What Alcohol Is In Twisted Tea?

Twisted Tea has become a popular alcoholic beverage for people looking for a refreshing and tasty drink. With a delicious blend of tea and fruit flavors, Twisted Tea offers a unique twist on standard beer or cocktails. But what exactly is the alcohol used to give Twisted Tea its signature kick? Let’s take a closer look at what alcohol is in Twisted Tea.

What is Twisted Tea?

Twisted Tea is a type of flavored malt beverage that has a smooth, tea-like taste. It was first created in 2001 by the Boston Beer Company, which aimed to provide an alternative to beer that was lighter and fruitier. Twisted Tea is made by brewing a malt-based alcohol with real tea leaves and natural fruit flavors like lemon, lime, orange, raspberry, or peach. The result is a crisp, refreshing drink with about 5% alcohol by volume (ABV).

Unlike many other flavored malt beverages, Twisted Tea uses no artificial colors or flavors. The natural fruit flavors give each variety its own distinct aroma and taste. Twisted Tea has no caffeine and is also gluten-free, making it suitable for people with dietary restrictions. It provides a kick of alcohol without an overly strong or bitter beer flavor.

What Alcohol is Used in Twisted Tea?

The key ingredient that gives Twisted Tea its alcoholic strength is malt-based alcohol derived from fermented grains. The main grain used is barley malt, which goes through a brewing process similar to beer. Barley kernels are first malted by soaking them in water, allowing them to germinate. This converts the starch into fermentable sugars. The malt is then dried and ground up.

In the brewing process, the malt is steeped in hot water to extract the fermentable sugars. This malt “tea” is then boiled with hops for seasoning. Yeast is added to ferment the sugary liquid, converting the sugars into alcohol. This initial brew produces a clear, unflavored malt base with an ABV of around 5% to 7%.

This malt base is then blended with real brewed tea, fruit flavors, sweeteners, and preservatives to make the finished Twisted Tea products. So while Twisted Tea has a tea-like taste, it gets its alcoholic strength from brewed malt alcohol, not tea leaves.

Typical Ingredients in Twisted Tea

Typical Ingredients in Twisted Tea

Though ingredients can vary slightly between Twisted Tea flavors, here is a look at what generally goes into making these flavored malt beverages:

  • Malt-based alcohol (around 5% ABV)
  • Brewed tea – black, green, or white tea
  • Natural fruit flavors – lemon, lime, orange, peach, raspberry, etc.
  • Filtered water
  • Sweeteners like cane sugar or high fructose corn syrup
  • Preservatives
  • Food colors in some varieties

The precise ingredients and proportions used are a trade secret. But Twisted Tea relies on brewed malt alcohol to give it that alcoholic punch. The fruit flavors and tea provide aromatics and a smooth, fruity taste.

Alcohol Percentage in Twisted Tea

Most regular Twisted Tea varieties contain 5% alcohol by volume, or ABV. This is about the same amount of alcohol as most domestic, full-strength beers. For comparison:

  • Budweiser beer: 5% ABV
  • Coors Light beer: 4.2% ABV
  • White wine: Around 12% ABV
  • Vodka: Around 40% ABV

So with an ABV of 5%, Twisted Tea provides a gentle alcoholic kick while remaining light-bodied and flavorful. However, the Twisted Tea Hard Iced Tea line ups the ante to 8% ABV by adding distilled spirits like vodka or rum to the malt base. This provides even more of an alcoholic impact. But the standard Twisted Teas stick to malt alcohol at 5% ABV.

Twisted Tea Sizes and Formats

Twisted Tea is sold in a variety of can and bottle sizes:

  • 12 ounce cans (5% ABV)
  • 16 ounce cans (4.5% ABV)
  • 24 ounce bottles (4.5% ABV)
  • 25 ounce cans (5% ABV)

The 12 ounce can is the standard single-serving size. The larger containers allow you to enjoy more Twisted Tea without opening multiple cans or bottles. The 16 and 24 ounce sizes contain slightly less alcohol at 4.5% ABV.

Popular packaging formats include the Twisted Tea Original 12-pack, Twisted Tea Variety Pack with different flavors, and Twisted Tea Half & Half Pack mixing iced tea and lemonade flavors.

Does Twisted Tea Contain Caffeine?

Does Twisted Tea Contain Caffeine?

No, Twisted Tea does not contain any caffeine. It derives its flavor purely from brewed tea leaves, malted barley, and natural fruit flavors. However, some varieties do contain added herbal stimulants like guarana and taurine to provide an energy boost without the jitteriness of caffeine.

Does Twisted Tea Contain Gluten?

Twisted Tea is considered gluten-free by the FDA guidelines, containing less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten. The malt base is brewed to remove gluten protein so those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity can enjoy Twisted Tea.

Can You Get Drunk from Twisted Tea?

Yes, Twisted Tea can cause intoxication and impairment if you drink enough of it. At 5% alcohol by volume, it takes around 4 to 5 regular (12oz) Twisted Teas to equal the alcohol in one standard drink. Consuming Twisted Tea irresponsibly could lead to drunkenness, dehydration, nausea, and hangovers. As with any alcoholic beverage, it’s important to drink Twisted Tea in moderation and stay hydrated.

Twisted Tea Flavors and Varieties

While all Twisted Teas rely on a malt alcohol base, the flavor varieties include:

  • Twisted Tea Original – smooth, slightly sweet real brewed iced tea taste
  • Twisted Tea Half & Half – half iced tea, half lemonade
  • Twisted Tea Peach – peachy aroma and sweet, fruity flavor
  • Twisted Tea Mango – mango and citrus notes
  • Twisted Tea Raspberry – raspberry fruit tones
  • Twisted Tea Green – green tea blended with lemon
  • Twisted Tea Strawberry – sweet strawberry profile

While the flavors vary, the underlying malt-based alcohol remains the same across the Twisted Tea family. The fruit and tea extracts provide aromatic flavors without significantly impacting the 5% ABV alcohol content.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some common questions about what kind of alcohol is in Twisted Tea:

Is Twisted Tea a vodka?

No, Twisted Tea is not made with vodka or any distilled spirit. It’s brewed from a fermented malt base that results in around 5% ABV.

Is Twisted Tea vodka or tequila based?

Twisted Tea does not contain tequila, vodka, rum, or any other distilled liquor. It’s brewed solely from a malt alcohol base, not distilled spirits.

Is Twisted Tea a beer or malt liquor?

Twisted Tea is classified as a flavored malt beverage, not a malt liquor or beer. While brewed from a malt base like beer, it differs by adding tea and fruit flavors.

How many calories are in Twisted Tea?

There are around 160 calories in a standard 12 oz can of Twisted Tea. Calories can vary slightly by flavor.

What kind of alcohol is in Twisted Tea Peach flavor?

All Twisted Tea flavors rely on the same malt-based alcohol at 5% ABV. Only the fruit extracts and aromatics differ between varieties like Twisted Tea Peach.

The Bottom Line

With its refreshing taste profile, Twisted Tea has cemented itself as a popular flavored malt beverage. While often associated with tea due to its branding, Twisted Tea relies on a 5% ABV malt-based alcohol for its signature kick. Barley malt brewed via a process similar to beer provides the alcoholic strength. Natural tea leaves and fruit flavors like peach or raspberry add aromatic flavors without significantly impacting the alcohol percentage. Twisted Tea offers a unique twist on standard beer or cocktails. Just remember to drink responsibly and avoid overconsumption of its 5% ABV alcohol content.

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