When it comes to drive-through chain restaurants, Sonic rejects the call for modernity and instead opts for a more retro approach, complete with carhops and parking stalls. It’s the sweet taste of nostalgia with a cherry on top.
With the release of Sonic Hard Seltzer, “America’s favorite drive-in” welcomes those fortunate enough to be 21+ to crack into a cold one and experience our fountain favorites with the bonus of 5% alcohol.
These whimsically colorful cans are available in two variety packs: Citrus and Tropical.
The former includes Cherry Limeade, Lemonade, Limeade, and Lemon Berry, while the latter features Mango Guava, Orange Pineapple, Melon Medley, and Ocean Water. All flavors come in at 100 calories, 1 gram of added sugar, and 1 gram of carbs.
Just in case you’re worried they can’t live up to your expectations, we put in the work so you can reap the sweet rewards.
Read on to see my review of all eight of Sonic’s hard seltzer flavors so you can skip the duds and enjoy your suds. Enjoy them with your favorite Sonic menu items!
Perhaps Sonic’s most iconic drink, Cherry Limeade, puts the sweetness of bold cherry flavor in juxtaposition against the tartness of limeade.
It’s best enjoyed on steamy summer days as a viable means of beating the heat when your loyal bottle of H20 just won’t cut it.
As a seltzer, it can’t offer the same sharpness and sticky-sweetness that only flavored syrups can provide.
That being said, when you pop the top, you’ll be surprised by how reliably the aroma brings to mind cherry snow cones, summer breezes, and barefooted adventures.
It’s shockingly fragrant with lime oil, which fans of citrus fruits will surely appreciate.
Everyone has their own lemonade preferences, and this hard seltzer is just right for folks who would rather let the ice melt before they take their first sip.
Unlike Limeade, which tends to be mouth-puckeringly tart, Lemonade is the hard seltzer equivalent of smooth jazz.
It’s crisp but not flagrant in its flavor bouquet. Instead, it delivers a just-so lilt of lemon that you’ll smell more than taste.
While undoubtedly not as delicious as a glass of Grandma’s special recipe, it’s refreshing enough to take the edge off of a hot day without the tongue-coating sweetness of its mentor beverage.
What Cherry Limeade misses the beat on is capturing the true essence of that ubiquitous green citrus fruit, but Limeade brings a strong showing of bitter zest and tart juice.
This is the top pick if you’re searching for a clean, brisk seltzer. It’s snappy without being sour, a milestone many alcoholic beverages miss when they don’t benefit from fresh fruit as a supporting player.
I recommend enjoying Limeade over ice with a spritz of natural lime juice to draw out even more of the citrusy undertones.
Sonic’s Lemon Berry Hard Seltzer stands resplendent and zesty, almost as if in defiance of the Citrus pack’s somewhat muted classic Lemonade flavor.
The delicate sweetness of raspberries lends a sense of dimension and complexity to the otherwise underwhelming lemon-only variety, not dissimilar to the taste of Minute Maid pink lemonade.
Folks who enjoy rainbow sherbet and pink Starburst will find echoes of these flavors underneath the carbonated aftertaste, like a delicious consolation prize.
While it doesn’t beat out Orange Pineapple in the overall best flavor category, it’s a respectable runner-up.
Oh. My. Goodness. Orange Pineapple delivers everything you’ve ever dreamed of from hard seltzers.
It’s lush and decadent, bringing wave after wave of tropical deliciousness in the form of orange zest and juicy pineapple.
What I find most impressive is the barely-there tartness that keeps the drink from falling into the too-sweet trap.
It’s a mimosa’s sassier cousin, complete with just enough booziness to leave you feeling slightly buzzed.
I wouldn’t be opposed to swapping out the champagne glass at Saturday brunch for a tall, white can of this scrumptiously scented seltzer.
Honeydew is relegated to being a fruit salad filler that I set aside in favor of apple slices, mandarin oranges, blueberries, and grapes. Still, Sonic’s Melon Medley is out here changing hearts and minds.
Rather than leaning on the iconic summer fruit for the dominant flavor profile, honeydew takes center stage for a star performance, unlike anything you’d imagine from a melon seltzer.
It’s the Goldilocks of the tropical pack, delivering a “just right” taste that somehow puts the ostentatious watermelon on the back burner for a surprisingly refreshing sip.
If there was a Sonic drink that could compete with Cherry Limeade’s cult following, it’s Ocean Water.
The proprietary mix of blue coconut syrup and Sprite is as close to drinking Coppertone as you can get but in the best way possible.
Unfortunately, the very nature of hard seltzer doesn’t lend itself to Ocean Water’s unique essence, altogether forgoing the much-required citrus that the soft drink base provides in favor of a wallop of artificial coconut flavor.
I would almost dare to say that combining the Ocean Water and Limeade varieties would help make up for what this flavor is lacking.
I need to be honest: Mango and guava are two of my least favorite flavors.
As raw fruit, they tend to have a meaty, savory taste that’s somewhat off-putting, and somehow the synthetic versions only seem to amp up the undertones of earthiness.
For that reason, Mango Guava Sonic Hard Seltzer is my least favorite flavor.
If I’m being completely impartial, though, it does a decent job of balancing the bitterness of the alcohol, masking it with a synthetic sweetness.