8% > 4.5%

By Tim Nelson
April 20, 2020
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Look, times are tough. We’re increasingly staring down the prospect of a summer spent inside with nothing to do but stare at a wall and drink. That’s a pretty brutal scenario, and it’s hard to blame anyone who’s been doing everything they can to stop the spread of COVID-19 from asking for stronger drinks.

Whether it was a shrewd marketing move or just a happy coincidence, it looks like Smirnoff’s Spiked Sparkling Seltzer (say that five times fast) is here to provide. Though they’ve been around long enough to participate in the great hard seltzer wave of 2019, this spinoff of the noted spirits brand is stepping up with a new line of “8% Spiked” seltzers. That’s a pretty big boost from the 4.5 alcohol by volume it’d been offering up.

So far, this newer and more potent spiked seltzer comes in two flavors. There’s Blood Orange, which has a “juicy sweet orange character.” Its lone flavor counterpart so far is Blackberry, which is marked by “sweet blackberry, raspberry aromas with a hint of strawberry and jammy berry [sic] flavor.” So, it’s got some berries in it. No matter how you feel about oranges or berries, the thing to note here is that both flavors contain zero sugar, which seems to be something of a differentiator when it comes to spiked seltzers.

This is just Smirnoff’s latest attempt to bolster and diversify its seltzer offerings, because the market totally isn’t oversaturated at this point. In addition to more common seltzer flavors like berry lemonade or cranberry line, they’ve also got a whole suite of 4 different rosé inspired carbonated malt beverages, in addition to a patriotic Red, White and Berry.

Though they’re not the only company to offer a seltzer whose ABV hits eight percent, Smirnoff deserves some credit for helping us save space in our fridges and our fanny packs by cramming more alcohol into the same 12-ounce can. That sort of storage efficiency will surely come in handy as the homes we’re trapped within continue to feel smaller and smaller every day.