In early 2020, many large beer manufacturers launched hard seltzer offerings to compete with big names like White Claw and Truly. You may have noticed that Mexican lager giant Corona has thrown their hat in the ring as well – but is it any good?
Corona Hard Seltzer is light, crisp, and refreshingly fruity. Each of its varieties is made using natural flavors and tends to be slightly less sweet than popular competitor products. Much like Corona Extra Mexican Lager, the hard seltzers pair well with Mexican food and transport you to a warm day on the beach.
Fans of hard seltzer and homebrewing will be delighted to know that you can even brew your own hard seltzer clone at home. Read on to find out more about Corona Hard Seltzer, and how it fits in the growing hard seltzer category.
Tasting notes and flavors for Corona Hard Seltzer
Corona Extra is a refreshing lager that is popular among many beer drinkers, and that light, refreshing profile is echoed in its line of fruity seltzers.
Corona Hard Seltzer comes in a total of nine different fruit flavors, all of which are made with natural flavors:
- Blackberry Lime
- Tropical Lime
Though not all beer tasting notes apply to seltzer, one can still assess the similarities and differences between each flavor, as well as its appearance and mouthfeel.
Taste and aroma
Corona Hard Seltzer offers two different variety packs, each with a different set of flavors in 12oz cans.
They have all a light, fruity aroma, with unique tasting notes for each one:
- Variety Pack #1
- Blackberry Lime – Crisp, floral, delicious
- Tropical Lime – Bright, light refreshing taste
- Mango – Classic, clean mango taste
- Cherry – Sweet, tart, tasty
- Variety Pack #2
- Pineapple – Fresh, tropical, tasty
- Strawberry – Fruity, smooth, delicious
- Raspberry – Sweet, refreshing taste
- Passionfruit – Crisp, tangy, sweet
In addition to the variety packs, Corona Hard Seltzer also offers a 24oz can of Pineapple Hard Seltzer. It’s fresh, tropical, and tasty with a classic pineapple flavor.
The common beer characteristics of color, head, lacing, and opacity don’t really apply to Corona Seltzer or any other hard seltzer.
All flavors of Corona Hard Seltzer have the same overall appearance:
- Color – All flavors of Corona Hard Seltzer are crystal clear, with no coloring additives of any kind.
- Head – Seltzer doesn’t maintain a head like beer does. The head dissipates immediately the same way it does in a glass of soda.
- Lacing – Lacing also doesn’t apply here, as seltzer is almost entirely water and won’t leave residue or foam on a glass.
- Bubbles – The bubbles in Corona Hard Seltzer pop quickly and may reach above the rim of the glass. This is because hard seltzer is so much lighter than beer.
Corona Hard Seltzer has a light and crispy mouthfeel like a hard seltzer should.
Tiny bubbles, more akin to champagne bubbles than beer bubbles, will dance on your tongue.
Corona Hard Seltzer recipe and ingredients
A quick and easy way to make a hard seltzer clone at home is as simple as combining the flavored carbonated water of your choice with a clear spirit like vodka. You can even use all-natural ingredients by flavoring plain carbonated water with real fruit and fruit juice. Both of these methods, however, are more like a cocktail than a clone recipe since no brewing is involved.
Brewing hard seltzer, on the other hand, is possible!
It is different from homebrewing beer in the following key ways:
- Distilled or reverse osmosis water must be used because the minerals in tap water can greatly affect the taste of the finished product. Since water is such a large portion of hard seltzer, the water must be pure.
- Hard seltzer is brewed with 100% sugar. Unlike beer, hard seltzer is brewed exclusively with cane sugar or dextrose.
- Yeast nutrients are necessary because of the lack of malts and grains, some nutrients found in these ingredients should be added to the seltzer recipe to maintain healthy yeast
Corona Hard Seltzer clone recipe
There are a lot of hard seltzer clone recipes available, but all of them essentially contain the same types of ingredients.
- 5 gallons R/O or distilled water
- 4 lbs Corn Sugar (Dextrose)
- Yeast Nutrient
- 1 pack Lalvin EC-1118
- DualFine Fining Agent
- 2 cases of bottles or kegging equipment
- Priming Sugar (if bottling vs kegging)
- Brew Kettle (at least 3.5 gallons capacity)
- Fermenting Bucket with Lid
- Optional: Flavoring
- Fill your brew pot with approximately 2.5 gallons of water, bring to boil, then turn off.
- Add 4 lb bag Dextrose (corn sugar) and Yeast Nutrient to the warm water in the brew pot and stir until dissolved.
- Bring the sugar-water mixture to a boil. Set a timer for 5 minutes.
- When 5 minutes is up, turn off the heat – the boil is now finished.
