The best hard seltzer brands and where to buy them

The very best hard seltzers, tested by yours truly. And yes, White Claw is available in the UK.

Buy hard seltzer UK

by Jade Moscrop |

If someone told you there was an alcoholic drink that was low in calories, might not give you a hangover, was affordable AND delicious, you’d have a hard time believing them, right? Well, ladies and gents, allow us to introduce… hard seltzers.

Now, seltzers aren’t a particularly new thing; no doubt we’ve all had a sip of a tasty, refreshing beverage made of sparkling water and natural flavourings. It was only a matter of time, though, before some genius devised the idea of adding alcohol to it.

Our top three favourites have to be White Claw Mango, Mike's Hard Seltzer Lime and Bodega Bay Hard Selzer Apple with Ginger and Acai Berry.

What are hard seltzers?

Hard seltzers are carbonated water with alcohol and natural flavouring mixed in. It’s as simple as that. Typically fermented with sugar instead of malted barley, they’re low in sugar and carbohydrates, meaning their calorie count is minimal. Bonus.

Containing 4-6% ABV and at under 100 calories per can, seltzers have become the drink of the summer and other seasons too for, well, everyone (it seems) in the US.

Led by brands like White Claw, Pura, and Truly in the US, hard seltzers hit the big time due to their portability, flavour and a little thing called the internet. A whole culture around hard seltzers came about, with parody videos and memes giving it true viral status. Popular brand White Claw even has Etsy merchandise carrying one of its fan-made mottos.

According to The Guardian, there has been a 210% increase in sales of alcoholic sparkling water compared to 2018, with White Claw’s sales surging 320%, too. Type in ‘White Claw’ on Twitter and you have seen news of shortages all over the US - this stuff is hella popular.

Can you buy White Claw in the UK?

Hell. Yeah. White Claw made its way across to the UK in June 2020 and is now available to buy from Tesco, Morrisons, Sainsbury's, and on Amazon. Find out more below.

Check out: the best hard seltzers UK

Where can you buy hard seltzers in the UK?

Bodega Bay, which you might have spotted at Kendall Calling and Bluedot Festival, was one of the first brands to go mainstream in the UK. Choose from Apple, Ginger, and Acai or Elderflower, Lemon, and Mint; it sounds like a wellness guru’s dream.

The daddy of all seltzers, the brand that started the hype, White Claw is now available to buy in the UK. Choose from Black Cherry, Raspberry, and Natural Lime - available from Amazon, Tesco, Sainsbury's, and Morrisons now. The hype is real - they're that good.

Mike’s Hard Seltzer aims to be the drink of choice for those looking for an active lifestyle, gym-goers, or just those who want to have a fun night but still make their 9am meeting. It's available in three tantalising flavours: Lemon, Lime, and Black Cherry. You can also shop for them at Morrisons and Tesco.

Kopparberg has taken the delicious fruitiness of its cider and infused it with sparkling water and alcohol for its hard seltzer. Available in Mixed Berries, Passion Fruit (a BIG favourite of ours), and Black Cherry. Get yours from Tesco and Morrisons now.

Also created by alcohol giants, Kopparberg, Balans slid into the DMs of supermarket mogul ASDA and have been on shelves since mid-2019. At under £2 for a can of lime aqua goodness, you can't go wrong. These are perfect for those who don't like too much sweetness in their drinks.

Served Hard Seltzer is a must-try for hard seltzer fans. It's infused with fresh wonky fruit (which we love), natural spring water, and ultra-pure, four-times distilled, ServedPure™ gluten-free spirit. No sugar, no carbs, no sweeteners, no-nonsense, and an utterly delicious taste in Raspberry or Lime. Head to the website to buy.

Smirnoff is well known for its vodka, so it only made sense that it would jump into creating some refreshing seltzers. Available from Sainsbury’s and Tesco, and Waitrose, its two mouth-watering flavours, Orange & Grapefruit and Raspberry & Rhubarb come in at 4.7% ABV and each can is 72 calories.

Sparkling water drink with lemon
©Photo: Getty Images

DRTY drinks entered the game with a super-refreshing, very moreish offering. They're 4% ABV, zero carbs, and come in white citrus and raspberry rosè flavour. Get yours in a pack of six or 12 from the website or Amazon. YUM!

With glass bottles and some seriously interesting flavour combinations, Sparkl feels like a real grown-up drink. They're available in cases of 12, are 4% ABV and there are just 80 calories per serving. They're low carb, gluten-free and vegan-friendly and come in two flavour combos - Peach and Rose or Lemon, Ginger and Chilli. Head to the website to buy.

