Jon Taffer, the Gordan Ramsay of the bartending world, recently lent his name to a line of hard seltzers. Each flavor is “inspired by the popular flavors in modern mixology,” according to the website, and has only 100 calories, zero grams of added sugar, and three grams of carbs, so there’s clearly an effort to appeal to the healthier imbiber here. While seven flavors will eventually be available, the first rollout included only three, which we review below. Enjoy!
Each is 5% abv.
Taffer’s Cucumber Jalapeno Sparkling Craft Cocktail – The cucumber hits immediately on the nose, fresh but also in overabundance. There isn’t any detectable heat, but the jalapeno does come across with a slightly peppery note. The flavors are more subdued than the nose would suggest, left swimming in a weird, mutedly sweet ocean. (Stevia is used in each.) The cucumber is soupy, not crisp, and the jalapeno is nowhere to be found save for a very subtle back of the throat heat. More gazpacho than refreshing cocktail. C+
Taffer’s Pineapple Coconut Sparkling Craft Cocktail – I assumed this might smell like suntan lotion, but the pineapple comes across refreshingly sweet with only a touch of the coconut lingering in the background. It flips the script on the palate, with coconut dominating but more akin to coconut water than sweetened coconut, so the sweetness is well-balanced. It’s even a bit creamy. For those who love a good Piña Colada… but not how they feel afterward. B+
Taffer’s Strawberry Basil Sparkling Craft Cocktail – Really only strawberry on the nose (I’m sensing a pattern here), but it’s cooked and a touch artificial, like those old-fashioned strawberry candies in wrappers that look like a strawberry. The fruit gets darker and a little more stewed on the palate, turning borderline sour and kombucha-like. The basil, or what I assume is supposed to be basil, adds an odd vegetal component to the whole experience. Again, a bit of creaminess rounds out the finish. B-
each $7 per four-pack of 12 oz. cans