This homemade lime vodka seltzer (or hard seltzer) is a refreshing, easy cocktail to make this summer. It is low in sugar and calories, requires just a few ingredients, and only takes a couple minutes to make!
Over the years, hard seltzer has become a super popular drink. It's an alcoholic beverage that contains sparkling or tonic water, malt liquor, and natural flavorings for fruit or herbs. Basically, it's a flavored twist on the vodka tonic. The hard seltzer craze started with White Claw at college parties in 2018 and just snowballed from there. While its popularity has decreased a bit, vodka seltzer (or vodka soda) is still a drink of choice for many at happy hour.
I totally understand why it's so popular! Spiked seltzer is low in carbohydrates, sugar, and calories. This sets it apart from other refreshing alcoholic drinks, like margaritas and sangrias. If you're looking for more fun cocktails to make, check out my skinny spicy jalapeño margarita, creamy espresso martini, skinny strawberry lemonade mojito, and apple cider gin margarita.
A 12-pack of White Claw, Press, or Truly typically retails for about $17. For about the same price, you can make 12 homemade spiked seltzers with wholesome ingredients that are just as tasty and refreshing! You probably have all the ingredients in your kitchen already!
Why You Will Love This
- Lower calories- This lime vodka soda only has about 150 calories!
- Lower sugar- Depending on water sweetener you use, this drink only has a few grams of sugar.
- Cold and refreshing- The fizzy, bubbly sparkling water over ice makes this super refreshing.
- Customizable- You can use different fruit juices to customize the flavor of this drink.
Here are some notes about the ingredients used to make a vodka soda.
- Vodka- Canned hard seltzer is usually made with malt liquor. This recipe uses vodka because it is easy to find, affordable, and pairs well with tons of different flavors. If you're not a vodka fan, you can also use blanco tequila or white rum.
- Lime juice- Use fresh lime juice rather than store-bought, bottled juice. Use a citrus squeezer or reamer to get the most juice from your limes.
- Sweetener- You can use any sweetener you like. I opted for maple syrup, but you can use monk fruit sweetener or liquid stevia to keep the recipe low in sugar and calories. You could also use agave nectar or simple syrup.
- Seltzer water- Unsweetened sparkling water, seltzer water, club soda are all suitable. The three of them have distinct differences but will yield similar, bubbly results in this recipe.
Seltzer Water VS Sparkling Water VS Club Soda
Seltzer water is carbonated with carbon dioxide and is what drinks like La Croix are made of.
Club soda is carbonated with carbon dioxide, potassium bicarbonate, and potassium sulfate. This makes it a little saltier than its fizzy counterparts.
Sparkling water is natural spring water that is fizzy due to naturally occurring minerals and sometimes extra carbon dioxide.
You only need a couple bartending tools to make this recipe.
- Jigger- This is a double-sided tool to measure your ingredients. If you don't have a jigger, you can use small measuring cups.
- Optional lime squeezer or reamer- Use a citrus squeezer or reamer to get the most juice out of your limes!
Step by Step Instructions
Here are the steps to make the cocktail.
STEP 1: Add vodka, lime juice, and sweetener to a highball glass. I recommend using a highball glass for drinks made on the rocks because it helps to keep them cold. They're great for fizzy cocktails. since the shape helps to keep the beverage carbonated. Once the ingredients have been added to the glass, stir with a bar spoon or regular spoon if you don't have one.
STEP 2: Add ice to the glass. Carefully add some ice cubes to your glass. I recommend larger ice cubes because they won't melt and dilute your drink quickly. Gently spoon the ice into your glass, letting it slide down the side gently.
STEP 3: Top with seltzer. Pour your sparking water into the glass gradually, making sure it doesn't fizzle over the top. Then, stir gently, garnish with a lime slice and optional sprig of fresh mint, and enjoy.
- Use large ice cubes instead of crushed ice. Large ice cubes will melt at a slower rate, which prevents your cocktail from getting diluted.
- Use a good amount of ice rather than just a few cubes!
- Make sure you use a fresh bottle or can of soda water. Soda water that has been open the the refrigerator could be flat.
- Taste your drink before serving. If you prefer a sweeter drink, add as much sweetener as you need. To make the lime flavor more prominent, add a little more lime juice.
Additions and Variations
You can make this vodka seltzer in so many different flavors! Here are some ideas.
- Grapefruit- This will be reminiscent of the La Croix's popular pamplemousse flavor. Add 1.5 ounces of fresh grapefruit juice to this recipe.
- Orange- Add 2 ounces of fresh orange juice instead of lime juice. Garnish with an orange slice.
- Pineapple- Add 2 ounces of pineapple juice instead of lime juice. Garnish with a small slice of pineapple.
Frequently Asked Questions
Definitely! This recipe makes one drink, but you can quadruple it to make it for a party of four. If you're making this recipe in a pitcher, I recommend stirring the lime juice, vodka, and sweetener together first. Then, add your ice and sparkling water on top. Add some extra lime slices too!
Yes. Mix together the lime juice, sweetener, and vodka. Then, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. When you're ready to drink, pour into a fresh glass of ice and pour fresh seltzer water on top. Don't store the drinks with the seltzer already added, as they will go flat in the fridge.
The main difference is that a vodka tonic is made with tonic water. Tonic water is like club soda (used to make vodka soda), but it is sweetened. Many people prefer vodka seltzer because it is usually lower in sugar and calories.
Look for a high quality vodka. You can find these at any price point. I usually reach for Tito's since it is a great value.
If you need to make multiple drinks ahead of time, store the pre-mixed vodka and lime juice in an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. When you're ready to drink, pour the mixture into a glass of ice and pour fresh sparkling water on top.
More Drinks to Try
Homemade Lime Vodka Seltzer
- 1 jigger or small measuring cup
- 1 citrus juicer optional
- 2 ounces vodka
- 2 ounces lime juice fresh
- 1 ounce sweetener of your choice to taste, see notes for options
- seltzer water can also use sparkling water or club soda
- 1 lime wedge garnish
- 1 sprig of mint optional garnish
- In a tall glass, pour in the vodka, lime juice, and sweetener of your choice. Stir with a spoon until mixed well.2 ounces vodka, 2 ounces lime juice, 1 ounce sweetener
- Add a handful of ice and top with sparkling water until the glass is full.ice, seltzer water
- Garnish the vodka soda with a lime wedge and mint sprig and enjoy.1 lime wedge, 1 sprig of mint