Hard seltzers in recent years have become a wildly popular trend due to their low calorie and carb counts when compared with beers and cocktails. Truly Hard Seltzer is one of the largest brands right now, but what do they taste like?
Truly Hard Seltzer comes in a variety of flavors including tropical fruits, berries, and citrus. They are made from fermented cane sugar and are a clean, crisp, and refreshing beverage with an ABV similar to many beers. Truly Hard Seltzers pair with a variety of foods. They are also versatile mixers and flavor boosters for other drinks.
Read on for specifics on flavors, taste, and more for Truly Hard Seltzer. Find out what foods to pair them with, how best to drink them, and how to spice them up. You will also learn how to make a clone hard seltzer at home.
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Tasting notes and flavors for Truly Hard Seltzer
Truly Hard Seltzer is made with filtered water, alcohol, and natural flavors and sweeteners. It is recommended to check the labels of other brands to know exactly what you’re getting. Not all hard seltzers are created equal.
Typically, the flavor notes for these hard or spiked seltzers are all about the fruit flavors, the sweetness, and how hot they taste. The aromas tend to be very fruity, although for some blends the individual fruits aren’t necessarily identifiable. Truly Hard Seltzers are clear, crisp, and very bubbly with a clean, dry finish.
Taste and Aroma
In 2019, Truly Hard Seltzer underwent a recipe upgrade. The goal was to bring forward the fruit flavors making them bolder.
Overall, Truly Hard Seltzers have incredible fruit aromas and generally taste like smooth, juicy sparkling water. They taste less like alcohol and more like the fruits they are meant to mimic.
Truly has branched out considerably since its first offerings. It now boasts 27 flavors, including five flavors of Truly Lemonade Hard Seltzer, four flavors of Truly Iced Tea Hard Seltzer, four flavors of Truly Punch Hard Seltzer, and two flavors of Truly Extra Hard Seltzer.
For our purposes, we’re going to cover the citrus, tropical, and berry flavor groups, and go in-depth on characteristics, taste, aroma, appearance, and mouthfeel.
Truly Hard Seltzer Citrus Flavors
- Lemon: It’s low key lemon flavor that doesn’t knock you over. Try it muddled with fresh mint or basil and drop a few berries in the glass for a refreshing treat.
- Lime: The staple offering for hard seltzers, but this is among the best. A mildly sweet and tart flavor that tastes like both juice and zest were used to flavor it.
- Grapefruit: The first taste is clean and slightly tart, like carbonated, squeezed grapefruit juice. The sweetness isn’t overwhelming so the taste is well balanced.
- Citrus Squeeze: One of the lighter flavored options. These are great as mixers because of the light, fruity flavors of lime, grapefruit, lemon, and orange that are perfectly blended and more subtle than a fruit punch.
Truly Hard Seltzer Tropical Flavors
- Watermelon & Kiwi: The flavor is similar to a refreshing spa water. The watermelon is more genuine tasting than others and the kiwi rounds out the clean, fruity flavor.
- Mango: The mango flavors across the Truly Hard Seltzer line vary wildly. This mango both in aroma and flavor comes across as balanced even if the fruit notes are more artificial tasting than fresh.
- Pineapple: Fresh pineapple aromas leap from the can. The pineapple flavor is supported by what seems like a faint vanilla/cream soda/coconut sweetness. The finish is clean and dry.
- Passion Fruit: It’s tart, sweet, and a little bit funky just like real passion fruit with a vanilla and toasted coconut quality underneath.
Truly Hard Seltzer Berry Flavors
- Black Cherry: The black cherry flavor is strong but enjoyable. It’s not overwhelmingly sweet or artificial tasting compared to other flavors.
- Wild Berry: A mix of strawberries and raspberries from California with Marion blackberries brings the naturally sweet, juicy taste and aroma of fresh-picked berries to this refreshing blend.
- Blueberry Acai: A delicate blueberry flavor with a slight bitterness that is balanced by an intriguing and sweet acai taste.
- Raspberry Lime: It’s bitter upfront followed by an overwhelmingly fake raspberry flavor. It has a tart aftertaste that unpleasantly lingers on the tongue.
The appearance of Truly Hard Seltzer is unique to the hard seltzer genre of beverages. Unlike beer, there is no head or lacing. It pours more like a clear sparkling soda than a beer. It has a bright effervescence with lots of shimmering bubbles that stay in the glass until the last drop is enjoyed.
Overall, Truly Hard Seltzers have a slight mineral taste with heavy fruit and sweetener notes. The bubbles are soft and delicate without being too “fizzy” on the palate. Most flavors finish clean, crisp, and dry.
