Cocktail culture may be one of the last frontiers for hard seltzer to conquer. Since the whimsical days of last year’s summer of seltzer, the lightly flavored, boozy water has seeped into almost every corner of life; from Super Bowl ads to sports stadiums, bars and restaurants (and their kitchens) to commercially made ice creams. But the cocktail menu? Not so fast.

Sure, there have been some ripples — see: Truly on Tap and the recent TikTok trend for boozy seltzer slushies — but certainly not waves. And it’s not like there’s been a push from the leading brands for cocktail creation, either. You won’t find hard seltzer cocktail recipes on any of their websites, and only on BON V!V’s Instagram is there any suggestion that seltzer can be enjoyed in a way that isn’t straight out the can.

It’s no surprise that #Clawktails hasn’t captured the public imagination in the way that “Ain’t No Laws'” did.

At VinePair, that got us thinking: Are we missing a trick here? Surely there’s a better way to experiment with hard seltzer than blending with fruit and ice or spiking with our favorite spirits. After all, we’re all home bartenders these days.

Turns out the answer is yes and the best place to look for inspiration is classic cocktails themselves. We’re not just talking about simple highballs here, though they are delicious. Let’s go deeper. How about a White Claw Clover Club or a BON V!V Ramos Gin Fizz?

It’s possible folks.

Before we get started, a few notes on making hard seltzer cocktails. Part of hard seltzer’s allure is convenience, so we aimed to mix as many as possible in the cans themselves. Taking a few swigs should free up enough room for the base spirit and other ingredients, but for the best results, pour out exactly the same volume of seltzer as the ingredients you’re about to include.

As long as the can comes straight from the fridge, there’s no need to chill those ingredients by shaking or stirring. If you want to go the extra mile and make sure that all the ingredients are well incorporated, add the non-seltzer ingredients to a mixing glass and stir first, with a splash of seltzer, then pour it back into the can.

We’ve split the cocktails into three categories based on the ingredients required and the effort involved in preparation. Any drink with an asterisk next to its name should be enjoyed in a glass rather than the can. Past that, well, ain’t no laws.

BASIC

Tom Collins
  • 2 ounces gin
  • ¾ ounce simple syrup
  • ½ ounce fresh lemon juice
  • Truly Lemon

Using hard seltzer in place of soda water brings a one-two lemon punch to the classic Tom Collins. You can taste the dual layers of fresh and natural flavorings, while simple syrup adds a slight body to the cocktail. This ratio suits a slightly sweeter palate, though it isn’t cloying. For something sharper, dial the simple syrup down to ½ ounce.

Bourbon Rickey
  • 1 ½ ounces bourbon
  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice
  • ¼ ounce simple syrup
  • Bud Light Seltzer Lemon Lime

While the Gin Rickey is more common these days, the original iteration likely contained some form of whiskey. Opting for America’s native spirit is a great way to showcase a wonderful flavor combination: bourbon and citrus fruit. While a classic Rickey also calls for just lime, bourbon is great pals with lemon, too. So Bud Light Lemon Lime is a natural fit. A splash of fresh lime juice maintains some kind of historical accuracy, while simple syrup rounds out the sharp edges and adds a velvety texture.

Paloma
  • 2 ounces blanco tequila
  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice
  • ¾ ounce agave syrup
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • Truly Grapefruit

A slightly more complex take on the crushable Paloma, this version dials down the sweetness of the original but has great body and is really well balanced. A touch of salt heightens all the flavors in the can, from the vegetal tequila notes to the bitter and sour grapefruit. Swap in reposado tequila to add extra nuance, but go slightly easier on the agave syrup if you do so.

Clover Club
  • 2 ounces gin
  • 1 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • White Claw Raspberry

Reimagining this cocktail with hard seltzer removes some of the finickier aspects of making a Clover Club (namely shaking with egg white and preparing a raspberry syrup). But the flavor profile stays remarkably true to the original drink. This is a rich, red- berry-driven summer cocktail, ideal to pair with strawberry desserts.

Piña Colada
  • 2 ounces aged rum
  • 1 ounce simple syrup
  • ½ ounce fresh lime juice
  • BON V!V Pineapple Coconut

It’s impossible to match the creamy richness of coconut milk in a hard seltzer cocktail but this drink tastes like a dead ringer for the original, thanks to the bold flavor profile of this particular seltzer. Using a complex aged rum brings nuance and subtle sweetness, while a healthy pour of simple syrup adds to the body. With two sweet ingredients, a dash of lime keeps things lively and adds an extra flavor profile. The spiced notes from the rum also mean this can be enjoyed well into fall.

