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What Alcohol Is In Hard Seltzer? Answered (2024 Best Edition)

What Alcohol Is In Hard Seltzer

Last Updated on February 21, 2024 by Lydia Martin

Due to the increasing popularity of hard seltzer, more and more brands are being introduced to the market. If you’re also a fan of this drink, have you ever thought about what alcohol is in hard seltzer cans? What type of alcohol gives some kick to this beverage?   

Read on to learn what we have discovered. 

What Alcohol is in Hard Seltzer

hard seltzer on a glasses

The type of alcohol found in hard seltzers varies depending on the brand. But in general, the alcohol content in seltzers is formulated from clean-tasting spirits.

Some brands use malted barley, fermented with cereal grains, to create alcohol, while others use fermented sugar cane, which forms alcohol by fermenting sugar.

The alcohol quality used in hard seltzers also varies by brand. 

Popular Hard Seltzer Brands & The Alcohol They Use 


Truly Hard Seltzer Pineapple in can

Seltzers such as “Truly” contain alcohol by volume of around 4-8%. The alcohol found in Truly gives its bite and lets you relax. 

It is produced through fermentation, which occurs when yeast breaks down the sugars in food and beverages.

The alcohol used in every can of Truly is crafted from ethanol– derived from cane sugar.

This colorless and clear type of ethanol is usually found in spirits, wine, and beer.

White Claw

The alcohol found in White Claw, one of the best-selling hard seltzers, is made from fermented sugar obtained from malted-free gluten grains. 

“Ain’t no laws when you’re drinking Claws.”

— Trevor Wallace, Writer, American Actor/Comedian

It has an alcohol content of 5% ABV with 100 calories and 2 grams of carbs per can (355ml). White Claw hard seltzer contains natural flavors and purified water.

Bud Light Seltzer 

Bud Light Seltzer Peach in a cooler full of ice

At 5% ABV, natural flavors, sparkling water, and fermented cane sugar make up the Bud Light Seltzer. So, it’s a misconception to think it contains beer.

Every Bud Light Seltzer can is brewed at the Budweiser Plant (Anheuser-Busch). It undergoes five phases of filtration before mixing the natural flavors and fruity bite. 

What Alcohol is in Hard Seltzer: Main Ingredients Of Hard Seltzers 

Just like alcohol, the ingredients may differ from brand to brand. But some of the popular ingredients of hard seltzers may include the following:

  • Sodium citrate or citric acid – this is a common additive in drinks that serves as a preservative 
  • Natural flavors
  • Natural juice concentrate – every brand uses its preferred juice type, but the most popular are raspberry and lemon
  • Agave syrup or cane sugar 
  • Sparkling water or purified carbonated water 

Professional Tip: When buying hard seltzer, always check the label to ensure it doesn’t contain added sugars or chemical additives. 

You can also check the ingredients by going to the manufacturer’s website and looking for details about its production process. 

Read: Recommended Low-Calorie Seltzer Brands

How Much Alcohol Does It Usually Have?

Bud Light Seltzer pouring on a glass

Most hard seltzers contain around 4% to 6% ABV, though some brands have higher alcohol content. Still, the actual alcohol content can vary by brand.

For comparison reference, here’s a short glimpse of the alcohol content [1], in general, in some popular drinks: 

  • wine (5oz) – 12 % ABV
  • beer (12oz) – 5% ABV
  • one shot of hard liquor (1.5oz) – 40% ABV
  • hard seltzers – 4-6% ABV

Can It Get You Drunk? 

Hard seltzers can get you drunk if you consume three to four cans in an hour. If you drink just one can, 5% ABV isn’t enough to get you drunk. 

Alcohol tolerance may vary depending on body mass, gender, and lifestyle. But a can of hard seltzer won’t make your BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) [2] rise.  

If you want to get drunk, drink four cans or more.  

Does Hard Seltzer Contain Vodka & Beer?

filling glass with beer

Hard seltzers don’t contain beer or vodka in its ingredient. But it’s crafted similarly to beer. 

It’s made through a process that involves adding sugar to carbonated water and then introducing yeast to convert the sugar into alcohol. 

Also, hard seltzers are often infused with artificial or natural flavors, and each brand has its own production method.

Some brands use barley or rice as their fermentable base. But how long does a hard seltzer last?

FAQs Related to What Alcohol is in Hard Seltzer

Is hard seltzer stronger than beer?

