An ice-cold can of beer has long been a symbol of Americana, even wine in a can has been taking off. Now, you can look for canned cocktails coming your way just in time for summer vacations and backyard barbecues. Premixed cocktails in cans are an on-the-go staple in many European countries, while the U.S. has largely lagged behind.
Not any more.
Most of these newcomers are made by spirits producers seeking new ways to package and sell their products, and we predict this is a trend just beginning its ascent. Here’s a shortlist of the latest cans that are ideal to tuck into coolers and ice buckets for casual drinking all summer long.
Recommended Cocktails in a Can
Slow & Low Rock & Rye ($4 per 100-ml can; 42% abv): This is the first high-end cocktail available by can in the U.S. It’s essentially rye whiskey that’s sweetened with rock candy and honey, and flavored with dried orange peel and Angostura bitters. At a stiff 84 proof, it’s mostly whiskey, so pour this over ice at your backyard barbecue.
Novo Fogo Sparkling Caipirinha ($4 per 200-ml can, 11.1% abv): The producers of Novo Fogo cachaça debuted these slim-canned cocktails in April. Based on the classic Caipirinha, this is a carbonated drink flavored with lime and sugar. It’s mildly sweet and refreshing, with the right amount of cachaça funk. It would be ideal as a beachside sip.
Joia Sparkling Greyhound ($3 per 12-ounce can, 6% abv): Made by all-natural soda producer Joia, the drink’s base is a sparkling grapefruit, chamomile, cardamom and cane sugar combination, punched up with a bit of vodka. It’s an easy-drinking sipper without the artificial flavor or weird bitterness that plagues many premixed drinks.
Disco Lemonade ($14/6-pack of 12-ounce cans, 6.5% abv): The yellow-and-silver cans are eye-catching and fun, while the cocktail inside balances sweet and tart flavors, and offers just the right amount of fizz. Made by Life of Reilley Distilling and Wine Co. in upstate New York, the drink blends the spirit maker’s raspberry vodka with lemonade and locally-sourced mint. The cans are hard to score outside of New York, New Jersey and Delaware, but the company is looking into national distribution—here’s hoping soon.
Cutwater Spirits Gin & Tonic ($15/4-pack of 12-ounce cans, 6.2% abv): One of four canned cocktail variations, this San Diego-based distillery mixes its Old Grove Gin with a grapefruit and cucumber-scented tonic. The result is a fragrant drink that’s easy to imagine sipping dockside. Also worth seeking out: Cutwater’s Rum & Ginger, goosed with a delightfully spicy housemade ginger beer.