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Light and easy to carry, open and drink from, not to mention easy to recycle, cans are the ideal vessel for alcohol on the go.
Whether you’re heading to a picnic, a music festival or going camping, you’re no longer restricted to just beer and cider – the world of convenient booze has exploded recently and you can now get just about anything in a can, from wine and G&T to, more recently, cocktails.
The idea of having your favourite cocktail pre-mixed and ready to drink might sound great, but how do these drinks measure up to cocktails made in a bar or at home? We blind-tasted over 20 canned cocktails, from mojitos to pornstar martinis and everything in-between.
The verdict? Generally speaking, cocktails in a can definitely need some refinement. Most of the drinks we tried were overly sweet, often artificial-tasting and usually lacking the taste of alcohol. Of the 24 canned cocktails we tried, here are our four favourites.
Jack Daniel’s Lynchburg Lemonade, £1.50 (330ml) 5% ABV
Ingredients: Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey, triple sec and traditional-style lemonade
This is the best example of a canned cocktail that is ‘what it says on the tin’ – we could clearly taste the defining components; whiskey, triple sec and traditional lemonade. It was the booziest of all the drinks we tried, although some of our panel members still found it wasn’t quite potent enough, but everyone enjoyed the sharp, zing of lemon that counterbalances the alcohol.
Asda Mojito, (250ml) 4% ABV
The classic mojito is the cocktail that appears to be most widely available in a can and we tried five different varieties. This one was the clear winner, being the most well balanced and citrussy of the bunch. It’s also not as sickly sweet as others we tried and has the most subtle mint flavour – in other words, it doesn’t taste like toothpaste!
Malibu Piña Colada, £1.50 (250ml) 5% ABV
Ingredients: Caribbean rum with juices and flavourings
‘If you like pina coladas’, and you like them very sweet, then this one’s for you. As you’d expect from a Malibu product, the coconut flavour is dominant, but pineapple comes through strongly, too, and both lend to the overall sweetness. Like most of the cocktails we tried, the booze feels barely present. Despite this, the drink was generally liked by the judges and praised for its smooth, almost creamy texture.
All Shook Up Violet Cosmo, £1.50 (250ml) 4.5% ABV
Ingredients: Lemon, lime, cranberry juice and natural violet flavourings, sugar syrup, fruit alcohol and vodka
Our next pick is a bit of a wild card – not for everyone – but if you’re a fan of violet sweets, then you’re going to love it. Our judges likened it to violet-flavoured lemonade, or sherbet-type sweets. Made with lemon, lime and cranberry juice, with sugar, vodka and violet flavourings, it’s sweet and floral, if a little artificial tasting, but was generally well-liked by the team and especially praised for being a bit different.
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This review was last updated in June 2019. If you have any questions or suggestions for future reviews, or spot anything that has changed in price or availability, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org. For information on alcohol guidelines, read our guide to drinking responsibly.