As summer winds down, our sunburn and mosquito bites may fade, but the season’s trendiest go-to drink is here to stay.
Seltzer sales have leapt 42 percent in the past five years and Americans can’t get enough, drinking 170 million gallons of the bubbly every year, according to NPR. (This summer, a rapper named Big Dipper even penned an after-hours ode titled “LaCroix Boi” in honor of his favorite brand.)
Only climbing in popularity, seltzer is destined to sell out not only at supermarkets, but pretty soon, at bars.
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Alcoholic versions of portable, gluten-free and low-calorie drinks boasting no artificial flavors or sweeteners have become a favorite amongst millennials who want to take their new preferred beverage from day to night.
Whether you’re adding a splash of spirits to your Unicorn Kisses or Yeti Mischief-flavored Polar seltzer, or sipping on alcoholic varieties, like Henry’s Hard Sparkling or Truly Spiked & Sparkling Water, these portable, single-serving drinks could prove dangerous if they fall into underage hands.
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Some warn that these sweet, bubbly and subtly alcoholic hard seltzers may tempt teenage taste buds, echoing the clearmalt Zima fad of the 90s. And though some of the latest hard seltzers are alluringly stamped with mermaids, melons, anchors and sea waves, adults are obligated to ensure that teenagers don’t sample summer’s hottest drink themselves.
“Really talk and engage with teens that these drinks are alcohol regardless of what content they come in and how they’re packaged,” said Natasha Thomas of Mothers Against Drunk Driving to CBS Philadelphia in 2015. “But it’s alcohol, and we want them to make the right choices by not consuming it if they are under the age of 21.”
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Currently, there are not yet any statistics linking a rise in the popularity of hard seltzer to underage consumption. But if MADD is to be believed, parents should keep an eye out at the next backyard barbecue or Labor Day soiree.