A college student, A Harvard professor, an Australian, and my mom walk into a bar... well, they walked into our kitchen because we're all in quarantine together, but I digress. I gathered my family and my very patient fiancé to try a drink I've been thinking about for over a year — the Hamptons-dwelling, frat boy-beloved, Bravo TV drink of the summer — Loverboy, a zero-sugar, low-ABV sparkling hard tea made to drink all day long (whether you're on the beach or stuck at home).
In case you've been sleeping on arguably one of the greatest reality shows to grace Bravo (after Real Housewives, of course), Summer House follows a group of twenty- and thirty-somethings who share a weekend house for the summer in the Hamptons. Every Friday they roll up, unpack their gluttony of Amazon boxes, and begin drinking. They then proceed to drink more, fight, dance, and cry their way through the weekend before packing it all up and heading back to New York City for another week of work. Basically, it's incredible TV and I cannot look away.
During the week, mainstay couple Kyle Cooke and Amanda Batula run a recently-launched sparkling hard tea company that made its debut on the show and is now available in over 40 states. In a world that loves hard seltzer and low-ABV drinks, the tea seems like a good idea — I was especially excited to try it because I'm allergic to hops, an ingredient found in all beer and a surprising number of gluten-free options. I was, however, nervous to try it because the cast of Summer House loves their sweet rosé and fireball shots and I... don't.
And so, this brings me to the official taste test. Due to current shelter-in-place restrictions, I couldn't taste Loverboy with my usual food and lifestyle comrades, so I roped in my family, which ranges from a 21-year-old junior in college to my Harvard nutrition professor father and let me tell you, we were all pleasantly surprised. Ahead, our reactions to each flavor, including the newly released Blueberry Spritz.
We started here because this was the flavor I was most eager to try, maybe because I see it on the show all the time, or maybe because ya girl loves a hibiscus donut. However, my family was skeptical. "I've never thought of drinking hibiscus before," my dad pondered. The wine lover in him took a sniff and raised his eyebrows, "I don't think you're supposed to do this, but the nose is not bad!" As we took our first sips, smiles spread across our collective faces. "I had very low expectations, but this is quite delicious," my mom offered, "it's definitely not too sweet." At one point, I even caught myself saying, "wow this high-key slaps." We all decided we couldn't taste the "kissed with lime" the packaging promised, but we didn't mind.
Black Tea Lemon
This was the flavor my brother was most excited for, and I was the most skeptical about. In my humble opinion, Twisted Tea is way too sweet, but my brother promised it would be "an 8.5/10 minimum," before he even tried it. The results, however, were the opposite. I thought this was excellent — it tasted like an Arnold Palmer, and I could absolutely drink this all day long. My brother wished it wasn't sparkling and noted that it didn't quite hit his high expectations. My fiancé said if you poured it into a pitcher with ice and a few lemons, you could totally claim it as a homemade cocktail, but as an Australian, she couldn't get past the iced tea part. "It's a commonwealth thing, black tea is not supposed to be cold."
White Tea Peach
Next up was a tea that intrigued me, mostly because it's a favorite Starbucks order of mine. My brother and dad immediately disliked this one, claiming the peach flavor wasn't for them. My brother didn't think there was enough sweetness and my dad simply said he would drink it on the beach if somebody handed it to him, but he would never buy it. My mom, my fiancé, and I thought the peach flavor was great and would be excellent for all-day summer sips. That being said, once again the "kiss" of lavender wasn't really present. As my fiancé put it, "there's definitely no tongue in this kiss."
Blueberry Lemon Spritz
This newest addition to the Loverboy family called to me because of its name. I was hoping for a light blueberry flavor, not a lot of sweetness, and a spritz a la Aperol spritz. I was, unfortunately, quite wrong. The Loverboy Spritz, which is made from wine, is by far the sweetest of the Loverboy family and tastes like something I would have liked when I was in college. So it probably makes sense that my brother loved it. "It tastes like a Shirley Temple hit puberty," he squealed with glee as he laid claim to the rest of the four-pack. So while this one isn't for the sophisticated palates amongst us, college students everywhere will likely be clamoring for a can.
"When I drink this, I'm picturing a game of croquet on a lawn by the water," my mom said as she closed her eyes and settled into her imagination. "When I want to play all day and drink all day, this is the perfect drink." Everyone at the table echoed her sentiments, and I posted a selfie on Instagram apologizing to Kyle and Amanda for being skeptical. Loverboy is, for the most part, delicious, with a wide enough variety of flavors to suit every preference and a low enough ABV to truly be ~ crushable ~. It even makes me want to buy a house in the Hamptons and go to a white party, but something tells me my stimulus check won't stretch that far.