INTERMEDIATE

Americano
  • 1 ½ ounces Campari
  • 1 ½ ounces sweet vermouth
  • ¼ ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 8 ¾ ounces White Claw Tangerine

Those who think hard seltzers are simple and lacking in flavor need to try White Claw Tangerine. Tasted on its own, it offers layers of fruit flavor — from sweet, aromatic essential oils to waxy pith notes. It’s almost as if it was custom-designed to pair with Campari. Sweet vermouth brings a luxurious sweetness to the party, while fresh lemon juice keeps it going well into the night. Serve in the can for convenience, or in a glass with a big rock of ice and a lemon twist.

Aperol Spritz*
  • 3 ounces Prosecco
  • 2 ounces Aperol
  • 2 ounces Truly Grapefruit

Strangely enough, the Aperol Spritz proved to be one of the most difficult cocktails to recreate using hard seltzer. Sticking to the 3:2:1 ratio of Prosecco, Aperol, and soda water provided an unbalanced, somewhat flabby drink. Choosing which flavor of seltzer to use also proved difficult. Both lemon and orange, which would seem like the ideal candidates, turned out drinks with a boring, homogenous profile. Only when you introduce grapefruit hard seltzer, and mix using a 3:2:2 ratio, do things come to life. The grapefruit aromas and flavors shine on both the nose and palate, and linger for an age on the finish. For something lighter and more sessionable, try equal parts of each ingredient.

St-Germain Cocktail*
  • 1 ½ ounces St-Germain
  • ½ ounce lemon juice
  • 2 ounces Prosecco
  • 2 ounces BON V!V Pear Elderflower

Some bartenders describe St-Germain as “bartender’s ketchup” because of its ability to pair with almost anything. The elderflower liqueur finds a natural partner in BON V!V Pear Elderflower. The liqueur’s eponymous cocktail, the St-Germain Cocktail, is typically topped with a dry sparkling wine, such as Champagne. But we prefer it with Prosecco — not only because it’s easier on the wallet, but the vibrant fruity notes are a wonderful match for the distinctive pear flavor in this hard seltzer. If it’s cocktails for one, and you don’t want to open an entire bottle of Prosecco, no problem: Just leave out the Prosecco and enjoy a version of this cocktail made directly in the can. To the hard seltzer, just add 2 ½ ounces St-Germain and ½ ounce lemon juice.

Tommy’s Margarita*
  • 2 ounces blanco tequila
  • 1 ounce lime juice
  • ½ ounce agave nectar
  • 4 ounces White Claw Natural Lime

Because we’re “diluting” with hard seltzer, the Tommy’s Margarita, which subs in agave syrup for triple sec, offers a bolder base to build a hard seltzer Margarita on. Even when topped with four ounces of hard seltzer, the flavor profile pulls no punches. Serving in a jalapeño-salt-rimmed glass adds an extra dimension to your new favorite summer cocktail.

Negroni
  • 1 ounce Campari
  • 1 ounce New Western Dry gin, such as Tanqueray Rangpur
  • 1 ounce sweet vermouth
  • BON V!V Clementine Hibiscus

The hard seltzer doesn’t just work in this sessionable take on the Negroni; it threatens to steal the show. The floral and citrus notes of the seltzer call for a New Western style gin, such as Tanqueray Rangpur. The finished cocktail is incredibly well balanced, and surprisingly lighter in profile than the Americano (listed above). But this is undeniably a Negroni at heart.

ADVANCED

Ramos Gin Fizz*
  • 2 ounces gin
  • ¾ ounce simple syrup (1:1 sugar to water)
  • 1 ounce cream
  • 1 egg white
  • ½ ounce lemon juice
  • ½ ounce lime juice
  • BON V!V Lemon Lime

If you’ve never shaken up the elbow-burning traditional Ramos Gin Fizz, take a few practice runs using these expert tips before attempting this cocktail. Not only is it a technical, labor-intensive drink, the Ramos Gin Fizz can also occasionally lack punch, especially when topped with enough soda water to create a picture perfect floating foamy head. It’s essential to make a traditional Ramos Gin Fizz to really appreciate how using lemon and lime hard seltzer not only works in this drink, but actually improves it. Sorry, cocktail cognoscenti, but we’re calling it: Hard seltzer improves the Ramos Gin Fizz. If there’s only one drink you prepare from this list, make it this one.