Growing up, both of my parents drank seltzer water every night before bed. The nightly routine was so perpetual that my mind can still hear the hissing sound of the carbonation leaving the bottle. I, on the other hand, hated seltzer water. It was the least exciting carbonated beverage available to me and I found the flavored varieties never tasted anything like the fruit on the label. Now well into adulthood, I still struggle to embrace the moment seltzer is having in America. It seems like everyone is looking to the gluten-free, low carb, low sugar hard seltzer as their go-to summer alcoholic beverage of choice. On the one hand, I can appreciate the desire to drink something boozy AND hydrating particularly while on the beach, on the golf course, or when your beloved neighbors invite you for a patio hang. But beer and wine is mostly water, isn’t it?! Against my better judgment, my wife encouraged me to try Willie’s Superbrew, the Rhode Island based maker of “real fruit, not flavors” based seltzers. I reluctantly tried the Mango & Passionfruit variety and found it surprisingly tasty. With simple, natural ingredients (water, alcohol, sugar, mango, passionfruit, & lime) it tasted more like a fruity soda than the detested seltzer water of my youth. At only 110 calories too, it wasn’t too heavy or filling. As an added bonus, Willie’s donates 3% of their profits every year to environmental causes like the Coral Reef Alliance.
As I age and care for my own child, I found my parents were right about most things. Perhaps I should add seltzer to the list of things for which they have earned the ability to say “I told you so.”
Willie’s Superbrew – 4.5% ABV
Available now at the Swarthmore CO-OP