with a great mouthfeel. The secret of Deepeddy Lime vodka+soda ‘s amusing flavor profile is their distilling process and use of natural ingredients. 

Deepeddy’s Lime Vodka + soda can be a great combination in any cocktail or directly on ice, serving a pleasant, sweet, crisp & refreshing vibe. This will make you a fan of Vodka sodas. 

Tasting Notes:
Bright hints of lime leaf on the nose and a zest of fresh lime right until the finish.

8. Deep Eddy Lemon Vodka + Soda

Image source: deepeddyvodka

Exquisite taste, low sugar to compliment the taste of lemon. Deepeddy Lemon Vodka + soda is complement to the palate with a delicious hint of Tangy lemons & a little bit of grapefruit touch. 

Being rated 85 points & a silver medal at Bartender Spirits Awards 2023 makes it a great for any party or a part of lemon basil Martini, deep shandy, or a cosmopolitan will suit your taste buds best. 

Tasting Notes:
Citrus forward, with the abundant lime giving it a tangy mouthfeel. Slight hint of grapefruit.

9. Goodboy Vodka Tropical Strawberry Hibiscus

Image source: goodboyvodka

More fruity than floral, an exceptional combination of tropical strawberries and hibiscus flower aromatic to nose & sweet tender to palate.  No added sugar and non-carbonated natural Goodboy tropical strawberry hibiscus hard seltzer gives off a smooth & balanced aftertaste which is not too concentrated yet flavor packed.

Tasting Notes:
Hints of rose pedal and bright strawberries. Light and aromatic nose that carry on to the palate.

10. Goodboy Vodka Summer Watermelon

Image source: goodboyvodka

Juicy Goodboy Watermelon hard seltzer gives off a juicy, mild & flavored fragrance. Being recognized in Bartender Spirits Awards 2023 with a 85 points & silver medal, its mouthering flavor of ripe watermelon are primed to become hints of lime combined to create a crisp, refreshing note ideal for summer but can be enjoyed everyday every season. 

Tasting Notes:
Bright citrus with hints of fresh summer melon and crisp sweet mouth feel. Fruit forward flavors overall.

Chicago, known for its diverse culinary and beverage mountains, has witnessed a remarkable drift in drinking preferences. Hard seltzer, once a niche product, has evolved into a favorable sensation. The effect of this low-alcohol, flavored beverage has appealed to a broad spectrum, challenging traditional competitors and cocktails.

Chicago's craft distilleries have not been immune to the hard seltzer tidal wave. Many has ventured into crafting their own unique seltzer flavors, embracing the trend while maintaining the creativity that defines the city's distilling scene. This convergence of craft expertise and the mass appeal of hard seltzer, which result in frequent shortage of it nation-wide. 

Beyond taste, the success of hard seltzer in Chicago can be attributed to Health-conscious consumers seeking lower-calorie options have found a refreshing solution in hard seltzers, which often boast natural flavors and minimal additives. The drink's light and crisp profile also caters to those looking for a more light and versatile beverage.

As Chicago's drink market continues to evolve, the hard seltzer phenomenon stands out as a defining trend. With its fizzy allure, lower calorie content, and diverse flavor profiles, hard seltzer has not just infiltrated but reshaped the Windy City's drinking culture. Whether you're a craft beer enthusiast or a cocktail connoisseur, the rise of hard seltzer in Chicago is undeniable, leaving a lasting effervescence in its wake.

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