Pumpkin spice hard seltzer is finally here

Nothing in life is certain except death, taxes, and man's ability to produce wild beverages. The latest innovation in beverage science? VIVE’s pumpkin spice hard seltzer will be available in a few weeks. Is this a blessing? Is this a curse? Is it already on your shopping list?

Hard seltzer company VIVE is to be thanked and/or blamed for the beverage buzzword. They announced the new pumpkin spice hard seltzer on Instagram, noting that the limited-edition flavor will be released in mid-September. In this way, a new season is created. When summer is winding down but fall isn’t quite here yet, it’s pumpkin spice soda season. Autumn has come! Summer is coming! It's like wearing a cardigan to the pool: confusing, uncomfortable, something no one asked for, but now that you've heard it, you can't stop thinking about it.

As the name suggests, VIVE Hard Seltzer Pumpkin Spice combines the classic flavor of pumpkin spice with the sparkling hard seltzer you know and love. Like its soda sibling, Pumpkin Spice Hard Seltzer has 5% alcohol by volume and is low in calories.

The bad news — or good news, depending on where you stand — is that the new pumpkin spice hard seltzer will only be available in a handful of states. If you live in Ohio, Kentucky, or Tennessee, congratulations! Come mid-September, you'll be able to find these delicious abominations at your local Kroger. Priced at $9.99 for a six-pack, it's your last resort.

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I thought all this was inevitable. According to CNBC, Starbucks' Pumpkin Spice Latte is the chain's most popular seasonal drink, with approximately 424 million servings sold worldwide as of 2019. Multiply that by $4 (the average cost of a PSL) and you've got a billion-dollar drink.

Hard seltzer's dominance is equally strong, with a recent Nielsen report calling it "unclassifiable." Its dominance has grown even stronger during the pandemic, with Nielsen reporting a $900 million increase in revenue compared with the same period last year. Between June 2019 and June 2020, we purchased more than $2.7 billion worth of hard seltzer.

Maybe the new pumpkin spice and hard seltzer mix will be even better. Maybe it will unlock some level of humanity we haven’t yet reached, allowing cross-seasonal drinks to live in harmony. If nothing else, it will be something new and harmless in this hell of a year.