If you don’t hang out on social media you may have missed the rapid spread of Hopwater. The short is that Hopwater is a hop, and flavor, infused tonic water.
Instead of me summarizing more stuff here’s the straight copypasta right off their web page.
What Is Hopwater™?
More than just a soda, a beer, or a mixer, Hopwater™ is the creation of a new category of hopped beverages. Love hops, but don’t want the alcohol? Love soda, but not the sugar and calories? Love tonic water but don’t want the Quinine? You’ll love Hopwater™, a refreshing carbonated, low-calorie beverage with the aroma and pleasing bitterness of hops.
With no alcohol, caffeine, quinine, or artificial ingredients, and only 48 calories per 12oz bottle, Hopwater™ is the beer-lover’s secret crush, and an opportunity for non-beer snobs to partake in the wonders of the noble hop.
- A delicious low calorie craft soda
- A pleasingly bitter sparkling water
- A healthy #QuinineFree alternative to tonic water
- A fantastic cocktail mixer
- Like nothing you’ve ever tasted before
As you saw in my photo they currently have four different flavors of Hopwater, Original, Lime, Ginger, and Grapefruit. More are in development, and as we’ll see far more were discarded. Below are my thoughts plus suggestions from their website for what to mix each flavor with.
Straight up tonic soda with a hop bitterness. Not much flavor to speak of, but I reckon that’s the point.
Mix with: Gin, Vodka, Fine Corinthian Leather, Nietzsche
Yep, that tastes like lime with some nice bitterness. Reminds me of a bitter version of Sprite.
Mix with: Reposado Tequila, Bathtub Gin, Angst, Kafka
Nice, but not overpowering, ginger flavors.
Mix with: Straight Kentucky Bourbon, Caribbean Rum, Rye Whiskey, Hemingway
I didn’t intentionally save my favorite for last, but that’s how it shook out. Nice light grapefruit flavors with that mild bitterness. I’m biased here because out of the 3 real flavors, not counting original, grapefruit is my favorite regardless of if it’s in Hopwater, beer, or on a plate.
Mix with: Vodka, Mescaline, Hunter S. Thompson
That’s the four they have now, and as I said more are on their way. In the meantime, you can suggest new flavors. Though they do have a list of rejected flavors that I hope were never truly suggested.
Besides the somewhat sarcastic “Mix with” suggestions above they do have a nice selection of cocktail recipes on their website, all of which you can check out here.
I was quite curious how they got the hop bitterness in there. For beer, you boil the hops in the sweet wort. The boiling process extracts the iso-alpha acid bitterness, the longer you boil, the more bitterness gets extracted. This is where Dogfish Head gets its 60 minute, 90 minute, and 120 minute IPA.
Hopwater didn’t go into too much detail, due to trade secrets, but they make a special tincture which extracts that same iso-alpha acid oil. They did let slip that they use all Zeus hops. They chose to skip over sought after hops which would’ve contributed to the shortages that some breweries suffer. I’m not sure, but I’d wager that Zeus hops are a bit more affordable than Citra or Galaxy as well.
In the end, Hopwater is a tasty beverage on its own but mixes great with spirits as they clearly suggest you do. I’m not huge into mixers and things like that, so I’ll leave those thoughts to someone else another day. If you’ve mixed Hopwater with anything please drop a comment and let us all know how it went!