Onda is a brand of tequila seltzers that leads with its lifestyle credo of “endless summer in a can,” replete with a retro vibe website that evokes the “surf style of the ’90s.” The drinks comprise blended tequila blanco, seltzer, and real fruit juice, nothing more, not even added sweeteners. (Though note: one never can figure out what to make of the catch-all “natural flavors” as a listed ingredient, which is also the case here.)
Let’s dive in. Each expression is 5% abv.
Onda Watermelon Tequila Seltzer – This drink hits more bitter than expected, with the grip of tequila present. The watermelon fruit is quite subtle, with a faint hint of a candied version of the fruit. The zero sugar hits true here, and the essence of watermelon drives the flavor instead of added sweetness. There is a slight medicinal edge to the drink, but also a nice edginess on the palate that makes this a nice alternative for drinking in the sun at just 5% abv, on days when you don’t want things sneaking up on you too quickly. B+
Onda Blood Orange Tequila Seltzer – The balance in this version is similar to the watermelon character, with an edginess on the mouthfeel with the essence of blood orange driving the flavor. The blood orange is softer and more faint on the palate, eventually practically disappearing, leaving you with a pure seltzer finish. B
Onda Grapefruit Tequila Seltzer – Unlike the other flavors, there is an actual “nose” here when you pop open the can, with zesty grapefruit scents greeting you enthusiastically. This is my favorite of the trio, offering the most natural expression of the fruit, drinking as if you’ve just sliced a pink grapefruit and stirred it around in your seltzer (with a gutsy splash of tequila) — both sweet fruit and bitter rind. B+
The seltzers all have a nice grip of tequila driven bitterness with barely any sweetness, letting the fruit essence shine through. The effervescence also hits a nice note, bringing some body to the drink but more muted effervescence than other hard seltzers.