Canned cocktails seem to be everywhere these days, but not all of them are created with equal attention to quality. Fortunately, the RTD cocktail category keeps improving. And today, you can find a fast-growing selection of options that feature quality ingredients and make cocktail hour easier and more delicious than ever. Here are 11 to try.
California-based craft distillery Ventura Spirits has made the popular spritz pop-able and portable. Using their Amaro Angeleno—an Aperol-style bitter gone on a SoCal vacay—for the base, this absolute refresher brilliantly showcases citrus highlights from Valencia orange and rounds out the appeal with a flash of bitter gentian and elegant florals. $20/200ml 6-pack, venturaspirits.com
Crafthouse Cocktails, a pioneer of the RTD category, offers canned cocktails that are some of the closest to a bar-prepared drink as we’ve found. But our favorite of their eight offerings is the Pineapple Daiquiri. It’s made with Stiggins’ Fancy Pineapple Rum, real lime juice, and a dash of Angostura island-spiced bitters. And when shaken slightly and poured over ice (let it dilute for a second to reach optimal flavor), the drink sings with tropical goodness. $24/4-pack, crafthousecocktails.com
Death & Co teamed up with The Craft Spirits Cooperative for its canned offerings, which succeed (where sadly many others fail) in capturing the vibrancy and balance of a freshly prepared cocktail. But the gin fizz—with red bitter, passion fruit, and vanilla—is our favorite. $20/4-pack, drinkfellows.com
Founded in 2017 by Lars Williams and Mark Emil Hermansen, self-described “flavor company” Copenhagen’s Empirical Spirits has proceeded to rock the industry with their no-holds-barred approach to booze. Made using a vacuum-distilled spirit of beet molasses and Belgian saison yeast, Empirical’s Can 01 will taste like nothing you’ve tried before, complex in its layers of tart gooseberry, needling Douglas Fir, and toasted birch tied together by delicate milk oolong tea. RIYL: Flanders red ale, gin cocktails, tea highballs. $45/330ml 4-pack, us.empirical.co
Joey Bernardo’s original Honeydew Collins makes its way to can via Imbibe 75er Aaron Polsky’s LiveWire Drinks. The brand is on a mission to secure national audiences and royalty rights for all-star bartenders. With a gin base, the cocktail is a rollercoaster of coconut and honeydew enlaced with lime leaf and balancing botanical notes of elderflower. The carbonation zings and brings this juicy, not-to-sweet charmer to in-your-face life. $22.99/355ml 4-pack, livewiredrinks.com
Light, dry, and perfectly fizzy, the botanicals of the Bianco liqueur shine with a sunny grapefruit quality and threads of light, herbaceous bitterness. Pour it over ice in a spritz glass with a slice of grapefruit or enjoy it straight from the can. A taste of summer in Italy. 4-packs are sold at Whole Foods and Total Wine locations.
Out of Ranch Rider Spirits Co.’s selection of Ranch Water-inspired spiked seltzers, we love The Buck. The Moscow Mule riff is made with house-distilled vodka, fresh ginger, and lime juice. Thanks to the addition of sparkling water bringing the ABV down to 6 percent, this is a sessionable Mule that’s clean and crisp. $13.99/4-pack, ranchriderspirits.com
Siponey Royale features a 4-year-old rye, real lemon juice, wildflower honey, and sparkling water all sourced from producers within a 175-mile range in upstate New York. With excellent carbonation that leads this canned beverage to drink like a brut Champagne, the burst of lemon and soft sweetness of honey prove excellent wingmen to the rye, whose warming spice lingers with each sip. Plus, Siponey aims to raise honey bee habitat-awareness through donations to apiaries. $40/355ml 8-pack, shopsiponey.com
Social Hour’s crisp Gin & Tonic strikes out as the star of the canned cocktail line, measuring star-bartender balance and fun. “Frankly, the Gin & Tonic we have is better than a Gin & Tonic you can make because the whole thing is carbonated,” says Social Hour co-founder and bar industry vet Julie Reiner. $19.95/4-pack, socialhourcocktails.com
A collaboration between Portland, Oregon, makers Straightaway and Smith Tea, this simple vodka soda is delightfully refreshing. Pear and yuzu perfectly complement the floral notes of the delicate white tea. $15.95/250ml 4-pack, straightawaycocktails.com
With a lineup that includes a Negroni, a Manhattan, and an Old Fashioned, Tip Top Proper Cocktails offer “the classics, at your convenience.” The adorable vintage-inspired cans made in collaboration with Atlanta bar owner Miles Macquarrie offer simple all-spirits builds for easy sipping. Our favorite is the Old Fashioned, which offers an easy and stiff sipper when poured over ice. $39.99/100ml 8-pack, tiptopcocktails.com