These Bubbles are Poppin

Author: Andrew Huber
It’s warming up, and when it comes to a crisp, refreshing beverage, light beer and white wine don’t always cut it. Not long ago, you’d have to get up from your lawn chair to fix yourself a gin and tonic, or the perfect margarita, but recently the advent of hard sodas and waters gives summer drinkers new options that can be grabbed straight from the cooler. And despite the name, hard sodas aren’t only for the young at heart and young of palate - this new generation of infused drinks is anything but kid stuff.
Full Flavor Fruit Soda

Full Flavor Fruit Soda

Photo Credit: Tastings.com
Not your traditional soda…

The category of hard sodas incorporates a broad range of drinks, including still water, seltzer, spritzers, and flavored soda. Each one has their own merits, but the heavy hitters flavor-wise are fruit sodas, and because of that, Bravazzi Blood Orange Italian Hard Soda and Bravazzi Limonata Italian Hard Soda both earned an impressive 93 points in our tasting, the highest of any hard sodas. These give you exactly what you'd look for in a fruit soda: intense citrus notes, slight bitterness, and tart acidity. That being said, these are not juices, they're sodas with lots of sweetness and carbonation, so don't expect these drinks to be as reminiscent of the original fruit as, for example, a traditional cider.

Right on the nose!

Right on the nose!

Photo Credit: Tastings.com
Though the name evokes ideas of a wine cooler, there is a world of difference between the two beverages. The main one being It's Spritz', which has an alcoholic base of fermented cane sugar as opposed to the fermented grapes in a traditional spritzer. These botanical sodas explode with all kinds of refreshing flavors, like Itz Spritz Cucumber Lime Twist Hard Soda and Itz Spritz Elderflower Citrus Hard Soda. The cucumber lime includes a hint of mint to give it a spicy, complex flavor. The elderflower gives off almost tropical vibes with notes of passion fruit and ginger. If the gentle, satiny, elderflower flavor sets your taste buds alight, start exploring the world of floral liqueurs for even more botanical delights.

Spritz it up

Spritz it up

Photo Credit: Tastings.com
Packing just as much taste, but even less sugar and calories, are spritzers. Mighty Swell is a true spritzer, with a light and crisp sparkling wine base, complemented with fruit flavoring. Our highest ranked spritzer, coming in at 89 points, was Mighty Swell Grapefruit Spiked Spritzer, which as you can imagine, boasts a burst of ruby red grapefruit flavor that's perfect for a hot summer day. Close on its heels is the Mighty Swell Watermelon Mint Spiked Spritzer, with juicy, herbal overtones and a kick of mint and jalapeno on the back end. All of the Mighty Swell flavors have the perfect subtle amount of sweetness, which makes them ideal for replacing club soda in a cocktail for a fruity, effervescent twist, like in a classic Pimms Cup.

Hard but Still

Hard but Still

Photo Credit: Tastings.com
Water with a twist

Sometimes you just aren't in the mood for bubbles, and that's where hard still water comes in. Pura Still's hard still water's flavors stand on their own, with no enhancements required. Clocking in at only 90 calories, they are the lightest of the hard sodas we rated, but the flavors of Pura Still Mango Spiked Still Water and Pura Still Mandarin Orange Spiked Still Water are seriously heavy hitting. In addition to their extra-smooth fruity taste, Pura Still's waters are refreshing and seriously drinkable. No accompaniment needed, these are best served on their own, ice cold and straight from the cooler.

Full Flavor Fruit Soda
Right on the nose!
Spritz it up
Hard but Still
These Bubbles are Poppin
It’s warming up, and when it comes to a crisp, refreshing beverage, light beer and white wine don’t always cut it. Not long ago, you’d have to get up from your lawn chair to fix yourself a gin and tonic, or the perfect margarita, but recently the advent of hard sodas and waters gives summer drinkers new options that can be grabbed straight from the cooler. And despite the name, hard sodas aren’t only for the young at heart and young of palate - this new generation of infused drinks is anything but kid stuff.

Full Flavor Fruit Soda

Full Flavor Fruit Soda
Photo Credit: Tastings.com
Not your traditional soda…

The category of hard sodas incorporates a broad range of drinks, including still water, seltzer, spritzers, and flavored soda. Each one has their own merits, but the heavy hitters flavor-wise are fruit sodas, and because of that, Bravazzi Blood Orange Italian Hard Soda and Bravazzi Limonata Italian Hard Soda both earned an impressive 93 points in our tasting, the highest of any hard sodas. These give you exactly what you'd look for in a fruit soda: intense citrus notes, slight bitterness, and tart acidity. That being said, these are not juices, they're sodas with lots of sweetness and carbonation, so don't expect these drinks to be as reminiscent of the original fruit as, for example, a traditional cider.

Right on the nose!

Right on the nose!
Photo Credit: Tastings.com
Though the name evokes ideas of a wine cooler, there is a world of difference between the two beverages. The main one being It's Spritz', which has an alcoholic base of fermented cane sugar as opposed to the fermented grapes in a traditional spritzer. These botanical sodas explode with all kinds of refreshing flavors, like Itz Spritz Cucumber Lime Twist Hard Soda and Itz Spritz Elderflower Citrus Hard Soda. The cucumber lime includes a hint of mint to give it a spicy, complex flavor. The elderflower gives off almost tropical vibes with notes of passion fruit and ginger. If the gentle, satiny, elderflower flavor sets your taste buds alight, start exploring the world of floral liqueurs for even more botanical delights.

Spritz it up

Spritz it up
Photo Credit: Tastings.com
Packing just as much taste, but even less sugar and calories, are spritzers. Mighty Swell is a true spritzer, with a light and crisp sparkling wine base, complemented with fruit flavoring. Our highest ranked spritzer, coming in at 89 points, was Mighty Swell Grapefruit Spiked Spritzer, which as you can imagine, boasts a burst of ruby red grapefruit flavor that's perfect for a hot summer day. Close on its heels is the Mighty Swell Watermelon Mint Spiked Spritzer, with juicy, herbal overtones and a kick of mint and jalapeno on the back end. All of the Mighty Swell flavors have the perfect subtle amount of sweetness, which makes them ideal for replacing club soda in a cocktail for a fruity, effervescent twist, like in a classic Pimms Cup.

Hard but Still

Hard but Still
Photo Credit: Tastings.com
Water with a twist

Sometimes you just aren't in the mood for bubbles, and that's where hard still water comes in. Pura Still's hard still water's flavors stand on their own, with no enhancements required. Clocking in at only 90 calories, they are the lightest of the hard sodas we rated, but the flavors of Pura Still Mango Spiked Still Water and Pura Still Mandarin Orange Spiked Still Water are seriously heavy hitting. In addition to their extra-smooth fruity taste, Pura Still's waters are refreshing and seriously drinkable. No accompaniment needed, these are best served on their own, ice cold and straight from the cooler.