Summer is here and we all know what that means: The sippin's easy — or at least it should be, in the form of refreshing summer drinks to enjoy with friends, by a pool, on a boat, by a campfire, or at a festival. Of course, not just any liquid refreshment will do during soaring temps. We set out to find a handful of drinks that fulfilled just a few criteria: tasty, refreshing, and sessionable. After all, the days are longer, right?
Here are some relatively new-to-the-market guzzlers that'll do just fine for the next few months.
Nectar Hard Seltzer
This California-based company was born in late 2020 when the founders, five longtime friends, took their hard seltzer to 200-plus stores in Los Angeles (those stores all said "no" — you can read the entire origin story here). TikTok helped launch the brand after an initially rejection-filled start. Nectar combines Asian flavors with zero-grams-of-sugar goodness for a refreshing drink that screams "quaff me in hot weather." You can now find the hard seltzer in Asian pear, Mandarin, lychee, and yuzu in a number of states (it can also be ordered via Nectar’s website). We enjoyed all the flavors, but go for the yuzu if you like your seltzer to have a little less sweet and a little more kick. (For what it's worth, this is one of two Asian-inspired hard seltzers on a three-item list — it's an embraceable trend, for sure.)
Cali Squeeze Beer and Hard Seltzer
Cali Squeeze is a line of seltzers and Hefeweizen beers that comes from the California-based Firestone Walker Brewing Company. Hefeweizen is a German-style, effervescent brew that's amber-hued and brewed with at least 50% malted wheat — it's also one of those perfect beer styles for summer. Cali Squeeze takes a very fruit-forward approach on both the seltzers and beer. You can get seltzers in flavors of pink lemonade, tropical P.O.G. (for passionfruit, orange, and guava), blood orange, and mango; the beers also come in those flavors with the exception of pink lemonade. They may not be available across the country yet, but you can find out if they're carried near you on the website.
Lunar Hard Seltzer
Lunar calls itself "Asian Americana in a can," serving up flavors of lychee, passion fruit, yuzu, and Korean plum with fruit that it ships "from the motherland" (aka Asia). With only "a touch" of sugar, it's a summer drink that's slightly sweeter than Nectar's product. Launched in 2019, the Lunar brand has been slower to grow than others, but trust us when we say you'll want to get your hands on a variety pack of this stuff. Unfortunately, it's only locally available in New York, but if you live in one of the lucky three dozen or so states where it ships, you can have it on your doorstep in time for the next summer barbecue. Is it a splurge? Yep. Worth it? Yep, and also still substantially less money per drink than you'd spend at the bar.
Other Summer Drinks
If you're looking for more summer drink inspiration, check out:
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