Truly Hard Seltzer recipe and ingredients
Truly Hard Seltzer is something between a beer and a cocktail. It doesn’t contain any liquor like vodka, and its beer-like qualities come from fermented cane sugar. Although the recipe is kept secret, the fermentation process is similar to beer.
When brewing beer, grain is toasted and turned into malt. The malted grain is soaked in water to convert starch into sugars. Then yeast is added to consume the sugars in the malt, which releases carbon dioxide turning it into alcohol.
Truly Hard Seltzer’s fermentation process differs from beer because the grain is replaced by cane sugar. A particular strain of yeast is then added, and the fermentation process kicks off. With Truly’s fermentation process, the calories left are from the alcohol, not any grains or malts. It’s a blank canvas for the fruit flavors to be added.
Stevia in addition to a pinch of natural sugar is predominately used to sweeten many of the Truly Hard Seltzers.
Many kits and recipes can be found online for Truly Hard Seltzer clones. While a kit will take some of the guesswork out, it can be fun to have more control over the process by brewing with a recipe like the one below.
According to Beer and Brewing, you should use distilled or reverse osmosis water (RO). Hard seltzers like Truly have a flavorless alcohol base before the fruit flavors are added and the water used is the key.
The best recipe for a Truly Hard Seltzer clone comes from Homebrewing.org.
- 6 gallons of RO or distilled water
- Mineral water pack (1.25g magnesium sulfate, 1.25g magnesium chloride, and 1.5g sodium bicarbonate)
- 3 pounds of corn sugar
- Fermentis SafAle US-05 brewing yeast for fermentation
- Chitosan or gelatin finings – one of these is required for your hard seltzer to be clear.
- 5 oz of priming sugar is required if you plan to bottle
- 1 dram LorAnn natural flavoring oil (in your choice of flavor – optional)
- In a brew kettle bring 2 gallons of water to a boil. Remove the kettle from heat and gently stir in 3 lbs of corn sugar until fully dissolved.
- Add the mineral pack to the water and stir vigorously until fully dissolved.
- Return the kettle to heat and boil the mixture for 5 minutes.
- Cool the seltzer mixture to 90 degrees F and carefully transfer it into your primary fermenter.
- After you have transferred the mixture to the primary fermenter, bring the total volume to 5 ¼ gallons of water with distilled or RO water.
- Measure the original gravity and write it down. The starting gravity should be between 1.024-1.028.
- Sprinkle the package of SafAle US-05 yeast across the top of the seltzer mixture and seal your container.
- After 5-7 days measure the gravity of the hard seltzer using a hydrometer. The gravity should be between .999-1.002.
- With the seltzer in the secondary, gently stir in the chitosan pack and let the hard seltzer sit for 1-2 weeks until fully cleared.
- When the seltzer is fully clear, measure the gravity again. Final Gravity should be .999 or slightly lower.
Truly Hard Seltzer ABV
Surprisingly, Truly Hard Seltzer’s ABV is higher than many light beers. For example, Bud Light has an ABV of 4.2%. Truly Hard Seltzer’s ABV is 5% for its original product.
Truly also makes two Extra Hard Seltzer flavors that are 8% ABV.
Truly Hard Seltzer calories and nutritional information
Truly Hard Seltzer’s popularity comes mostly from its light, refreshing taste and higher ABV. But did you know it’s also lower in calories and carbohydrates than many light beers?
Bud Light has 145 calories and 10.6 grams of carbs. Compare those numbers with Truly Hard Seltzer’s nutritional information below.
According to Truly’s website, the nutritional breakdown for each 12 oz serving goes like this:
Truly Hard Seltzer (original)
- 100 calories
- 2g of carbohydrates
- 1g of sugar
- 30 mg of sodium
Truly Hard Seltzer is also naturally gluten-free. Many beers are made with malted barley or wheat which both contain gluten.
How to drink Truly Hard Seltzer for the best flavor
Hard seltzer, like beer, can taste better or worse depending on a few factors like temperature, glassware, and added garnishes or mixes.
For maximum refreshment on a hot day, Truly Hard Seltzer is best-served ice cold. But how do other factors impact the flavor of your Truly Hard Seltzer?
Garnish or mixes
Truly Hard Seltzers have a wide range of options for garnishes and mixes. With their clean, crispness, and smooth sweetness, there are a variety of fruits, herbs, and cocktail mixes that work well with each flavor grouping.
