The hard seltzer bandwagon is a crowded one. Countless companies have released versions of these light, bubbly drinks, from seltzer-specific brands to cheap pilsner staples like Pabst Blue Ribbon.
Most of these seltzers tout the same features. They’re usually low in calories, carbs, and sugar. Many brands also offer the same handful of flavors with strange, chemically aftertastes. Moreover, they all boast similar ABVs of four to six percent.
After a certain point, you’re paying for the name—not a new product. Just when I had succumbed to the idea that all hard seltzers were “meh” at best, I met Nectar.
Who Is Nectar?
Co-founders Jeremy Kim and John Dalsey founded Nectar in December 2020, and the hard seltzer game has never been the same since. The California-based company is innovative, refreshing, and unique—just like the seltzers they make.
Nectar isn’t a faceless corporation. The company has an active (and hilarious) TikTok feed run by the founders themselves. They want to talk to customers, inviting them into the production process, because they believe in what they’re making.
And indeed, they should. Nectar seltzers are gluten-free, vegan, and keto-friendly. They have zero grams of sugar, one gram of carbs, and 90 calories per serving. Of course, at the end of the day, there’s only one factor that really matters: flavor.
Nectar has perfected that, too. It has created an incredible line of Asian-inspired seltzers with flavors like lychee, yuzu, and more. Having tried them all, I can attest that each is better than the last.
Lychee: Floral, Sweet, And A Little Tart
Blame it on my Midwestern grocery selection, but I had never had lychee fruit before. So, I was the most excited to try this flavor, in particular. I had never tasted anything like it, and it was my instant favorite.
The lychee seltzer is deliciously light with a subtle floral flavor. I would describe it as a mix of rose, strawberry, and a bit of watermelon. More sweet than tart, the floral undertones and carbonation kept the drink from becoming too cloying. The result was an unbelievably refreshing hard seltzer with no funky aftertaste.
Asian Pear: Juicy And Refreshing
Don’t get it twisted; this flavor isn’t the same as your run-of-the-mill European pear. Asian pears have a sweeter, crisper taste that Nectar says “for many Asian kids, holds a fond place in their memory.”
In seltzer form, the Asian pear complements the carbonation perfectly. The pear flavor is brisker than buttery, which gives it an irresistible, thirst-quenching quality. Yet again, Nectar managed to find the perfect balance between too-sweet and too-sour. This flavor came in a very, very close second.
Yuzu: Grapefruit And Lemon Combo
If I’m being honest, this flavor and the two before it were all practically tied for first. Yuzu was another flavor that I tried completely blind, and just like with lychee, I loved it. The bright, zingy flavor is what I imagine a grapefruit-lemon love child would taste like.
Grapefruit and lemon can both be divisive flavors, but yuzu manages to only utilize the best parts of each. It’s less acidic and bitter than grapefruit and slightly sweeter than lemon. A little of this aromatic flavor goes a long way, but Nectar made sure to find the best ratio of flavor to carbonation possible.
Mandarin Orange: A Familiar Favorite
Nectar’s mandarin orange is a familiar favorite for those apprehensive about trying brand new flavors. This flavor boasts the same citrusy orange flavor you already know with an added touch of sweetness.
My husband has a pickier palate than I do, and this passed his taste test with flying colors. Nectar uses all parts of a mandarin orange—the pulp, juice, peel, and oils—to create a natural flavor that’s just the right amount of sugary. (Don’t worry though, even this sweet flavor touts zero grams of sugar!)
Just In Time For Warm Weather
Nectar is actively working on expanding its brand across the US. If your city doesn’t already sell it, you can opt for home delivery. Or, if you can’t wait, Nectar invites you to text them at 310-388-6729 to get their seltzer in your hands faster.
As the weather gets nicer and ripe for seltzer drinking, don’t settle for the same tired brands. Low-cal, gluten-free, vegan, or otherwise, no one should have to grimace their way through a drink. And thanks to Nectar, no one has to.
Contrary to what other brands would have you believe, you can enjoy all the things you love about hard seltzer without sickly sweet flavors and metal aftertastes. This season, ditch the drab and go with something divinely different.