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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 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 more than 20 canned cocktails, from mojitos to martinis and everything in between.
East London Liquor Co. Vodka & rhubarb (250ml), 4.6% ABV
Ingredients: British wheat vodka, natural rhubarb soda
Cool down this summer with this refreshing, fruity cocktail from East London Liquor Co. The rhubarb & vodka cocktail was one of our favourites that we tried. The vibrant rhubarb flavour is fresh and doesn’t taste artificial. The booze is well balanced and the sweetness is just right. We also enjoyed the grapefruit gin & tonic and the rum & ginger cocktail. We love that the flavours are all natural with no preservatives or artificial sweeteners.
Sipsmith Gin & tonic (250ml), 7.3% ABV
Ingredients: Dry gin and tonic water
Our favourite G&T overall, Sipsmith is a strong contender in the canned cocktail industry. The subtle sweetness is just right – a real achievement for a canned gin & tonic. The botanicals are present and distinguished, blended with a smooth, high-quality gin. Coming in at 7.3% ABV, it’s the strongest G&T on our list but the booze isn’t overpowering. You’ll want to break out these gorgeous copper tins on your next picnic or barbecue.
LuvJus Pineapple & mint (250ml), 4.8% ABV
Ingredients: Pineapple, mint, jasmine, Korean ginseng, vodka
Capture the taste of summer with a fruity canned cocktail by LuvJus. This playful brand delivers vibrant drinks with a kick of Korean ginseng and clean, crisp vodka. The pineapple & mint drink is reminiscent of a lightened-up piña colada – full of tropical, sunny flavours.The full-bodied drink has lots of depth with hints of floral jasmine and cooling mint. It would make the perfect portable cocktail for an afternoon barbecue or warm beach day.
Portobello Road Gin & tonic (250ml), 5.5% ABV
Ingredients: No. 171 Gin and natural Indian tonic water
Portobello Road has paired up with Franklin & Sons to deliver a classic gin & tonic that ticks all the boxes. This G&T leans more on the bitter side with a strong lemon kick and a very subtle hint of sweetness. We tasted notes of juniper with spicy undertones and bright citrus flavours. It’s a timeless combination that’s sure to be a summertime staple.
&Soda Mexican lime vodka soda (330ml), 5% ABV
Ingredients: Triple-distilled vodka, natural Mexican lime flavours and soda water
If you’re not big on overly sweet cocktails, this subtle option from &Soda will be right up your street. Similar in flavour to a hard seltzer, this vodka soda is infused with a mild citrus flavour. This light cocktail is simple and easy to drink, perfect on a hot summer day. It contains zero sugar and no carbs, plus it’s vegan and gluten-free. We also enjoyed the fruity raspberry flavour as an alternative to the lime.
Hawksmoor Canned cocktail set (250ml x 2, 150ml x 2)
Looking to splash out on a special occasion? These elevated canned cocktails from renowned restaurant, Hawksmoor, are perfect for celebrating at home. These boozy drinks pack a strong punch, but they’re perfectly balanced with quality ingredients. The Back Burner is our favourite from the kit, featuring Ocho tequila, Dangerous Don mezcal, jalapeno and pineapple soda. It has a subtle smokiness which pairs beautifully with the zingy pineapple. We also loved the Hawksmoor Calling, made with Plymouth gin, chamomile, honey, lemon and Manzanilla sherry.
Two Days Vodka raspberry soda (330ml), 3% ABV
Ingredients: Five-times-distilled British vodka, lightly sparkling water and real raspberry extracts
Crack open a refreshing vodka soda on a warm summer afternoon with Two Days drinks. This light cocktail features a single measure of five-times-distilled British vodka, blended with sparkling water and real raspberry extracts. It’s low in calories with zero sugar, plus it’s vegan and gluten-free. We also loved the lime flavour, which is available in a mixed pack. We enjoyed the simplicity of these – no unusual fruit combinations, just straight up vodka sodas.
Vacay Moscow mule (330ml), 6.5% ABV
Ingredients: Triple-distilled Misty Isle Vodka, ginger beer, lime juice, Angostura bitters
Looking for a strong drink with a kick? Try this fiery Moscow mule from Vacay, with smooth vodka, spicy ginger beer, zingy lime juice and a dash of aromatic bitters. We loved the sharpness of the flavours and the well balanced ginger kick. We also really enjoyed the paloma with Blue-Weber agave tequila, pink grapefruit and lime juice. Classic cocktail fans will love the Tom Collins, featuring 58 Gin, Sicilian lemon juice and soda water.
Sipful Blood orange mimosa (250ml), 4.5% ABV
Ingredients: Blood orange juice and white wine
Take your brunch or afternoon picnic to the next level with a unique twist on a classic mimosa. This natural blood orange cocktail from Sipful is sharp and tangy with a subtle sweetness. It’s slightly carbonated with effervescent organic white wine. We also enjoyed the classic mimosa and the fruity peach bellini. To celebrate a special occasion, try the elegant bubbly white wine.
Bloody Drinks Bloody Mary (250ml), 6.3% ABV
Ingredients: Tomato juice, vodka, Amontillado sherry, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce
Complete a Sunday brunch spread with an easy bloody Mary cocktail in a can. The classic cocktail from Bloody Drinks is powerful and tastes as high-quality as a freshly mixed drink at the bar. It boasts a strong vodka kick paired with dry, fruity Amontillado sherry. The fresh tomato juice is mixed with tangy, savoury flavours like Worcestershire sauce, a hint of soy sauce and some heat from Tabasco sauce.
Edinburgh Gin G&T (250ml), 6% ABV
Ingredients: Gin, Indian tonic water and Seville orange
What’s better than a classic gin & tonic on an afternoon picnic? This classic offering from Edinburgh Gin is infused with a subtle Seville orange sweetness. The juniper and botanicals include notes of pine buds, mulberries and cobnuts. The Scottish small-batch distilled gin isn’t overpowering in this balanced drink. It’s a great all-rounder, with a crisp and refreshing finish.
Malibu Piña colada (250ml), 5% ABV
Ingredients: Caribbean rum with juices and flavourings
‘If you like piña 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 tastes barely present. Despite this, the drink was generally liked by the judges and praised for its smooth, almost creamy texture.
Opihr Gin & tonic with a twist of orange (250ml), 6.5% ABV
Ingredients: London dry gin, tonic water, Spanish orange, botanicals and spices
Explore new flavour profiles with this spiced gin and tonic from Opihr. We loved the delicate notes of coriander and cardamom, balanced with a sharp citrus kick from the orange. The spices and handpicked botanicals are sourced from destinations along the ancient spice route including Malaysia, Morocco and India. There isn’t much sweetness and the booze is smooth and well balanced.
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 citrusy 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!
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This review was last updated in April 2021. 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 email@example.com. For information on alcohol guidelines, read our guide to drinking responsibly.