Bon & Viv Spiked Seltzer – Clementine & Prickly Pear
Bon & Viv Spiked Seltzer makes carbonated flavoured water with a little extra kick, if you get our drift. The ingredients listed on the cans we tried included carbonated water, 5 grams of sugar, natural flavours and malted barley. According to their website, newer versions of Bon & Viv Spiked Seltzer are gluten-free, which means they use a different alcohol than malted barley.
Our favourite part of the can is the logo: two funky, almost sassy looking, mermaids floating side by side. It evokes this sense of “edgy water”. And that’s exactly what you’ll find in the can.
We tried two of Bon & Viv’s Spiked Seltzer flavours: Clementine and Prickly Pear. Both pour with that satisfying sizzling noise you get with well carbonated beverages. The bubbles dance in the glass, giving movement to the crystal clear liquid. Clementine has a slight yellow tint – the same amount of colour you’d get if you put a glass of water on a yellow piece of paper. Prickly Pear, on the other hand, has a very very slight green-yellow hue. It’s a bit like the colour of water in glass sitting next to, well, a ripe pear.
Clementine Spiked Seltzer smells like orange rind and malt liquor. The smell is lovely, and strong. Which makes you think the flavours will be strong as well. They’re not. On the palate, there’s a lovely, light and playful tangerine pith flavour. It doesn’t quite taste like a clementine, but is close enough to be refreshing (and taste “healthy”). A slight candied taste near the end adds a sweet note to the experience. Overall, it’s a nice refreshing drink without the cloying sweetness of a pre-made cocktail, but enough alcohol to be a party drink.
Prickly Pear Spiked Seltzer smells almost exactly like pear cider. If you haven’t had pear cider before, it smells a lot like pears and apples floating in a barrel of water, with soft notes of alcohol playing in the nose. The pear and apple carry through in the mouth. It’s smooth, with lovely bubbles tickling the tongue. Then the malted barley hits, chasing the white fruits and refreshing sensations away to linger for a moment or two. Slightly sweet, the experience is akin to drinking a watered down pear cider.
We should note that if you get a can made with something other than malted barley (aka the gluten-free kind), you’ll probably have a different tasting experience for both of these Spiked Seltzers.
Bon & Viv Spiked Seltzer first hit the market in 2013. It was called “Spiked Seltzer”at the time, and you can still find cans with their single mermaid logo at liquor stores in Canada. Created by Nick Shields, it was the first Spiked Seltzer in the world. They’ve continued to refine their recipe to meet consumer demands. In January 2019, they released their new, more “health conscious” recipe with less sugar, a lower ABV and completely gluten-free. (We believe that’s also when they introduced the double mermaid logo.)