As the only producer of hard seltzer for the GCC, we at Side Hustle brews are often asked ‘what is hard seltzer?’ 

Simply put, hard seltzer is alcoholic sparkling water. Sound intriguing? 

What is Seltzer Water?

It is similar to a traditional canned cocktail, but hard seltzer differs in a few ways. First, it is made with seltzer versus club soda, tonic, or sparkling mineral water. It’s kind of confusing, right? There are so many different variations of essentially the same thing. So let’s clear it up for you. 

Club soda is carbonated water that is often infused with minerals to give it a slightly salty taste. We don’t have to tell you what tonic water is, right? A gin and tonic is a second language to most expats. But just in case you’re not sure what puts the tonic in tonic water, here’s what makes it different from seltzer. Tonic water, like club soda, is carbonated water infused with minerals but has the added element of quinine, which gives it a bitter taste. 

Sparkling mineral water is naturally occurring bubbly water. And finally, seltzer is carbonated water without added minerals. This is what makes hard seltzer unique and appealing for those who are looking for a low-calorie option with a more subtle flavor than your traditional mixers. It’s like drinking flavored bubbly water with a hint of booze.

Fruity Flavor

Next we’ve got flavor. We love hard seltzer for the subtle yet refreshing fruity flavors. If you’ve had our juicy IPAs, you’ll know that we love a fruity, juicy, fresh flavor profile. To add fresh fruit flavors to our hard seltzers, we use all-natural fruit extracts which give all of the flavor and none of the sugar. Currently, we have two refreshing flavors available, Watermelon Mint and Black Cherry. Yum, right? They’re perfect after a day under the blazing desert sun.

What Makes Hard Seltzer, Hard?

Finally, hard seltzer is made with a malt liquor and has a low ABV of 4.2%. When we say “hard” it means, alcoholic. We use a gluten-free alcohol base so that everyone (over the age of 21) can enjoy it. 

Side Hustle hard seltzers are also only 98 calories. It’s kind of like drinking a beer without all the calories. Don’t get us wrong, we clearly love beer, but if you’re looking for a low-calorie, low sugar or gluten-free option hard seltzer is for you.

Why Hard Seltzer?

Why hard seltzer? We wanted to bring the American sensation of hard seltzer to GCC for a great alternative cocktail — something a bit lighter and brighter for our steamy summer days which can also be enjoyed by those who may be a bit more health-conscious. It has significantly fewer calories than your average canned cocktail or beer. It’s one of the reasons hard seltzer has taken off in the U.S. and even surpassing sales of some of the more popular beers, like Budweiser. 

According to Men’s Health, a manager of a small beer brand noticed that the most popular cocktail choice of bar-goers was a vodka soda. For many, it’s the best low-calorie option when you’re at the bar looking for a refreshing drink. He thought, why can’t you put that in a can? And so SpikedSeltzer was born. 

From SpikedSeltzer there were many copycat brands that popularized the drink, including White Claw and Truly. Across the U.S. White Claw became so popular that summer 2019 was deemed “White Claw Summer.” For many expats, the idea of a cocktail in a can is nothing new and you might be asking yourself, what’s the big deal? 

The deal is that this was a new phenomenon in the U.S. and with many people looking for beer and cocktail alternatives, hard seltzer filled the void. That’s when we decided that we wanted to fill the void in GCC. As with our beer, our hard seltzer is crafted in Pennsylvania and transported to the UAE for you to enjoy and cool down after a long day in the sun. 

How to Drink Hard Seltzer?

Ok, so now that you have an idea of what hard seltzer is, let’s talk about how to drink it? Straight out of the can after a day on the water. Pour over a glass of ice and enjoy while you watch the sunset on your patio. Or if you’re feeling cheeky, mix it with your favorite cocktail. With its low ABV, hard seltzer can be enjoyed throughout the day, without getting too faded. 

So just remember, next time you’re picking up a few beers to enjoy at home, grab Side Hustle hard seltzer and make 2020 “Side Hustle Summer.”