Wine Coolers Are Back! Get the Party Started With These Two Classy Newcomers

Missed wine coolers? This time around, they're way better.

Once relegated to the darkest corners of the bodega cooler (and the 1980s), ready-to-drink wine coolers are making a comeback, and the timing couldn't be more perfect. No longer a questionably "wine-like" beverage concocted from fake flavoring and malt booze, the new generation of spritzer is made with ingredients you can pronounce—and the newcomers are making a delicious splash. Leading the way is a grapefruit-laden delight from Momofuku wine director Jordan Salcito, and the California-made Hoxie Spritzer is following right behind. Both are special enough to earn a spot on the bar. Pop a can and call it a party, or toast the good old days and add a scoop of orange sherbet.

Ramona

All-star sommelier Jordan Salcito, of star chef David Chang's Momofuku restaurants, was craving a delicious wine cooler that didn't suck. Such a thing didn’t exist, so she did what all phenoms do: She saw a need, and she created the solution. It wasn’t enough that the Master Sommelier candidate has her own wine label, Bellus, benefitting NGOs; it makes sense that her busy schedule would cry out for something ridiculously refreshing and easy to love. But any old spritzer just wouldn’t do: Salcito sources organically grown grapes for the wines, and the “flavoring”? It’s natural fruit juice, full of grapefruit-y citrus pop and with a vibrant coral color that’ll knock your socks off. The result is a mid-winter ray of sunshine, and whether you’re spending the season on the beaches in L.A. or huddled around the fire in Brooklyn, it’s a seasonally appropriate sipper that everyone can get behind (Kanye and Rihanna are fans). The 250mL can and low ABV makes it a perfect brunch companion, but don’t be afraid to break it out for cocktail hour: Add a few ounces of vodka to kick it into high gear.

BONUS: Those labels. Designed by Cherry Bombe Creative Director Claudia Wu, they’re just as punchy as the stuff inside.

Hoxie Spritzer

Instead of calling Hoxie Spritzer a wine cooler, founder Josh Rosenstein much prefers the term he’s locked into the brand’s name itself: spritzer. The differentiation, he says, comes from the historical use of “wine cooler” to refer to, well, junk. Hoxie, by contrast, is simply a wine made with sparkling water and a kiss of natural flavoring. The L.A. chef found his way to bottled fizzy wine accidentally, when a bottle of seltzer ended up in the sangria bowl at a dinner party he was hosting. Fast-forward a few years, and bottles of Hoxie are being guzzled bi-coastally by savvy millenials who want something handcrafted and delicious without all the fuss. The spritzer is made from domestic ingredients and comes in two flavors: Hoxie Rosé, a zesty, zippy tipple that’s made with lemon and ginger; and Hoxie Blanc, made with lemon and linden for a more floral, mellow choice. Don’t add booze to this one: It’s meant for low-octane imbibing.

BONUS: If you’re over 21 and live in one of the 15 states Hoxie ships to, you can have one of their “cubes” of eight to 24 cans shipped right to your house.

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