- Beer isn’t the only cold and refreshing beverage you can crack open at an outdoor gathering this summer. The rise of hard seltzer proves that we have an appetite for something more refreshing.
- A new craft hard-tea brand called Wandering Whistler is the perfect alcoholic beverage option for tea lovers. Each 12-ounce can contains 120 calories, just three to four grams of sugar, and 4.5% ABV.
- There are currently two flavors: Earl Grey with Elderflower (sweet, honey-like) and Green Tea Jasmine (mild, with a hint of Jasmine). You can order them online at Drizly.
While seltzer lovers are up in arms over which one of the many emerging hard seltzers is the best, tea lovers are sitting back on their porches, calmly (as they do) surveying their options.
The market for hard tea isn’t as robust as it is for hard seltzer (which should hit $2.5 billion by 2021, according to UBS), but the fact remains: not everyone wants to drink beer at a summer barbecue or happy hour. Tea drinkers now have a new option called Wandering Whistler, which launched in May of 2019.
Wandering Whistler is part of ZX Ventures, the global growth and innovation group at AB InBev. Founder Jackie Atlas wanted to create a craft-brewed alcoholic tea that floated around the same social settings as wine does — something light, casual, and fun.
The brand launched with two flavors, Earl Grey with Elderflower and Green Tea Jasmine. They’re low in calories, sugar, and ABV. Each 12-ounce can contains 120 calories, just three to four grams of sugar, and 4.5% ABV.
These hard teas are made by fermenting cane sugar and tea leaves together with yeast. They also contain natural tea flavors. Although they are made with real tea, the process removes most of the caffeine, so don’t expect to get a big boost of energy after drinking Wandering Whistler.
We tried the hard tea from Wandering Whistler. Here’s what we thought:
Both were quite carbonated, but the overall drinking experience was light, refreshing, and pleasant. With its low ABV content, it’s an easy drink to enjoy during a daytime gathering or as a post-work treat. Compared to that of hard seltzers, the flavor of Wandering Whistler is softer and more fragrant.
Earl Grey with Elderflower: I’m not sure I tasted the Earl Grey flavor in this one; the elderflower was more apparent. This flavor is sweeter, almost honey-like.
Green Tea Jasmine: I could taste green tea, but the overall taste was more mild than the Earl Grey. Drinking this one reminded me of drinking a cider, but with a hint of jasmine.
The bottom line
If you enjoy non-beer alcoholic beverages such as hard seltzer or cider, you’ll probably also enjoy Wandering Whistler. Especially if you like to drink regular tea, you’ll appreciate the flavor nods to the most popular drink in the world next to water.
It’s rolling out to shelves in the East Coast right now, where its globally-inspired packaging might catch your eye first, but you can also order it online through Drizly.
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