Ready-to-Drink/Premixed Cocktails

Ready-to-drink or RTD cocktails got their start as so-called “alcopop” beverages, such as Smirnoff Ice, which are malt liquor-based beverages that approximated a cocktail experience through the addition of different flavorings, generally sugar- and fruit-heavy, plus a healthy amount of carbonation. As with most alcoholic beverages, RTD products have moved upscale in recent years, with numerous craft distillers producing genuine cocktails ready to drink out of the can or bottle. These are often made with the identical ingredients you’d get if you made the cocktail from scratch, though quality tends to vary considerably.

Top Ready-to-Drink Cocktail Posts:

Cutwater Spirits Whiskey Highball and Whiskey Lemon Tea
Truly Spiked & Sparkling Water

Review: Social Hour Dickel Bourbon Smash

By Christopher Null | September 9, 2023 |

Social Hour is back with another canned cocktail made with high-end ingredients. Like its previous Harvest Whiskey Sour, the new Dickel Bourbon Smash is made with age-statemented George Dickel Tennessee whiskey, this time 8 years old instead of the monster 13 year old last time around. This “slow-sipping” bourbon cocktail is described as “a classic…

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Review: Tilden Non-Alcoholic Cocktails – Tandem and Lacewing

By Christopher Null | August 13, 2023 |

Non-alcoholic spirits and other beverages continue to raise their profile, and a new brand called Tilden is taking the bottled cocktail approach toward NA, offering two ready-to-serve offerings in 750ml bottles, designed for enjoying over ice. We tasted both expressions and have some opinions to share. Tilden Tandem – A wild combination of savory and…

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Review: Almare Spritz, Complete Lineup

By Christopher Null | June 18, 2023 |

The Spritz isn’t the hardest cocktail to make, but opening a bottle of sparkling wine just to whip up a single drink seems wasteful. Enter Almare Spritz, a ready-to-drink option available in three varieties and made in the Veneto from the same glera grapes used for Prosecco. Each of the trio comes in a 750…

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Review: Karbach Cerveza Especial, Crawford Bock, and Ranch Water Seltzers

By Christopher Null | June 15, 2023 |

Houston’s Karbach doesn’t just make beer, it also cranks out a variety of popular canned Ranch Waters, four in all, based on the Texas-favorite blend of tequila, sparkling water, and lime. Mind you, the canned Ranch Waters are all made from malt beverages — not tequila — and are sweetened with a combination of cane sugar,…

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Review: 4 Stone Buenafiesta Margaritas

By Christopher Null | May 8, 2023 |

The latest company to enter the ready-to-drink space is Stone Brewing, which recently dropped this quartet of canned RTD margaritas: all sparkling, and made with real tequila. We got the full lineup to try, so let’s serve the salsa and get started. Each is 12.5% abv. Stone Buenafiesta Margarita Classic Lime – Things kick off…

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Review: Batch & Bottle Margarita

By Robert Strohmeyer | April 30, 2023 |

UK-based William Grant & Sons has produced a growing range of ready-to-drink cocktails since 2022, and we’ve enjoyed their line so far, having sipped their Monkey Shoulder Lazy Old Fashioned, Glenfiddich Scotch Manhattan, Hendrick’s Gin Martini, and Reyka Rhubarb Cosmopolitan. All in all, these are well crafted premixed cocktails aimed at more sophisticated palates. The…

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Review: Jack Daniel’s and Coca-Cola Premium Cocktail

By Robert Strohmeyer | April 29, 2023 |

In a collaboration that has taken entirely too long to bring to fruition, Jack Daniel’s has at last partnered with Coca-Cola to produce a canned, ready-to-drink rendition of one of the most classic American cocktails. As a Southern-born American man of the 1970s, I hold a special place in my heart for the sweet caramel…

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Review: Vaqit Vodka Soda Cocktails, Complete Lineup

By Robert Strohmeyer | April 28, 2023 |

Summer sipping on the beach, the patio, or the tailgate now affords a dizzying array of ready-to-drink cocktail options to meet all tastes. On the lighter side, we’ve got Vaqit, a simple line of vodka-soda drinks with a low alcohol content of only 4%. These drinks are squarely designed for health-conscious people who want to…

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Review: Coppa Cocktails Margarita

By Robert Strohmeyer | April 8, 2023 |

When I’ve got a hankering for a margarita, the Netherlands isn’t the first country that pops into my mind, so forgive me if I was a little skeptical when a bottle of Dutch-produced Coppa Cocktails Margarita arrived at my door. Packaged in a stylish bottle wrapped in botanical imagery, this ready-to-drink margarita is eye-catching, to…

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SouthNorte Cocktails

Review: SouthNorte Cocktails Margarita, Paloma, Matador, and Mexican Mule

By Robert Strohmeyer | April 6, 2023 |

San Diego-based SouthNorte has introduced a line of ready-to-drink cocktails in time for summer, bringing its penchant for Baja-inspired flavors to the craft. We tasted the whole lineup, and found them consistently clean, light, and refreshing, if notably short on tequila flavor. SouthNorte Margarita – A classic blend of blanco tequila, triple sec, and lime,…

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