Hard seltzer rush continues with blackberry, prickly pear and mezcal drinks
Local seltzer and cider makers have been busy releasing new products, keeping that ever-hot bubbly beverage market on pace to become the longest beverage trend since craft beer.
Craft beer, of course, has transcended trend status, and it looks increasingly like sparkling hard sodas are here to stay, too.
Austin Eastciders already has the Collaboratory Tap Room on Springdale Road in East Austin and the new restaurant on Barton Springs Road in South Austin. Over the past year, they've also been working on an entirely new brand that officially launches this month.
Luck Springs is Austin Eastciders' new brand of hard lemonade and hard tea made with black tea and fresh lemon juice. The drink comes in four flavors — lemonade, half lemonade and half tea, peach tea and raspberry tea. The lemonade is already at stores, while the rest of the line-up is expected out in March.
Austin Eastciders also recently released two new flavors, blackberry cider and mango spiked seltzer, to its ever-growing product line. The mango seltzer is part of Eastciders' low-calorie line.
Blackberry cider joins an Eastciders lineup that includes pineapple, sangria, blood orange and grapefruit ciders. (Blackberry is also the latest new flavor from rival Mighty Swell, which also is based in Austin.)
Last fall, the folks at Big Swig Sparkling Water leaped into the booze market with Hard Swig, a flavored hard sparkling water that comes in four flavors: coconut lime, jalapeno pineapple, chile mango and prickly pear cucumber. Hard Swig is already available at most H-E-B stores and other retailers throughout Texas.
This winter, Canteen Spirits, which is building a 40,000-square-foot production facility outside Austin, added strawberry to its hard seltzer line, and Blue Norther hard seltzer, another Austin-based hard seltzer, added a prickly pear flavor.
One notable new product in Austin liquor stores that isn't from the area is Elenita, the world’s first canned sparkling mezcal. The product launched in Los Angeles, appealing to the seltzer drinkers who also love the smoky spirit from Mexico.
Elenita uses 100% Agave Espadín and natural juices to make two flavors, cucumber lime basil and pineapple jalapeño, that are sold in 12-ounce cans. You can find Elentia canned cocktails at a number of local liquor stores, including Twin Liquors, Spec's and South Lamar Wine and Spirit.
In other seltzer news, hard seltzer fans will have to wait just a little longer for the much-anticipated boozy version of Topo Chico, which is set to launch later this year, and it looks like there are still tickets available for Seltzerland, the upcoming hard seltzer festival at Onion Creek golf club on March 13.