Hard seltzer typically has a lower alcohol content than most beers. The alcohol by volume (ABV) of hard seltzer usually falls in the range of 4% to 6%, although some may have slightly higher or lower ABV levels.

In contrast, the ABV of beer can vary widely depending on the style and brand but typically ranges from about 4% to 8%, with some craft and specialty beers having even higher alcohol content.

Therefore, in terms of alcohol strength, hard seltzer is generally on par with or slightly lower in potency than beer.

Is hard seltzer very strong alcohol?

Hard seltzer is not considered to be very strong alcohol compared to other spirits such as vodka, whiskey, or rum, which often have much higher alcohol content. Hard seltzer typically has an alcohol by volume (ABV) ranging from 4% to 6%, making it similar in strength to many beers.

While the exact potency may vary depending on the brand and product, hard seltzer is generally perceived as a light and refreshing alcoholic beverage that is lower in alcohol content compared to other options.

What Alcohol is in Hard Seltzer?

The alcohol in hard seltzer is typically derived from fermented cane sugar or malted barley. Most commercially available hard seltzers are made by fermenting a base of sugar with yeast to produce alcohol, which is then combined with carbonated water and flavorings to create the final product.

Some hard seltzers may also be made with malted barley, similar to beer, although these are less common. The resulting beverage is a lightly carbonated, flavored alcoholic drink with a relatively low alcohol content.

What is hard seltzer?

Hard seltzer is a type of alcoholic beverage made by combining carbonated water with alcohol and flavorings. It typically contains a low alcohol by volume (ABV) and is known for its light, crisp, and refreshing taste. Hard seltzer gained popularity in recent years as a lighter alternative to traditional alcoholic beverages such as beer or wine, particularly among consumers looking for lower-calorie options.

Hard seltzers often come in a variety of fruit flavors and are marketed as a convenient and easy-to-drink option for social occasions or outdoor activities. They have become increasingly popular in bars, restaurants, and social gatherings, appealing to a wide range of drinkers seeking a refreshing and flavorful alcoholic beverage.

What are the main ingredients in hard seltzer?

The main ingredients in hard seltzer typically include water, alcohol, and flavorings. The type of alcohol used in hard seltzer can vary, but it is commonly derived from fermented cane sugar or malted barley.

Carbonated water is added to give the beverage its characteristic fizziness, while natural or artificial flavorings are used to impart different taste profiles. Some hard seltzers may also contain sweeteners or other additives to enhance flavor or mouthfeel.

How is hard seltzer made?

It is made through a process of fermenting sugars to produce alcohol. The alcohol is then combined with carbonated water and flavorings to create the final beverage.

What flavors are available in hard seltzer?

Hard seltzer comes in a wide variety of flavors, ranging from traditional fruit flavors like lemon, lime, and berry to more exotic options like mango, pineapple, and cucumber.

Many brands offer seasonal or limited-edition flavors, as well as specialty varieties that incorporate botanicals or herbal infusions. With the growing popularity of hard seltzer, new and innovative flavors are continually being introduced to cater to consumer preferences and trends.

Is hard seltzer gluten-free?

Many hard seltzer brands are gluten-free, especially those made from fermented cane sugar or other gluten-free grains. However, it’s essential to check the label as some may contain malted barley, which contains gluten.

How many calories are in hard seltzer?

The calorie content of hard seltzer varies depending on the brand and flavor, but it is generally lower in calories compared to beer or mixed drinks.

Is hard seltzer healthier than other alcoholic drinks?

Hard seltzer is often marketed as a healthier alternative to beer and mixed drinks due to its lower calorie and carb content. 

Can I make my own hard seltzer at home?

Yes, it’s possible to make your own hard seltzer at home using a fermentation process similar to brewing beer. There are many DIY recipes and kits available for homebrewing hard seltzer.

What’s the shelf life of hard seltzer?

Hard seltzer typically has a shelf life of several months to a year if stored properly in a cool, dry place. 

Is hard seltzer suitable for vegans/vegetarians?

Hard seltzer is generally suitable for vegans and vegetarians, but it’s essential to check the ingredients list for any animal-derived products that may be used in flavorings or processing.


Final Say

The alcohol in hard seltzers is derived from fermented sugar cane or malted barley. It only has 4-6% ABV, comparable to beers, so they’re low in alcohol and calories. 

For first-time drinkers, try Truly, White Claw, and Bud Light hard seltzers, as these brands are the most popular today.

Don’t worry about getting drunk, as one can wouldn’t knock you down. 


  1. Alcohol Facts
  2. What Is Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC)?
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