Happy Thursday Spiked Refreshers review: The Gen Z targeted drink line nixes the bubbles

Molson Coors is very specifically targeting several markets here.
Happy Thursday from Molson Coors
Happy Thursday from Molson Coors /

Happy Thursday Spiked Refreshers, a new line of alcoholic beverages from Molson Coors, is a bit of an odd duck if you don’t know the backstory. They’re not carbonated. They come in four fruit flavors and are 4.4% alcohol per serving. And perhaps most confusingly, seem to only be available on Thursdays.

The latter is definitively not true, but while tasting the new line (provided to Guilty Eats by Molson Coors for review) with a few friends, there was a fair amount of confusion and speculation about what was going on behind the scenes. So, here’s what’s going on behind the scenes! According to the company, the Thursday part comes from the “unofficial start of the weekend.” You’re certainly allowed to get the party started early on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or other days of the week if you want. But versus a more aggressive beverage, these are supposed to be a fun way to ease into the weekend.

The lack of carbonation is far more fascinating to me, because it’s something they’re pushing very hard with this line, to the point that the cans even note that the lack of bubbles gets around the whole bloating problem – something I was not, to be honest, aware was a problem.

However, Molson Coors has done their research (clearly). Per their press release, “Bloating that may come from carbonation is considered a top barrier for legal drinking age Gen Z 21-26-year-old category drinkers. Coupled with emerging social media trends of de-carbonating beverages and growing non-alcohol refreshers platform, Molson Coors developed Happy Thursday to meet the needs of this new age of drinkers in the alcohol category.”

As a person who is Extremely Old, this whole trend completely passed me by. However, it’s clearly enough of a thing that a massive company has decided to launch a whole new drink category in its honor. Or Molson Coors has been tricked harder than when Sony thought it was a good idea to rerelease Morbius in theaters based on social media response. One of the two.

Hopefully the former, though, because having tried this line, it’s pretty solid. Happy Thursday currently comes in four flavors: Strawberry, Pineapple Starfruit, Mango Passionfruit, and Black Cherry. The best way of describing all of these beverages is "alcoholic Vitaminwater,” and you’ll get the gist. None of the flavors are overpowering or too sickly sweet, they’re all very light and sippable, and range from okay to actually pretty good. If you’re looking for something that has a solid amount of sweetness to it, and you are worried about the bloating thing, this might be a fair drink to reach for instead of spiked seltzer at the next picnic or BBQ.

Reactions in my group varied about how the flavors ranked. And my own reactions varied from sip to sip. But overall, we all agreed that the Strawberry was heads and tails over the other flavors – one taster described it as like drinking a “melted Jolly Rancher” – and perfectly balanced the alcoholic nature of the drink with sweet and sour strawberry.

From there, it was tough to choose a number two. The Black Cherry actually got better the more I tried it, and had none of the medicinal taste the flavor can have at its worst. Pineapple Starfruit was solid as well, and we all agreed that sprucing it up with some sort of cocktail might round out the flavor a bit more (throw some lime juice and tequila in there, baby you’ve got a stew going).

The Mango Passionfruit was the least of the flavors, mostly because passionfruit has a tendency to leave your mouth dry. And given these all have real fruit flavors, yeah, you’re gonna have a dry palette at the end here. Good for encouraging you to drink more Happy Thursdays; not great if you like having a drink you’re enjoying.

Also of note: all of these have stevia in them, which is one of my least favorite tastes in the world. However, it’s not strong (most of the cans have it listed last on the ingredient list), so if you’re a Stevia avoider like myself, you should be okay with Happy Thursday.

Overall, a solid launch line. As a bonus, the design of the box and cans is cartoony, calm, and engaging as well. They say that looks are 50% of taste (I just made that up, actually), and if so the packaging definitely implies sunny days, relaxing in the park, and drinking alcoholic juice. We all do that, right? Yes. Cool.

You can get Happy Thursday now in stores everywhere.

Molson Coors' new line is extremely targeted to a specific audience, but particularly when it comes to the Strawberry flavor it may have a wider appeal.. . Happy Thursday Spiked Refreshers. Happy Thursday Spiked Refreshers. B

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