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the 17 best seltzer drinks

It’s really freaking hot out and we all need a cocktail to help us cool down. There’s nothing like something bubbly and refreshing on a hot summer day, so one of the 17 best seltzer drinks should do the trick!

ginger lime brizo being poured into raspberry gin seltzer cocktails

We’ve reached the point in the summer where I feel like the Wicked Witch of the West.

“I’m melllllltinggggggg.”

In order to beat the mid-July heat, I usually find myself poolside or tucked away in the air conditioning.

For either summer strategy, I definitely need a cocktail.

Enter one of my light, fizzy favorites: seltzer drinks!


photo credit: saltycanary.com

Seltzer cocktails are my summer jam because of their light, effervescent nature: their lightness in both calories and mouthfeel is ideal for the hottest dog days of summer.

So what better way to beat the heat than to share some of my favorite summer seltzer drinks with y’all today?

(ok, ok, I snuck in a few fall and winter seltzer drink recipes too!)

This recipe round up list features some of the best seltzer drinks made with hard seltzer, flavored selzter and just plain ol’ seltzer or soda water.

(If you’re looking for some of my other favorite summer cocktails, check out these Corona Floats, Watermelon Frozen Rose, Classic Margaritas or my favorite hurricane drink recipe.)


photo credit: simplymaderecipes.com


Hard seltzer is exactly what you think it is: boozy fizzy water. If you want to get technical, it’s a malt beverage that is made with malt base, fermented sugars and carbonation.

The fizzy, fruity beverage is generally much lower in carbs and calories than a traditional beer, making it ideal for those of us who want to be more health conscious when imbibing or for folks who don’t like beer.

While hard seltzer tastes great and is boozy and refreshing on it’s own, I love using it as a cocktail ingredient too…adding things like fresh fruit and herbs and mixing in another liquor to create a light and elevated summer sipper.


Real quick science lesson: seltzer water is flat water that is made bubbly by an infusion of a carbon molecule…which is how we get to its alternative name: carbonated water.

Flavored seltzer waters are carbonated, fizzy water (which is normally unflavored) with added flavor. Usually fruity, sweet and refreshing flavors are the most popular, like lemon, lime, grapefruit, cranberry, pomegranate and cucumber. (but flavor options are totally endless!)



photo credit: aprilgolightly.com

The terms seltzer water, sparkling water, club soda, tonic water all sometimes seem to be used interchangeably, but they are all a little bit different.

Sparkling water (also known as sparkling mineral water) is naturally carbonated and comes from springs or wells with natural fizzy carbonation. This carbonation comes from natural minerals including sodium, magnesium and calcium. Sparkling water is normally not a cocktail mixer due to it’s unique taste and higher price point.

Seltzer water is different than sparkling water because it as been artificially carbonated. It is what you most commonly think of when you think of the fizzy drinks that are currently so popular on the market. It makes a great alcoholic drink mixer because its essentially a blank slate to build flavors and add a little fizz to any cocktail.

Club soda pretty similar to seltzer water as is also artificially carbonated, but unlike seltzer, contains additional minerals to enhance the flavor. Although there are slight differences, club soda and seltzer water can basically be used interchangeably in cocktail recipes.

Tonic water is also artificially carbonated and contains added minerals (so it’s like seltzer and club soda…) but, it usually contains quinine, which is what gives tonic water its uniquely bitter taste. Tonic water also contains sugar (to balance the quinine) so it also contains calories, while sparkling water, seltzer water and club soda do not.


photo credit: honeyandbirch.com

the best spiked seltzer drinks

Spiked seltzer drinks are summery beverages that will add a little refreshing fizz to your sippers. Many feature fresh summer herbs and fruits...but if you're still looking for a little fizz in colder months, I made sure to include a couple cold weather spiked seltzer standbys.

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One Comment

  1. Hi, thank you for the wonderful article! Yeah, we all are melting and hiding in the shades and yeah, seltzers are so comforting and I prefer to drink it in the garden so that it’s cooling effect may not be sucked away by the heat anywhere else!

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