I am not a huge alcohol drinker. Even during college, I wasn’t exactly a big partier. The college I went to doesn’t even have its own sororities. There were frat parties to attend right across the street if one was so inclined, but that wasn’t really my thing. At any rate, now that I’m solidly middle-aged, I’m more of a lightweight than I ever was. I like to employ something I call “the rule of two”: If you stick to two of something, you’ll be okay. It applies to cups of coffee, cookies, slices of pizza, drinks, pets, children — you name it.
Last week, my book club (I told you I am a Woman of a Certain Age) met in person for the first time in a long time. The evening was chilly, but we met outside near the Hudson River (our book pick was Anxious People, of which I certainly count myself as one). One of my friends brought some High Noon Sun Sips with her, and upon her recommendation, I tried one.
High Noon Sun Sips are hard seltzer made with vodka instead of malt liquor; the drinks use fruit juice to sweeten them. Everyone in my book club who tried them really liked them. My friend brought the variety pack, which had black cherry, pineapple, grapefruit, and watermelon (her favorites are black cherry and grapefruit). It’s also available in tropical flavors (mango and passionfruit), lime, and peach. I’m not generally a fan of canned cocktails or hard seltzers (although I am definitely a fan of regular seltzer). I’ve found that some of the other hard seltzers I’ve tried have a slightly unpleasant aftertaste. But my watermelon High Noon Sun Sip was refreshing, without being sweet or cloying; there was no unpleasant aftertaste or artificial sweetener taste at all. It tasted like the promise of a spring and summer coming after a long, hard winter. It tasted like a drink I could pour into a tumbler and sneak into the town pool (don’t tell anyone). I can imagine if I had attended frat parties in college, these could have been dangerous, but you won’t get absolutely wrecked after drinking one; you can imbibe and get just a slight buzz. No one at the town pool will know your tumbler is full of hard seltzer if you’re discreet about it — kind of like a grown-up, fizzy Capri Sun.
The alcohol content in these drinks is low — 4.5% (9 proof). They’re also only 100 calories and are gluten-free. Everyone from the book club who tried the High Noon Sun Sips went out and bought some for themselves within a few days of trying them. My husband referred to them as “mom drinks,” and, I mean, he’s not wrong.
My book club friend told us we could get the High Noon Sun Sips at a liquor store in town (we have two in the town where we live). I must admit, it’s not the liquor store I usually go to (I tend to buy wine — although I’m not a “wine mom” — at the fancier of the two liquor stores).
When I went into the (less fancy) liquor store, I brought my High Noon Sun Sips up to the counter to pay. The man behind the counter gave me a look like he was debating whether or not to ask me for ID, probably more because I’m not a regular customer rather than me looking like I could possibly be under 21 (although I was wearing a mask that obscured half my face). He asked me for ID, I showed it to him, and he responded, “God bless you.” I asked him if he noticed I had been singing along to the Stevie Wonder song playing in the store. “If someone knows who Stevie Wonder is, you probably don’t need to see their ID,” I pointed out.
I hope to drink more of these Mom Drinks — I mean, Sun Sips — at book club, my writers’ group, and whatever backyard barbecues that might happen this summer. Maybe, just maybe, if I’m feeling particularly saucy, I will drink two.