These New Hard Seltzers Were Crafted to Taste Like Cocktails

Your summer seltzers now taste like Old Fashioneds.

social club seltzer
Courtesy of Anheuser-Busch

At this point, the continuing onslaught of new hard seltzers shouldn't be a surprise. New ones seem to hit shelves weekly, if not with even great frequency. Each new can brings some minor twist on the hit of summer 2019. It's not just a hard seltzer anymore, you'll find them in organic varieties, high-ABV, low-ABV, sugar-free, and on and on. 

Anheuser Busch, which has been slingshotting new hard seltzers into the world like the residents of a medieval fortress under siege, has another new take on the summer staple. Social Club Seltzer isn't just trying to find the next fruit flavor with hopes of toppling the White Claw empire. The new release is turning out hard seltzers fashioned after classic cocktails.

They're surprisingly close to the taste of actual cocktails, though they're certainly lighter and a little thinner with the fizzy, light pop you expect from a seltzer. The company is starting with three cans available in a mixed 12-pack or individual in six-packs. Those flavors include Old Fashioned, Sidecar, and Citrus Gimlet. "Getting the flavors right from the beginning was very important to us," Lana Kouznetsov, Vice President of Beyond Beer, tells Thrillist. "Our brewers and innovation teams worked closely together to find the right balance, creating a neutral base and utilizing the right juices and flavors to create those nuanced cocktail profiles that inspired us, while still delivering the lightness expected in a Seltzer. Social Club Seltzer is for those with a complex palette and enjoy a cocktail, but appreciate the lower ABV from their spirit-based alternative that is more sessionable."

Though, in the world of hard seltzer, these may not be the most sessionable cans you'll find in the cooler. White Claw just released White Claw 70 with a 3.7% ABV. Meanwhile, Social Club Seltzer is clocking in at 7%, the same ABV you'll find in decidedly non-light beers like Bell's Two Hearted

While the branding looks like its reaching to be considered more upscale than you'll find with high-ABV offerings from Four Loko and PBR, the price point is on par with other A-B InBev seltzer offerings. Kouznetsov says it's priced to be the same as Bud Light Selter and BON VIV. Maybe the timing for something like this is just right as we sit on the precipice of summer with most of the nation's bars closed down

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Dustin Nelson is a Senior Staff Writer at Thrillist. Follow him @dlukenelson.