We Tried Mike's Hard Limonada Fresca Drinks And This Is The Best One

Mike's Hard is attempting to put a twist on seltzer season, but does it work?

The warm months of spring and summer are quickly emerging, and you know what that means? It's seltzer season, baby. Since the late 2010s, new variations of hard seltzers have been hitting the market around this time of year in the hopes of pleasing consumers thirsty for both summer and a little alcohol.

Mike's Hard Lemonade Co., known, of course, for its hard lemonades, has just dropped a new line of canned drinks inspired by a traditional Mexican beverage served by street vendors — agua fresca. Mike's Hard's new Limonada Fresca lineup includes four flavors: Watermelon Lime, Mangonada, Citrus Limonada, and Pineapple Guava.

All four new flavors contain 5% alcohol and come in 12-ounce cans, each labeled as a "malt beverage with natural flavors and certified colors." The brand describes the new line of beverages as a twist on traditional Mexican aguas frescas; the drinks contain lime and lemon flavors as well as juice and "natural agave nectar."

To be frank, I don't have too much faith that Mike's Hard can do aguas frescas justice. The key to any good, traditional agua fresca is to not overdo the sugar content and to let the fresh fruit flavor have its moment. Spiking the drink with alcohol isn't something I've done often, but it's definitely not something I'm opposed to.

When compared to each other and to the flavors Mike's Hard is aiming to achieve, there are some clear hits and misses among the group.

4. Citrus Limonada

The Citrus Limonada flavor is the most middle ground and least interesting of the bunch. The flavor tastes fairly similar to any other "lime"-flavored seltzer that has come before it. All too often in seltzer or ready-to-drink variety packs of alcoholic beverages, there's at least one flavor everyone agrees is undrinkable compared to the others.

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Citrus Limonada is like the yellow Starburst of the bunch. There always seems to be more of the yellow Starbursts leftover because no one wants them. I'm sorry to say this flavor is the yellow Starburst of its pack.

3. Mangonada

To create a canned alcoholic beverage, label it Mangonada, and have it actually taste like a mangonada is a tall order. Obviously, creating a drink that delivers the same taste as a dessert consisting of mango sorbet, fresh mango, chamoy, and Tajín isn't going to be easy.

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Once again, my hopes aren't high for this flavor, and unfortunately, it does not live up to its name. There is some mango taste in this Limonada Fresca, but it feels much too processed and fake. Maybe it's unfair to compare this drink to the real, non-alcoholic treat it's attempting to embody, but then again, maybe it should have just been labeled as a mango flavor and not decorated with a street vendor cart.

2. Pineapple Guava

Right from the first sip, I can taste the guava flavor of this fizzy lemonade fusion. I have to admit the drink is not as sickly sweet as I imagined it would be. As someone who most often passes on seltzers, I could actually see myself drinking more than one of this flavor.

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Even more surprising is the fact that Pineapple Guava actually captures the subtle, refreshing quality of a non-alcoholic agua fresca. Despite my apprehensions, the Pineapple Guava Limonada Fresca manages to satisfy without giving me the sense that I'll have a hangover within the hour.

1. Watermelon Lime

Watermelon Lime just barely manages to nudge out Pineapple Guava for the top spot in this ranking. As with Pineapple Guava, Watermelon Lime surprisingly delivers the freshness and subtle flavors you would want from a traditional agua fresca.

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What's more impressive about this flavor in particular is that the lime in it is counterbalanced by a small hint of sweetness from the watermelon taste. By no means is the watermelon overly sugary or artificial-tasting. Somehow all the flavors come together to make for refreshing sip.

And now that I've had a sufficient amount of alcohol on a Wednesday morning, I bid you farewell until the next taste test.

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