If you asked anybody last fall what they thought their summer would be like, I’m sure nobody could have predicted we’d all be relegated to our homes, avoiding a deadly virus. (And if you did, give me your number because I need some advice on stocks.) Bars may be opening to varying degrees where you live, but maybe you don’t feel comfortable venturing out just yet. Or maybe you just prefer drinking in the comfort of your own home, which, before quarantine happened, we all complained was a better way to pass the time anyway! So if you’re not an overachiever who has taken this time to learn how to bartend (and who wants to buy random sh*t like vermouth and bitters anyway?), then it’s time to stock up on canned drinks for summer. They’re portable, they’re delicious, and you don’t have to make them yourself. Here are some canned drinks you can take to your next socially distant park hang.
Created in Los Angeles and produced in Ventura, CA, Livewire canned cocktails are created by top bartenders and the cans are designed by tattoo artists, which is good for your Instagram but bad for my hoarding tendencies. (What, I like to save pretty things…) Three drinks are now available: the Heartbreaker, a mix of vodka, oroblanco grapefruit, kumquat, jasmine, and ginger; the Honeydew Collins, which contains gin, honeydew, lime leaf, coconut, and elderflower; and the Golden God, which is made of Rye whiskey, brandy, apricot, green tea, and elderflower. Fancy. They’re available at select stores in Los Angeles, San Diego, and New York, or you can just buy a 4-pack online.
Cutwater Canned Cocktails
So basically you’ll never have to buy a bottle of liquor ever again if you just stock up on Cutwater Spirits, because they’ve put pretty much every cocktail imaginable in canned form. From a Bloody Mary to a tequila paloma to your basic vodka soda and so many f*cking more, they legit have it all. I sounded like an infomercial just there but it’s legitimately true. I the grapefruit vodka soda, which has a nice flavor kick without being too abrasive like ahem other grapefruit canned drink varietals, as well as the tequila margarita, which knocked me on my ass at 12.5% ABV. Truly something for everyone. They’re currently available in a bunch of states and on Drizly and Reserve Bar.
Prairie Organic Spirits
I love the design of these cans because they kind of look like you’re drinking an old-timey soda and not a cocktail with 5% ABV. Just in case, you know, you might need to disguise the fact that you’re getting buzzed…in front of your mom, not anything illegal, of course. Prairie’s canned cocktails come in three varietals, all made with Prairie Organic vodka or gin. The cucumber lemonade and grapefruit are made with vodka, and they are pretty self-explanatory in terms of flavor and ingredients. If you’re a gin person
I don’t trust you you can try the Minnesota Bootleg, a blend of gin, mint, lemon, and lime flavors. So like, kind of a gin fizz, maybe? Find them at a local retailer.
Speaking of super cute packaging, Two Chicks is a female-founded company that makes a number of equally tasty and pretty canned cocktails, and they’re all sparkling, because obviously. What I love about this brand (aside from what I already said) is that they have cocktails you’re not really going to find anywhere else, like a sparkling apple gimlet and vodka CuTea (vodka with peach, cucumber tea, and thyme). They also have your classics like a citrus margarita and paloma, though. I’ll take one of everything. Buy locally or through services like Drizly.
Started by Shay Mitchell, Noah Gray, Max Dworin, and Kelli Adams, this sh*t looks and tastes like summer in a can. Their canned tequila soda has 5% ABV and 100 calories, and it’s made with blanco tequila from a woman-owned distillery in Mexico and uses real lime and grapefruit juice. You really can’t go wrong with either of the two classic flavors, lime and grapefruit.
McBride Sisters Collection SHE CAN Wines
McBride Sisters was started by (you guessed it) sisters Robin and Andréa McBride, who had no idea the other existed until 1999. I’m going to need a movie about their life ASAP, and it will be the new Parent Trap. While they have a bigger bottle collection, they offer canned sauvignon blanc and rosé. The sauv b is a New Zealand wine and the rosé is a California wine, a nod to how one sister grew up in New Zealand and the other in California. I’m telling you, they need a movie!! You can bu the cans directly through their site, and stay on the lookout for SHE CAN spritzers.
Cupcake Canned Wines
If you’re more of a wine drinker, Cupcake wines have three types that come in a can: the sauvignon blanc, rosé, and sparkling rosé. All are perfect for summer and can be purchased at your local liquor store or, again, online. As an extra bonus that literally seems too good to be true, the cans are 375mL which means there is half a bottle in every can. Let me repeat that: HALF A BOTTLE IN EVERY CAN.
14 Hands Unicorn Rosé Bubbles
Speaking of wine, 14 Hands Unicorn Rosé Bubbles is pretty much the cutest canned drink ever, and that’s all there is to it. I am told the flavor is “light, fruity and crisp,” but I’m going to level with you guys: all wine tastes the same to me unless that wine is Chardonnay, which I categorically hate. This wine has scents of cranberry, pomegranate, and Bing cherry, but again, I went to a wine tasting once and was literally Michael Scott being like “this tastes like a red.” Regardless, this rosé is cute and it tastes good, and you can get your hands on some online or through Drizly.
Bud Light Seltzer
We have now reached everyone’s favorite portion of the article: seltzers. And I’m not going to cover the obvious ones, but I do feel the need to include Bud Light on here. The thing is that these are actually good!! And they’re one of the only companies that has a strawberry flavor, which is a personal favorite. You can pretty much get it wherever you can find Bud Light—I trust that you don’t need my advice on this one.
Volley Spiked Seltzer
Tequila drinkers (hi), this one’s for you. Volley is the first clean spiked seltzer since it’s made with only three ingredients: 100% blue agave tequila, sparkling water and organic juice (as if I care, I’m putting alcohol in my body). It’s made with 100% blue agave tequila, so to me it tastes like a tequila soda, which happens to be my go-to bar order. They’re basically like if you want the taste of tequila without all the commitment, and there are four flavors: zesty lime (tastes like your standard tequila soda with lime and it is, in fact, zesty), sharp grapefruit (like your skinny girl paloma), tropical mango (which is surprisingly really good and kind of tastes like soda), and spicy ginger (like a tequila mule). Check out their website where they will direct you to a third party retailer that ships to your state.
Another hard seltzer that is kinder on the body (well, as kind to your body as an alcoholic beverage can be) is Vizzy, which contains Vitamin C. This is bad news for me because I am known to drink when I am getting sick, because I subscribe to the “alcohol kills the germs” mentality. So now that we have alcohol that contains vitamin C, it’s game over. In any case, Vizzy has more ~elevated~ flavors like pineapple mango, black cherry lime, blueberry pomegranate (it’s getting wild over here), and strawberry kiwi. You can order through Drizly, Instacart, or at a retailer near you.
Crook & Marker
From spiked lemonade to tea to soda to coconut (water, I guess?) Crook & Marker has basically every type of hard fizzy drink you could ever want. I can always get down with a hard lemonade, and their classic, blueberry, raspberry, and watermelon flavors are a definite step up from the hard lemonade you stole from your parents in high school (not naming any brand names, but I think you know the one). You can find them at a local grocery store or similar retailer.
Images: Maria Oswalt / Unsplash; sipwhiskey.com; cutwaterspirits.com; prairieorganicspirits.com; twochickscocktails.com; drinkonda.com; mcbridesisters.com; cupcakevineyards.com; 14hands.com; budlight.com; jensensliquors.com; vizzyhardseltzer.com; crookandmarker.com