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Alright, here’s the tea: we love the best hard seltzers, but they’re all becoming a little too much. Every brand has a hard seltzer under their belt at this point and it’s making us completely overwhelmed. To combat the growing number of hard seltzers nobody’s been asking for, we’re going back to the basics and trading everyone’s favorite fizzy clear beverage for an OG liquor store staple: hard iced tea.
Hard iced teas may be familiar to you through the lens of one brand in particular: Twisted Tea. While, yes, we absolutely love an ice-cold Twisted Tea in hand from boat days to backyard BBQs, there are so many hard iced tea brands making waves in the alcohol space that you seriously need to know about. In a way, this old-school liquor trend is coming back full throttle and replacing kitschy seltzer brands altogether as of recent. Brands such as White Claw and Truly have even hopped on the bandwagon with hard iced tea options to sip under the sun. You know what they say, history repeats itself.
If you plan on getting boozy with your buds this summer, hard iced tea is a fan favorite way to quench your thirst and, of course, pick up a bit of a buzz. But, which hard iced teas are actually worth picking up? Lucky for you, I’ve tried every hard iced tea you’ll see below so you don’t have to waste your time finding a favorite. As a true hard iced tea fan, believe me: I truly won’t steer you wrong.
That all said: it’s time to pack your best cooler up, pronto. Peep the must-have hard iced tea options to consider below and get sipping now.
1. Fishers Island Spiked Tea
Fishers Island’s Spiked Tea is the best hard iced tea you’ll ever try by a landslide. Like, they’ve completely mastered it. If you’re unfamiliar with Fishers Island, this is a New York-made spiked lemonade brand that’ll knock your socks off. I’ve slurped a couple of cans in my day to much enjoyment, but it wasn’t until I tried their Spiked Tea that I fell completely in love. This whiskey and vodka-based tea has a consistency that’s sweet but not too sweet. It has a lightness to it that’s epic for summer drinking because it doesn’t make you feel too bloated. But, that makes Fishers Island a little dangerous. How? Because each can has a 7% ABV, while most hard iced teas sit at around 5% — so don’t sip ’em too quickly. Thankfully, each half and half pack comes with just four cans each, which will give you a safe, delicious buzz each time you pick a pack up.
2. Buzz Tea
Buzz tea is another new hard iced tea brand worth picking up at your local liquor store due to its low sugar, smooth taste that will send your tastebuds soaring. Buzz Tea is available in three flavors currently in variety packs of twelve, including Original, Peach and Half & Half. Here’s the tea: we’ve noticed that a lot of the time, variety iced tea flavors will almost always prove that some varietals slap and others suck. That’s not the case with Buzz Tea. After testing all three flavors, I was scratching my head trying to pick out a favorite. With a 6.5% ABV each, Buzz Tea hits exactly in the ways you want it to.
3. Twisted Tea Half & Half
You really can’t talk about hard iced tea without mentioning Twisted Tea. This is the hard iced tea that pioneered the trend and for quite some time, existed as the sole hard iced tea option you could even choose from. Say what you want about Twisted Tea, sure it might be sweet, sure you might experience some of the worst hangovers of your life, but it absolutely hits the spot under the sun. With a 5% ABV perf can, this sweet iced tea can pairs well with tubing down the river, swimming in the pool, chilling beside backyard bonfires and more. And, if you need to know anything about Twisted Tea, their Half & Half is the best. It’s refreshing, flavorful and tastes delicious when ice-cold.
4. Cutwater Long Island Iced Tea
MOST ALCOHOL CONTENT
Cutwater has been changing the game when it comes to canned cocktails. They’ve got just about every regular cocktail option you can think of, including the riskiest cocktail of all: the Long Island iced tea. Sure, you might have had a couple of sloppy nights in the past with one too many of these at the local bar, but you’ve always considered these nights some of the best ever. With a whopping 13.2% ABV per can, you might find yourself in some similar situations to nights out in the past, so just make sure you sip these carefully. One to three should leave you feeling pretty good. And, in my opinion, they taste a ton better than any LIT I’ve ever ordered out at the bar.
5. Truly Hard Seltzer Iced Tea Variety Pack
BEST SELTZER BRAND
So, at this point, I’ve seen White Claw, Bud Light and Truly create their own hard iced tea variety packs to help get themselves on the bandwagon. And, in my experience, the only one doing hard iced tea justice right now is Truly. These refreshing hard iced teas have a bubbly consistency that’s similar in nature to your classic seltzer yet slightly toned down, coming in at only 100 calories each. At a 5% ABV, they stay closer to the side of Twisted Tea without all of the sweetness. Some might deem these ever-so-slightly watered down, but the less in-your-face flavor of each tea really allows for a not-so-overwhelming sipping experience, which I find much appreciated.
6. Loverboy White Tea Peach
So, you might have noticed something with all of the picks listed. They’re each your classic iced tea flavor. You know, the one made popular by brands such as Lipton and Brisk. But, what about a tea for the folks that prefer hibiscus? Matcha? Green tea? Well, that’s where Loverboy comes in. These not-so-average hard iced teas will be the odd one out in your cooler that you can’t get enough of. There are tons of eccentric non-classic flavors that your friends will raise an eyebrow to in the beginning but continue to ask for more of after one can. A personal favorite is their White Tea Peach flavor. It’s bubbly, refreshing and has a flavor that will make your mouth water.