Add fresh fruit, herbs, or spices to spiked hard seltzers that compliment the flavor you’re drinking
- Truly Hard Seltzer Citrus Flavors (except grapefruit) – Squeeze a fresh lime wedge and place it in the glass halfway through pouring into a fresh glass of ice. You can also add fresh mint leaves to your glass
- Truly Hard Seltzer Tropical Flavors – Serve chilled in a glass with orange zest. Squeeze the aromatic oils from the peel over the finished drink, then drop it into the glass.
- Truly Hard Seltzer Berry Flavors – drop some chilled raspberries in a sparkling berry hard seltzer for an elegant drink. A few sprigs of lavender added to a berry hard seltzer can subtly complement the juicy flavors while giving your cocktail a sophisticated look.
- Truly Hard Seltzer Grapefruit Flavor – Serve in a chilled glass over ice and clap 2-3 sprigs of rosemary or thyme before placing them into the glass. Clapping the sprigs between your hands gently releases the flavors into your drink. The earthy, minty flavor of the herbs softens the bitterness of the juicy grapefruit flavor.
- Make a wine spritzer – Substitute the club soda in your wine spritzer with the Truly Hard Seltzer flavor of your choice. Add the white wine, bitters, and citrus for a more brunch-like drink.
- Pair with clear spirits like vodka and rum in your favorite cocktail – Substitute the soda in your vodka soda or gin in your gin rickey for a Lime Truly Hard Seltzer. Add a little honey or sugar if you need a little sweetness.
Temperature plays an important role in many beers and cocktails. Temperature can mute or bring out some flavors and dull others.
Truly Hard Seltzer is best served ice cold. The bright, fruity flavors are brought forward with their best taste when served over ice. Even when it’s not summer, the colder the seltzer, the more crisp and fruity the seltzer tastes.
Bottle, can, or draft?
Truly Hard Seltzer currently comes in tall, sleek 12oz cans.
The best way to drink them is poured into a glass over ice. You get the benefit of all the fruity aromas and the perfect drinking temperature without the taste of the can lid. It’s best to pour an already cold Truly Hard Seltzer over ice to slow down the melting process and keep the drink at an optimum temperature.
The only con to this method is you could end up with a watered-down, flat seltzer if you’re not a quick drinker.
Type of glass
You may think the glass you use for your Truly Hard Seltzer doesn’t matter, but consider the visual appeal of that clear, bubbly fruity goodness in a glass over ice.
The sleek design of a tall, clear standard Collins glass is the perfect pairing for your Truly Hard Seltzer. It mirrors the design of the can and elevates the drink to new heights. It adds a little sophistication while showcasing that beautifully clear, bubbly delight. Especially with a garnish on the rim or dropped into the glass.
Collins glasses have a heavy base and are often used for highballs and mojitos.
What kind of foods pair best with Truly Hard Seltzer
Truly Hard Seltzers come in a variety of flavors that complement a wide assortment of foods. Here are just a few pairings to try for each group of Truly Hard Seltzers.
Citrus flavored Truly Hard Seltzers (except grapefruit)
- Calamari, shrimp, and tossed salads pair well because they taste great with a squirt of lemon, lime, or a splash of mild vinaigrette. The citrus seltzers add the right note of tartness that compliments these foods.
- Nachos and tacos also taste great with a lime-flavored hard seltzer. The extra zestiness adds a tang to the spicy meats in these dishes.
Berry flavored Truly Hard Seltzers
Asian stir-fries, wild mushroom risotto, stuffed portobello and oily fish like tuna, salmon, and mackerel are all delicious with the light refreshing flavors of berry hard seltzers. These seltzers have a berry-scent and flavor similar to a rose wine and are great paired with spicy, earthy flavors that have a sweet and sour combination.
Tropical flavored Truly Hard Seltzers
Ceviche with diced mango, tuna sashimi with ponzu sauce, and coconut breaded shrimp make fantastic pairings with these tangy, equally as intense tropical seltzer flavors of mango, watermelon, pineapple, and passionfruit.
Truly Hard Seltzer Grapefruit
Fresh berries, nuts, dark leafy greens, and cheeses like goat, ricotta, or feta are complemented by the tart, real-grapefruit flavor that may not pair well with other foods. Its light body just won’t stand up with heavier foods.
Is Truly Hard Seltzer a good hard seltzer?
Truly Hard Seltzer is a great option if you’re looking for a light, refreshing beverage with fewer calories and carbohydrates than beer or mixed drinks. Some flavors are better than others. Some have a distinct artificial fruit or sweetener flavor, while others are balanced and refreshing.
Overall, Truly Hard Seltzer is a great choice for an invigorating, crisp drink that can be adapted in a variety of ways to suit your individual taste if desired.
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