Hard seltzer is definitely having a moment, and according to beverage trend experts this year will only see more of those moments. The latest of these products to come across the Drinkhacker desk is Arctic Summer. Developed in collaboration with Polar Seltzers and Mass. Bay Brewing Company, this fizzy booze is reportedly “the only hard seltzer to use actual seltzer as a key ingredient.” I’m not sure what the rest are using, but OK.
What else distinguishes Arctic Summer from its many competitors? The bubbles. These bubbles are created through Polar’s proprietary carbonation style and come complete with premium natural flavors and aromas. Arctic Summer is currently available in four flavors: Raspberry Lime, Ruby Red Grapefruit, Pineapple Pomelo, and Black Cherry. Currently, Raspberry Lime and Ruby Red Grapefruit can be purchased in six-packs of individual flavors. All four flavors can be found in a 12-can variety pack, which we received for review. It’s 20 degrees out, but hey, maybe these will make me feel like I’m at the beach. Let’s dig in!
Each is 5% abv.
Arctic Summer Raspberry Lime Hard Seltzer – This thing definitely has bubbles. The effervescence is bordering on the extreme, but it adds a crisp and refreshing element to the experience I’ve not encountered in other spiked seltzers. On the flavor front, this one is light and dry. The sweetness, what there is of it, is all raspberry hard candy while the lime, coming across as more zest than juice, adds a bit of welcome tartness into the finish. A-
Arctic Summer Ruby Red Grapefruit Hard Seltzer – Bubbles and more bubbles. The nose is bigger than most of the others, with both sweet and sour grapefruit juice. On the palate, the flavors come across somewhat artificial and saccharine while not actually being that sweet. Things get tart into the finish with more ruby red grapefruit notes, but the lack of sweetness makes the whole thing seem a tad underripe. B
Arctic Summer Pineapple Pomelo Hard Seltzer – Are these things getting fizzier!? The aroma is clean with a fresh cut pineapple note and comes across somewhat sweeter than the others. The palate is less inspiring, drowning in soggy tropical fruit. The finish turns oddly creamy and shows sour notes and traces of alcohol, which is easy to forget these actually contain. B-
Arctic Seltzer Black Cherry Hard Seltzer – Unsurprisingly, this one isn’t lacking in bubbles either, but this particular flavor combined with all that carbonation reminds me of a Cheerwine soda, only without the intense sweetness and subsequent sugar headache. The nose is all black cherry and mildly sweet, but on the palate it comes across more tart, almost sour cherry. B+
$16 per 12-can variety pack of 12 oz. cans / drinkarcticsummer.com