11 canned cocktails to drink anywhere this summer
These tasty beverages are ready for the beach, pool, picnic, and more.
Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission.
For as long as anyone can remember, beer has had the luxury of living the canned lifestyle—the breezy portability, the ease of cracking a cold one whenever the desire hits. Nowadays, drinkers with most any preference can get it on that action. In the last few years, with the emergence of hard seltzer, both wine and ready-to-drink cocktails have seen a boom. According to analysts, the ready-to-drink category grew 43% last year globally, and is expected to keep rising.
The only problem is that the ready-to-drink popularity means the market is absolutely saturated with portable alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage options. Where to start?
To find out, I gathered a group of parents who endured an entire pandemic with small children. On an early summer night, we congregated on my roof deck, sans kids, and tested about two dozen drinks. Below, find out which are worth buying. The good news is there are plenty of solid canned cocktail options, and it’s never been a better time to embrace that canned lifestyle.
1. Dogfish Head Blueberry Shrub Vodka Soda
Even before this craft beer brand's new canned cocktails had hit the market, the Dogfish Head Blueberry Shrub Vodka Soda won best cocktail at the L.A. Spirits Awards. Made with vodka mixed with blueberries and vinegar, it’s tart, a little sweet, and totally refreshing. Also excellent: the Cherry Bergamot Whiskey Sour and Strawberry Honeyberry Lemonade, which Dogfish founder Sam Calagione was inspired to make after visiting a high school friend who now runs an organic farm in Maine, where he grows honeyberries.
2. Cantina Tequila Ranch Water
The Austin-based company Canteen has been making 99-calorie vodka sodas in flavors like lime, watermelon, and black cherry, but in April they launched their ready-to-drink tequila cocktail line. Our favorite of the delightful flavors (including Watermelon Margarita and Grapefruit Paloma) is the simple, straightforward Ranch Water, featuring the agave-based spirit mixed with soda water.
3. Ghia Le Spritz
The non-alcoholic drinks sector was waiting for something sophisticated and portable, and Ghia delivered. Le Spritz, the brand’s aperitivo, made with Riesling white grape juice mixed with yuzu and rosemary, is perfectly bitter and complex.
4. Coit Paradisio
Mini cans have max flavor in this tropical tiki cocktail with pineapple, passion fruit, coconut, and ginger. Pour over crushed ice, preferably in a fun glass, to conjure oceanside vibes.
5. Fishers Island Lemonade Fizz
The 7-year-old brand founded by Bronya Shillo in Fishers Island, New York, now includes a line of spiked lemonade cocktails in classic, pink lemonade, spiked tea, or sparkling. We liked the latter best—the bubbles cut the sweetness—but don’t miss the frozen spirit pops. Throw a few in the beach cooler or enjoy one while your kids are having their own (non-alcoholic) popsicles.
6. Usual Yuzu Spritzer
A favorite of the taste testers, the lightly sparkling Brut bubbly has the perfect balance of sweet and a little tart, thanks to the addition of fresh yuzu juice. The 7.25% ABV means sleek silver cans are also an easy way to upgrade your party without adding too much booze.
7. Gosling’s Dark ‘n Stormy
If you love a Dark and Stormy—the classic (and trademarked!) cocktail made with Gosling’s rum and ginger beer—you’ll love this version. It’s perfectly spiced and boozy, the exact drink you’d get on a beach in Bermuda, except with the added bonus of portability.
8. Bacardi Rum Punch
Rum expert Bacardi recently launched a line of ready-to-drink cocktails in flavors like Mojito, Sunset Punch, and Bahama Mama, with orange, pineapple, and red berries. And, when poured over a tall glass of ice, all make the perfect refresher for a steamy day, or sipped straight from the can. But my ragtag team of taste testers loved the classic rum punch, with pineapple, orange, and mango best.
9. Cutwater Peach Margarita
Made with the Cutwater tequila mixed with real fruit puree, this Peach Margarita is juicy, flavorful, and, at 10% ABV, a little boozy. Try the strawberry, mango, and tequila lime versions, too, or for more sessionable options, go for the brand’s Vodka Soda variety pack, all clocking in at 99 calories and 5% ABV.
10. Volley Tropical Mango
Made with just three ingredients (100% blue agave tequila, sparkling water, and organic juice), this line of cocktails comes in Zesty Lime, Spicy Ginger, Sharp Grapefruit and my testers’ favorite, Tropical Mango. The short list of straightforward ingredients means this cocktail is both delicious and free from any weird aftertaste. They need a gentle shake before drinking, since the fruit juice can settle on the bottom of the can.
11. Lyre's G+T
This award-winning non-alcoholic option hits all the marks—interesting, delicious, and available in a lovely little can to make you feel like an adult sipping an adult cocktail.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.