Founded by siblings Francesca and Fabio, Two Brooks is a newly established London-based independent alcohol brand. Passion Star and Mango Hi-ball are particularly enjoyable flavourings, setting them aside from some other brands in the market, and the Lime Cooler is refreshing and zingy. Head to the website to buy.

Created by three friends who sampled the delights of hard seltzer while travelling in Canada, Berczy (formerly known as NATRL) comes in three delectable flavours; Lemon & Lime, Peach & Raspberry and Passionfruit & Turmeric. For every can of Berczy you buy, the company gives 5% of its profits to causes that help the planet, like ocean clean-ups and reforestation programmes. Head to the website to buy.

Long Shot Drinks' flavour combinations are seriously good. You can choose from Grapefruit, Raspberry & Blackcurrant and Strawberry and Rhubarb. Fruity and delicious, they almost have a home-brewed quality to them, ringing true with the brand's stance on all-natural flavourings. The can's textured outer makes it oddly satisfying to hold, too. Head to the website to buy.

Lilo's hard seltzer originated in Brighton and is crafted in Glasgow, available in two different flavours - cranberry & rosehip and whitegrape & elderflower. These hard seltzers are brilliantly refreshing and lightweight.

Gerry's was born in New Zealand but is made in the UK, and its delicious hard seltzers blend real fruit flavours, sparkling spring water, and premium quality spirits. Fuelled by Kiwi energy, the brand is all about having good times and not sweating the small stuff. Each can is 5% ABV, between 99 and 102 calories per can, and is 100% vegan and gluten-free. The brand easily has one of the most diverse product offerings on the market - choose from vodka seltzer (Watermelon + Mint and Passionfruit + Lime), gin seltzer (Strawberry + Kiwi and Cucumber + Lemon), or rum seltzer (Apple + Lime and Pineapple + Coconut).

Whisp Drinks is a British brand, created by founder Harriet Cuming. Made from naturally and sustainably sourced British ingredients, they're 100% vegan and gluten-free, with no added sugar, sweeteners, or preservatives - plus, the packaging is plastic-free and 100% recyclable. At less than 66 calories per can and a hangover-free 4%, Whisp drinks also contain added milk thistle – the detox hero – helping to tackle inflammation and supporting a healthy liver. Choose from Cucumber & Mint and Raspberry & Elderflower and head to the website to buy.

Created by MIC's very own Spencer Matthews, CleanCo was designed for those who are seeking clean, low-alcohol substitutes to suit their healthy lifestyle. It offers consumers a range of delicious, full-flavoured cocktails with a fraction of the calories and alcohol - but 100% of the flavour. Its collection so far includes some of the nation's favourite spirits - gin and rum - which you can enjoy with zero hangovers and reduced sugar.

Three Fold Seltzer is available at Morrisons and online from Three Fold directly, REVL, Ocado and Amazon, and comes in three flavours; Citrus, Red Berries and Tropical.

Wine brand Barefoot didn't want to miss out on the fun but has changed the game a little bit with WINE seltzers. Perfect for wine lovers who don't want the hangover, these fruity treats have got pre-drinks written all over them. They're available from Tesco in Strawberry and Guava and Pineapple and Passionfruit, are just 70 calories per can and are gluten-free.


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Are hard seltzers good for you, though?

To figure out whether you'd be worth reaching for a seltzer rather than a beer or cider, we called upon a professional. Here's what Jo Travers, Registered Dietician and author of The Low-Fad Diet had to say.

"Hard seltzers are not exactly a healthy option, but there's little risk to consuming them as long as you follow the guidelines of a maximum of 14 units per week with a couple of consecutive alcohol-free days. They are easy to drink a lot of, as many of them are quite tasty, so this may be harder than it sounds. Having said that, they are a low-sugar, low-calorie alternative to spirits with full sugar mixers, ciders, and some beers.

"I'm not convinced they are better for you than wine though. Wine - especially red - has at least got some polyphenols which can have an anti-inflammatory effect, although this benefit can be outweighed by the negatives if you drink too much!"

So there you have it, as long as you don't go absolutely bonkers and drink yourself into a stupor, you should be all good. And if in doubt, trust wine. Always trust wine.

There’s no doubt that hard seltzers will be all the rage this year, so earn some serious cool points by being the trend-setter in your friendship group. Move over gin in a can, hard seltzer season is here.

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