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: Bacardi Classic Cocktails Strawberry Daiquiri and Pina Colada

By Christopher Null | May 27, 2010 |

So-called “instant” cocktails don’t have to be bad. I mean, they usually are, but they don’t have to be. Bacardi, which makes a pretty good instant mojito, has now released two new pre-mixed cocktail flavors, a strawberry daiquiri and a pina colada. As with the mojito flavor, these use real ingredients, not malt liquor and…

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Review: Cuca Fresca Cachaca and Caipirinha

By Christopher Null | December 2, 2009 |

It’s been a while — too long, perhaps — since we sampled a new cachaca at Drinkhacker HQ, but Cuca Fresca has arrived to our watering palates. Cuca Fresca Cachaca – This unaged Brazilian rum is intensely fragrant, filling the room with sweet lime notes. The body is more typical of cachaca, with that smoky…

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Review: Tribeca Light Pre-Mixed Cocktails

By Christopher Null | October 11, 2009 |

Pre-mixed, bottled cocktails that include alcohol continue to make a splash. Tribeca Light’s tactic: Do it all with a low-calorie approach; the label promises that a glass of a Tribeca-tail packs just half the calories of a standard cocktail. Naturally, some sacrifices may be in order… the promise of a “sophisticated taste in a natural…

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Review: Burnett’s Cocktails – Cosmo, Margarita, and Mojito

By Christopher Null | July 22, 2009 |

More pre-mixed, ready-to-pour cocktail offerings, this time from Burnett’s which turns out some 20 vodkas and gins in every flavor imaginable. With these three concoctions, Burnett’s turns its vodkas into three simple bar standbys. All are 30 proof and come in big, plastic 1.75-liter jugs. They are intended to be served on the rocks, but…

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Review: Southern Comfort Sweet Tea and Hurricane Cocktails

By Christopher Null | July 11, 2009 |

Let’s be frank. Southern Comfort has a difficult reputation. Everyone I know has a story involving the peach-flavored liqueur, and it usually ends up with a blackout or someone’s head being shaved against their will. Hey, it’s party booze. Nothin’ wrong with that. SoCo is expanding its little empire with the craze du jour —…

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Review: Señor Sangria Classic Red

By Christopher Null | June 12, 2009 |

Pre-mixed, bottled sangria can be a dicey proposition. I mean, is it that hard to make good sangria yourself? Well, yes, yes it is. That’s why you never make it at home, lardo — you’re too lazy. And you’ve got to have lots of fresh fruit handy. And a knife. Screw that and pop open…

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Review: Smirnoff Tuscan Lemonade

By Christopher Null | April 16, 2009 |

Another entry into the growing market segment of ready-made cocktails, Smirnoff’s Tuscan Lemonade is a definite winner. This isn’t syrupy corn-syrup sludge and requires no doctoring out of the bottle. It’s Smirnoff vodka, limoncello, and lemon juice (and probably a smattering of other, unspecified natural flavors), and a touch of artifical color. The result: Far…

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Review: Bacardi Classic Cocktail Mojito

By Christopher Null | April 10, 2008 |

Premixed cocktails are usually a mixed bag. In fact, they’re hardly cocktails at all but rather heavily carbonated malt liquor, watered down to about 6 or 8 percent alcohol and flavored with a variety of components that can be either reasonably tasty or very nasty. Bacardi (which makes it share of the aforementioned malt liquor…

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Review: saké2me Sparkling Cocktails

By Christopher Null | March 14, 2008 |

My first challenge in this review is not how to describe what saké2me tastes like. It’s how to categorize it in this blog. saké2me is a blend of sake, natural flavors, and sparkling water. It comes in ready-to-drink bottles 187ml in size and weighs in at a beer-like 7% alcohol, comparable to malt liquor-based beverages…

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Review: Cocktails by Jenn – Appletini and Lemon Drop

By Christopher Null | January 12, 2008 |

You’ve probably seen these pastel-toned, mini-sized premixed cocktails (typically in a little, hat-box-looking tote package) at the grocery store. Cocktails by Jenn seem to be on sale everywhere. With enticing Lemon Drop, Cosmo, Appletini, and “Tropical Blue Lagoon” (to round out the color palette), look good on the shelf. But how do they taste? Unlike…

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