Spiking Flavored Sparkling Water

Joe “Jomebrew” Aiello

Synopsis

Calculating the amount of distilled spirit to raise the ABV of a beverage to a specific percentage of alcohol by volume (ABV). All values are in ounces.

Why?

There are several commercially available hard seltzers that come in several fruity flavors but I wanted to see if I can spike flavored sparkling water to achieve the same flavor profile.

I did not want to taste alcohol and wanted to the amount of alcohol to be specific. I’d also like to know the number of calories in my spiked beverage.

I did ferment sugar and make a hard seltzer the hard way but really, the sparkling waters are inexpensive and readily available. Why not just spike it?

Find the ABV Calculator Here- Look For ABV Adjustments

How Does This Relate To Beer

The Problem

How much distilled spirit is needed to raise the ABV of a beverage to a specific ABV? You need to start with a few bits of information.First, you need to start with the volume of the beverage. For this example, I have 12 ounces of sparkling passion fruit flavored water.

Next, you need the percentage of alcohol you want the final beverage to be. In the example, I am using 5%. We will use .05 for the calculations to keep it simple (5/100)

Now, you need to know the percentage of alcohol (ABV) of the distilled spirit. Here, I am using 80 proof vodka which is 40% alcohol. For the calculations, we will use .4 (40/100)

Finally! We have all the values needed to do our calculations.

Breaking Down The Calculation

The Formula we worked out is A*R/Q-R or

Where:

A = Starting Volume

R = Target ABV of the Beverage

Q = ABV of the Distilled Spirit

As mentioned earlier, we’ll use the decimal value of the percentages:

A = 12

R = .05

Q = .4

So, plugging the numbers into the formula, we get (12*.05)/(.4-.05) or

This simplifies to .6 / .35 which equals 1.71.

So, we need to add 1.71 ounces of 80 proof vodka to the 12 ounces of sparkling water to achieve a 5% ABV beverage. Our new total ounces is 12 + 1.71 which is 13.71 ounces.

There is it! My 13.71 ounce Passion Fruit Hard Seltzer at 5% ABV.

Wondering how many calories are in the beverage? Pure alcohol has 246 calories per ounce.

Distilled spirits at 80 proof / 40% ABV run 64 calories per ounce. Since we are adding 1.71 ounces of 40% ABV distilled spirit, we simply multiply 1.71 X 64 which equals 110 calories per 13.71 ounce Hard Seltzer.

How About Beer?

I’ll start with 5 gallons of beer.

I’ll want to user 90 proof Bourbon.

I want to raise the ABV by 2%

The quick formula is (640*.02)/(.45-.02) since I have 45% ABV Bourbon and 5 gallons is 640 ounces.

Raising by 2% ABV. I will need 13.4 ounces of Bourbon or about ¾ of a pint! That is almost half a 750ML bottle. I think that will be a bit too much Bourbon.

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