While the Wine Enthusiast team loves to mix up drinks—several of us are former bartenders, after all, and would never miss an opportunity to point that out in conversation—there are times when only the best canned cocktails will do. Backyard barbecues, beach days, picnics and the like are all great occasions to pop open a can of something tasty.
We’re not alone, either. In 2021, sales of ready-to-drink (RTD) cocktails doubled, generating $1.6 billion. According to the Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S., premixed cocktails were the fastest growing spirits category last year.
And so, the Wine Enthusiast team is pleased to share our picks for the canned cocktails we reach for again and again, from a brunch-ready Bloody Mary to a bubbly margarita and a non-alcoholic option that keeps the party going. Here are nine of the best canned cocktails on the market, according to Wine Enthusiast staffers.
The summer can get pretty hectic for the Brown family—whether its chilling at the Mystic Lakes or attending cookouts—so I always make sure to have canned wine spritzers because lugging bottles of wine in the heat is no bueno! My go-to cocktail is Roseade USA, a rosé made with lemonade and spritz from Australia. This delicious, refreshing and hydrating canned wine spritzer not only has the right amount of fizz to hit the back of your throat but it also has the right amount of lemonade to quench your thirst. It’s also all natural with zero chemicals or artificial flavors, which is a huge plus in my book! The best part: You can enjoy it over ice or straight from the can! —Jaime Brown, Digital Editorial Assistant
Bloody Marys seem simple enough, but they can be an ordeal to make well. The Cutwater Spicy Bloody Mary is the one that first opened my eyes to the idea that there is something to the convenience of just popping a tab and having a decently made cocktail. I don’t know—and really don’t want to know—what sorcery they use to stabilize the ingredients in the can so that, with a gentle shake, you’ve got spice and heat and salinity and alcohol in every sip, but they’ve nailed that spell. There is some serious heat to it, too—enough so that you know it’s there and want more but not so much that the drink is out of balance. Pour over ice, squeeze a lemon in there, and that’s Sunday morning done. You’re still on your own for the Benedict, though. —John Capone, Managing Editor, Print
I LOVE, love, love Beautiful Drinks Co.’s Lime & Ginger Sparkling Margarita. I was always skeptical of canned cocktails until I had these. The margarita actually has sea salt in it, so it tastes like the salted rim on the glass, and the flavor itself tastes exactly like a shaken margarita over ice. It blew me away. Their other flavors like the Vodka Collins and Grapefruit and Rosemary G&T are fire, too. They’re perfect for a picnic or afternoon sipper. —J’nai Gaither, Assistant Digital Editor
I’m a huge fan of Dogfish Head’s canned cocktails. From strawberry vodka lemonade to their whiskey sour, these drinks come in a variety of flavors that are refreshing, not too sweet, and pack a little punch that’ll give you a buzz in no time. —Braxton Parr, Supervising Video Producer
Summer is my favorite time of year, so I’m excited about a couple of upcoming beach and lake trips. I will be enjoying Just Enough wines, because even in the water, I want wine. The fairly new canned wine brand is women-owned, and their grapes are sourced from sustainable vineyards. Those things are incredibly important to me. Each can is equivalent to 1.5 glasses of wine, so I won’t get too crazy. —Jacy Topps, Assistant Editor, Print