Updated: Jan 11, 2020

Hard seltzer is the surprisingly maker-friendly cocktail. —INGRAIN, Winter/Spring 2020

STORY / Ken Hunnemeder

You can’t deny it and you can’t escape it. Hard seltzer is a thing. But like everything else, there is a way to do it respectfully.

A trend is a trend. But using real ingredients can completely transform mass-market versions and actually taste quite nice. So let’s get rid of the artificial flavors and hit the produce aisle.


It’s easy to make your own hard seltzers. You can use specialized equipment, but it isn’t necessary. Realistically, you can just let the flavoring ingredients sit in a jar for a few days with any spirit before straining and using the infusion. BUT if you have a sous vide machine, the whole process will take less than an hour.

I like to make each cocktail and then carbonate it right before serving for some added effervescence. For this, all you need is a whipped-cream maker that uses small CO2 cartridges. Or you could just substitute sparkling water instead of the still water called for in each recipe. Let’s not overthink this; it’s a hard seltzer.


Recipe: Coconut Hard Seltzer

Recipe: Grapefruit-Chamomile Hard Seltzer

Recipe: Margarita Hard Seltzer