- Cool the sugar-water mixture with a wort chiller (if you have one) or by putting the covered brew pot in an ice bath until no longer warm to the touch.
- Pour the cooled mixture into a sanitized fermentor and add water to bring the volume up to 5 gallons.
- Carefully cut open the pack of Lalvin EC-1118 Yeast and sprinkle over the surface of the mixture, then seal the fermenter and move to a quiet, dark location that is approximately 70°F.
- The yeast will convert sugars to alcohol and CO2 gas – this will usually start within 24-48 hours and finish in about 3-7 days.
- Once fermentation is complete, add the DualFine clarifier to the fermented seltzer in the fermenter. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for adding the DualFine. Wait 12-48 hours before proceeding to bottling.
- When fermentation is complete, sanitize your bottling equipment, as well as approximately 2 cases of pry-off bottles and enough bottle caps to cap them (if bottling).
- Prepare a priming solution by mixing 5 oz priming sugar with 1 pint of boiling water.
- Mix the priming solution and flavoring of choice with the fermented sugar-water.
- Fill the bottles with primed hard seltzer and cap.
- Store the bottles in a dark place at 70°F for 10-14 days to carbonate.
- Chill the bottles, drink, enjoy!
Corona Hard Seltzer ABV
The ABV for all flavors of Corona Hard Seltzer is 4.5%.
This is comparable to the 4.6% ABV of Corona Extra Mexican Lager, and just half a percent lower than 5%-ABV competitors White Claw and Bud Light Hard Seltzer.
Corona Hard Seltzer calories and nutritional information
All flavors of Corona Hard Seltzer have similar nutritional info.
Per serving (12 fl oz):
- Calories: 90 Calories
- Sugar: 0g of Sugar
- Carbs: 0g Carbohydrates
Corona Hard Seltzer is slightly lower in calories, sugar, and carbohydrates than its competitors. Like other hard seltzers in the category, all flavors of Corona Hard Seltzer are gluten-free.
How to drink Corona Hard Seltzer for the best flavor
Corona Hard Seltzer is designed to transport you to the beach, so it’s great to enjoy all summer long, or even as an escape from your living room on a cold winter’s day.
Corona Hard Seltzer gets flat quickly once it’s opened, so the best drinking experience, don’t leave it sitting around. Drink it as soon as you open it.
Garnish or mixes
Fruit and herbs make great garnishes for Corona Hard Seltzer poured into a glass.
You can either garnish with the fruit that matches the flavor of the seltzer you have or try a complimentary flavor.
Corona Hard Seltzer also makes a great cocktail ingredient. Try a Lime Mojito, garnished with fresh mint and a wedge of real lime.
Corona Hard Seltzer is best consumed ice cold. But what if you just picked up a case off the shelf at the liquor store? Can you serve it on ice?
Corona Seltzer can be poured over ice! Ideally, you’ll want to drink it rather quickly to avoid the ice watering it down too much.
Bottle, can, or draft?
Corona Hard Seltzer is currently only available in 12oz or 24oz cans, though with hard seltzer continuing to rise in popularity, expect to see it on draft at a bar near you soon.
Much like beer, hard seltzer on tap is usually the freshest and fizziest, assuming the bar has maintained the cleanliness and functionality of its keg system well.
If you can’t find it on tap, it’s still delicious to drink straight from the can, or poured in a glass.
Type of glass
With the recent rise of hard seltzers, many bars are scrambling to establish a standard glass in which to serve them.
The best type of glass to drink hard seltzer out of is one that mimics the size and shape of the can: tall and skinny. For this reason, a Tom Collins glass is best.
Tom Collins glasses are tall and slender, which gives the much-desired fizziness of hard seltzer less surface area to escape from. They are also commonly known as Highball glasses and are a must-have on any home bar cart.
What kind of foods pair best with Corona Hard Seltzer
Corona Hard Seltzer goes great with a variety of foods, especially Mexican dishes.
Try some of these recipes that pair perfectly:
- Chicken Quesadillas – Ooey gooey and oh-so-shareable, Corona Seltzer Chicken Quesadillas are a great starter to pair with a Blackberry Lime Corona Seltzer.
- Fish Tacos – Light, tropical Pineapple Corona Seltzer is a great way to wash down fish tacos, or even these Crispy Fish Taco Bowls.
- Passionfruit Daiquiri – Drink your dessert with a smooth, fruity Passionfruit Daiquiri! This recipe calls for Passionfruit puree, but feel free to mix and match fruit purees with many different flavors of Corona Seltzer!
Is Corona Hard Seltzer a good hard seltzer?
Corona Hard Seltzer is a bit less sweet-tasting than many other hard seltzers on the market, which can be a deal-breaker for some.
If you like your seltzer light in flavor and slightly on the more bitter side, though, Corona Hard Seltzer is for you.
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