Open container laws be damned. Summer is a time for freedom, relaxation, and a little bit of adventure. What better way to compliment all of that than with a relaxing, well made cocktail?
Maybe five or ten years ago, this list would be relegated to gnarly whiskey, carbonated beverages in a bottle, or something like Bud Light’s Limeritas. Don’t get us wrong. We are far from above downing two or ten cheap domestic beers and cocktails, but we’re not always in the mood for the bottom shelf stuff. Thankfully, a rising interest in and appreciation for good cocktails has created a demand for a better canned beverages. There are now a good deal of brands that produce canned cocktails which can be spirited away in your backpack or beach bag to some shoreline or park in your city. Whether you are feeling something classic like the best whiskey or a little more light like gin – you’ll find all you can want right here.
Slow and Low Rock and Rye
84 proof whiskey in a can? Count us in. Hochstadter’s puts their Slow & Low rye together in a small 100ml can with oranges, straight rye whiskey, raw honey, angostura bitters, and rock candy. The result is a bright, citrusy, sweet, and easy to drink. Rock and Rye has a history dating back to the era before prohibition, a period so long ago that doctors once prescribed it as a cure for things like sore throats and common colds. Don’t let the diminutive size of this little can fool you. Not only does its small stature make it ideal for sneaking in to the movies or taking out to the park – but it boasts a 42% ABV so it’ll more than get the job done.
Cutwater Spirits Bloody Mary
Originally started under the umbrella of craft beer king Ballast Point, the San Diego distillery branched off in the past year – rebranding under their efforts under the name of Cutwater Spirits. They now offer up all of the same quality canned cocktails in 12 ounce ready to drink containers. In our opinion, they may be the closest you’ll get to a bar-made cocktail. Their Bloody Mary, for instance, is made with their Fugu Vodka mixed with their own house-made Bloody Mary mix that features ripe tomatoes, pepper, and spices. To top that all off, this particular drink from the distillers boasts a 10% ABV. Not a Bloody Mary Fan? They have a great rum and ginger, rum and cola, and gin and tonic – all made with their own house liquor. That means that all of the ingredients in these cans of summer fun are top notch and quality controlled in one spot.
Can Can Cocktails White Linen
Ok, so maybe the name of this Sacramento based distiller is a little bit on the nose, but their White Linen canned cocktail more than makes up for that fact. This iteration of the drink was concocted by Rene Dominguez while she was working at a bartender in Ella Dining Room and Bar. Consisting of cucumber, lemon, and vodka, it is a refreshing and cool cocktail intended to cut through the triple digit heat that descends on the Golden State’s Capital every summer. Unfortunately if you aren’t in the far northern part of California, you’ll likely not be able to get your hands on any of these cans. Who knows, though; with all the praise they’ve been getting they may get some distribution to your neck of the woods.
Fisher Island Lemonade
Fisher Island Lemonade may very well be the most summer-ready cocktail on this entire list. A mix of vodka, whiskey, and lemonade, it is essentially your neighborhood lemonade stand gone bad – but in the very best way. Don’t let the drink’s innocent roots fool you though, it definitely packs a punch. With a 9% ABV in a 12 ounce can it will put you in your seat pretty quickly. But on a hot summer day on the beach, that actually doesn’t sound like such a bad proposition.
Garden Party Ruby
In the introduction to this list, we talked down on malt liquor canned cocktails. For the most part, we’re not budging on that (sorry, Limeritas, we love you but we hate you). That being said – if anyone can redeem this class of canned cocktail it would be Garden Party. The malt liquor base to their ‘hard soda’ is dressed up with fun ingredients like ginger, hibiscus, and pomegranate – giving it a sweet taste with a notable attitude. Measuring in at an 8% ABV in a 12 ounce can, this is a drink you can have a few of before you embarrass yourself.
Novo Fogo Sparkling Caipirinha
For the most part, the kind of canned cocktails you’ll find both here on this list and out in the world are iterations on popular and well known recipes. That, in large part, is what makes Novo Fogo’s Sparkling Caipirinha cocktail so fun. Rather than using familiar spirits like whisky, rum, or gin, this can uses a popular Brazilian sugarcane spirit called cachaça. Novo Fogo combines this spirit with a natural lime flavor, some sugar, and carbonation for a refreshing, light drink. Watch out for the ABV. This measures in at 11%.
Pampelonne French 75
You know those really nice lightly flavored and lightly sweetened fizzy drinks you can occasionally find at grocery stores? This is the alcoholic version of one of those. A take on the French 75 – a cocktail consisting of a mix of gin, elderflower, champagne, and Meyer lemon – this canned cocktail from Pampelonne takes some liberties in their recipe but still comes out tasting great. The most notable change is the lack of our favorite recipe – gin, but when judged by itself rather than against a French 75 you’d get at a bar, this drink comes off great. It has a refreshing taste to it that is enhanced by the addition of natural lemon and elderflower.
Popped Tops: 7 Best Canned Cocktails
If you are feeling the can but maybe not quite feeling the liquor – switch things up a bit by grabbing yourself a case of the best canned wines out there.