New hard seltzer 6-packs have sliding alcohol scale to make it easy to pace yourself

Sep 3 2021, 9:34 pm

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If you want to partake in a full night of drinking without regretting it the next morning, this new vodka soda company has your solution.

Gradient Vodka Soda launched in Alberta in August, and the Calgary-made drink offers a unique way to integrate moderation and healthier consumption choices into your celebrations without putting the brakes on enjoying a beverage.

The hard seltzer has entered the market with a first-of-its-kind, ready-to-drink package. Gradient’s six-packs come with half a dozen cans containing decreasing levels of alcohol content: 8%, 7%, 6%, 4%, 3%, and 2%.

Gradient Vodka Soda

Courtesy of Gradient Vodka Soda

Gradient combines six different strengths of vodka soda into one package, so you can choose how strong you want to start your night, and how light you want to finish it.  The cans are combined in a traditional six-pack, but each drink contains less alcohol than the last.

Gradient Vodka Soda is a family-owned mixing facility located in southeast Calgary. The company was developed during the pandemic, with its first product launched in August 2021.

The bright idea for Gradient was born right in YYC between a brother, his sister, and her husband. Calgary natives John Eresman, Trisha Woodlock, and Josh Woodlock were having Thursday night drinks together when they discussed how it would be nice to be able to keep the good times going without regretting it later.

“We thought, wouldn’t it be great if we could keep a drink in hand, without letting the night get out of hand?” explains Eresman, who acts as Creative Director for the brand. “So, we asked around, did our online research, and we discovered we weren’t alone in our thinking.”

“More and more, people seem to be re-evaluating their relationship with alcohol. They are looking for ways to find balance, especially now as we all begin to emerge from our pandemic bubbles,” continues Eresman. “On top of that, younger generations who have grown up on social media are hyper aware of the risks of over-indulgence.”

Gradient is the first and only vodka soda producer to create six-packs of this kind, and the unique approach lets customers easily choose the right strength of drink for any moment, without compromising their chosen flavour.

The beverage is available in three refreshing flavours: Raspberry Lemon, Cucumber Mint, and Lime. Each drink has no added sugar and zero gluten, and they’re created with all-natural western Canadian ingredients. The hard sodas are mixed, canned, and packaged entirely in Calgary’s Manchester Industrial District, southeast of the city’s famed Barley Belt, which is known for its many breweries and distilleries.

The company also offers mixing and canning services under the Gradient Beverages Labs banner for other small-to-medium sized companies looking to produce their own ready-to-drink beverage. Details are available at

Gradient Vodka Soda is now available for purchase at select liquor stores in Calgary and online. Delivery for online purchases is available across Calgary for a flat $10 fee.

“Gradient is a modern approach to moderation,” says John Eresman. “Our goal is to give people a new way to conveniently control how bright they start their night, and how light they finish.”

Elle McLeanElle McLean

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