Review: Mike's Harder Cocktails Go A Little Too Hard

These drinks bring back some memories, but maybe not the right ones.

If you've ever found yourself drinking a cool, refreshing lemonade and thinking "I wish this thing went harder," then you'll be happy to know Mike's Hard Lemonade just added three new drinks to its Harder line, which contains more alcohol than the brand's regular drinks.

The Harder line already has a number of flavors, including Black Cherry, Pineapple Mandarin, Mango, and even a Half & Half flavor with tea and lemonade. However, these new releases are focused on familiar cocktails: the screwdriver, hurricane, and piña colada. All three new Harder drinks are 8% alcohol by volume, which is a considerable 3% more than the typical Mike's Hard beverage.

Screwdriver

To be quite honest, I don't think I've ever ordered a screwdriver in my life. So, in the interest of journalism, I quickly Googled what the typical makeup of this cocktail is. What I found is that a screwdriver is very simply a combination of vodka and orange juice. As a bottomless mimosa fan, I could potentially get behind this, though vodka is not my alcohol of choice.

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What I unfortunately can't get behind is Mike's Hard's take on the screwdriver. Just one sip tasted like the cheapest gas station orange "juice" mixed with nondescript vodka. Think of being at a party, and the cocktail in your hand has settled. You go to take a sip, and you can tell immediately that the alcohol and mixer have separated into two layers. That's what Screwdriver tastes like with every sip. 

Hurricane Punch

Hurricane Punch is the big boy of the new mixed drink flavors, coming in at 23.5 ounces, whereas the others come in 16-ounce cans. For those extra 7.5 ounces, you still get the same %ABV and the added bonus of a personal flashback to your college days drinking at fraternity parties.

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While Hurricane Punch is likely intended to mimic the flavor of the hurricane, a rum cocktail popularized in New Orleans, what it actually tastes like is the concoction known as jungle juice, often served at college parties. For those who didn't have that chaotic era in their history, jungle juice is basically a blend of the cheapest alcohol available and whatever overtly sweet juice or soda could mask it, served in a giant tub. And for that reason, Hurricane Punch goes a bit too hard for me. On to the next.

Piña Colada

Maybe it's a bit basic to hope the piña colada, a fairly classic cocktail, will be the best option in this new lineup. But, then again there's a reason some things are classic. They're hard to get wrong.

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Piña Colada is by far the mildest of the bunch and therefore the best option. This Mike's Harder drink has a light aftertaste similar to an actual piña colada, which is why it earns some points. By no means will I be going out of my way to find this drink again, but were someone to tell me these three Harder drinks are the only options I have, I'd take the piña colada.

I now realize this review outs me as a college partygoer of the mid-2010s. Thank you for the walk down memory lane, Mike's Hard (and the possible hangover to follow).

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