Why Does Hard Seltzer Get You Drunk Faster?

You can’t have missed the rise of the hard seltzers. White Claw, Truly Spiked Seltzer etc have exploded onto the shelves recently and sales are going through the roof.

Many haven’t actually tried then or are very new to them and one of the key questions is… “why does hard seltzer get you drunk faster?”

They can taste just like a flavoured seltzer water so you can drink them quickly, coupled with the fizz, maybe they do get you drunk quicker.

Why does hard seltzer get you drunk faster?

Hard seltzers can get you drunk quicker than lower strength beers or even still alcoholic drinks.

At 5% alcohol by volume they have plenty of alcohol but they don’t really taste alcoholic so you can drink them quickly. The fizzy bubbles can get you drunk quicker than a still alcoholic drink.

Do bubbles get you drink quicker?

This is a question as old as time. Does a fizzy drink get you drink quicker? I know my wife will testify that Prosecco or Champagne definitely affects her quicker than normal wine but is this actual science?

Well, it turns out the carbon dioxide which is dissolved in drinks and makes them fizzy when released really does get you drunk quicker.

The bubbles help you absorb alcohol quicker so a fizzy hard seltzer will get you drunk slightly quicker than the equivalent still drink.

How long does hard seltzer take to kick in?

In general it will take about 30mins to 1 hour for the alcohol in a White Claw to get into your bloodstream and for you to start feeling the effects. 

Lots of things can influence this time with one of the main things being how much food is in your stomach. 

The more food you have in your stomach, the slower the exit from you stomach and the longer the alcohol will take to reach your bloodstream.

What drinks should we compare hard seltzers too?

If we are considering if a hard seltzer gets you drunk faster, then we have to think about faster than what exactly.

There are many different types of alcoholic drink but let’s look at just a few of the main categories.

What is a standard drink?

Trying to compare alcoholic drinks across the spectrum is very difficult. How do you judge a shot of vodka vs anything else.

Luckily for everyone, the USDA have devised a list of “standard” alcoholic drinks. Each one contains the exact same amount of alcohol – 14g of alcohol (0.6 ounces).

How many hard seltzers equals a beer?

In terms of alcohol and volume, Hard Seltzers are exactly the same as a standard beer. They both are 12fl oz in volume and 5% alcohol by volume. 

Hard Seltzers are the equivalent on a beer in terms of alcohol content.

However there are lots of light beers and lower strength beers so if you drink a 5% hard seltzer at the same pace as a 3.8% light beer, the hard seltzer will get you drunk quicker.

How many hard seltzers equals a shot off vodka?

A 12fl oz 5% ABV Hard Seltzer has the same alcohol (14g of pure alcohol), as a 1.5fl oz shot of 40% vodka. So the answer is 1 Hard Seltzer is equal to one shot of vodka or any spirit at 40% ABV.

If you are anything like me, a couple of shots makes me avoid them for hours, i couldn’t do 4 in a row.

How many hard seltzers equals a glass of wine?

As with the examples above, a hard seltzer is the equivalent on one glass of wine. A standard wine is 5fl oz and 12% ABV.

Most wines have at least some alcoholic kick which makes it hard to drink them fast. If you like your wine, you don’t want to drink it fast anyway, it is better to savour it.

How many hard seltzers to get drunk?

The CDC states it takes the average 160lb adult male, 4 standard beers to get drunk. A standard beer is 12fl oz and 5% ABV which is the same as a Hard Seltzer.

The 4 Hard Seltzers have to be drank over 1-2 hours. If you are a female or lighter then it will take less Hard Seltzer, if you are a significantly heavier male, it may take 5+ Hard Seltzers to get drunk.

Can you drink 4 hard seltzers faster than other drinks?

If you need 4 standard drinks to get drunk then the faster you drink them the faster you will get drunk.

A key question therefore is, can you drink hard seltzer quicker than other drinks? The main stumbling block with alcoholic drinks is the fiery nature of the alcohol itself. If you cant taste the alcohol, the drink goes down A LOT quicker!

Can you taste the alcohol in a hard seltzer?

You can tell a hard seltzer has some alcohol in it compared to standard flavoured water but the difference is not great.

There is no alcohol burn in your throat and only a tiny “kick” from the alcohol as usually the flavour from a hard seltzer is not overpowering due to its low calories and carbs.

I have reviewed lots and lots of alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks so read on for all my insights into the alcohol in a White Claw below

What does a hard seltzer like White Claw taste like?

One of my White Claw reviews (Natural Lime) can be read here. This is a short exert…

“With any hard seltzer, you have to dial yourself in to exactly the amount of flavour you are going to be getting.

It is the nature of the beast or lack of a sugary carb beast, that the flavour might be mooted and slightly thin. A seltzer water is supposed to take like that not a hugely sugary lime soda.

This actually has a pretty decent amount of flavour and it is tasty too.

It certainly isn’t too sweet but you are looking for more sugar either.”

So why do hard seltzers get you drunk quicker?

I think it is because they are highly carbonated, you cant taste the alcohol so you drink them quickly and that they are relatively high in alcohol (5% ABV) compared to other 12fl oz type alcoholic drinks.

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