As much as we love trying new cocktail recipes and using this extra at-home time to give our patio or pool bars a boost, gathering all the ingredients can be a huge hassle. Sometimes you just want to belly flop into your pool or inflate the kiddy pool and chillax, so as great as it would be to have a frozen cocktail, the mere thought of firing up the blender makes us exhausted. That’s part of the reason why hard seltzers are always so popular.
It’s hard to remember if this is the summer of “spiked” seltzers or if that was last summer. Maybe it was four summers ago. The way time doesn’t seem to exist anymore makes it difficult to keep track, but the fact remains that this fruity beer alternative is, for many people, the official beverage of hanging by the pool with friends and family.
But what about the people who don’t like hard seltzer? I’ve never been a fan of the most popular brands, because, for starters, I’m just not a vodka guy. I’m also an aspiring cocktail snob, so I’ve never found a “ready-to-drink” canned beverage that didn’t make me wish that I was instead sipping on a frozen mango marg. That is, until I gave Volley a try.
What is Volley?
Volley is a ready-to-drink tequila-based hard seltzer that was created by husband and wife team Christopher Wirth and Camila Soriano, who also helped create American Cocktail Company, which makes some of the best drink mixers you’ll ever find. With Volley, their mission was simple: make a “clean” tequila seltzer with the most basic ingredients—100 percent blue agave tequila, seltzer and organic juice.
Sold in four-packs, Volley comes in four flavors (110 calories each) that range from simple to extraordinary. Zesty Lime is a carbonated margarita in a can, while Sharp Grapefruit is the closest thing you’ll get to a ready-made paloma in your Yeti. Tropical Mango is canned Caribbean vibes, and Spicy Ginger is one of the best beverages I’ve tasted in a while.
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
The key to unleashing Volley’s flavor is as simple as following directions. Lightly shake the can to “activate” the juice, and then crack it open to enjoy. I started with the Zesty Lime, because as far as margaritas go, that’s about as basic as it gets. So, when I popped the tab on that can, imagine my surprise when the first words out of my mouth were: “This is a margarita.”
After finishing the can and savoring the strong flavor (I do not recommend shotgunning these, as I know how the hard seltzer crowd operates), I accepted that if I could not have my favorite margs, Volley would be a really fine alternative. This goes double for the more creative, tropical flavors, because if you’re out on the lake or enjoying a secluded spot on the beach with only a cooler full of snacks and drinks, who has time to slice and mash mango and mix it with chili salt?
What makes Volley better the other hard seltzers is that you can still have a lot of fun with how you prepare and serve it. Of the four flavors, I was most impressed with Spicy Ginger, but my favorite is Tropical Mango, because the flavor is so close to perfect that I don’t need to do anything to change it.
That’s not to say, however, that I can’t or won’t do anything to change it. Pour it over ice with a dash of agave or some rhubarb bitters and a mezcal floater and—voila—you’re the best bartender at the party-on-the-go. You can’t do that with those other hard seltzers, and even if you try, it won’t be nearly as good.