From pre-mixed cocktails to fizz and hard seltzer, Sam Wylie-Harris rounds up the coolest cans for cooler bags on the go.
If you still think all pre-mixed drinks and canned wines are created equal, think again.
With stellar market makeovers in the boutique bevvy section and RMDs (ready-made drinks) a buzzword, pulling the tab on a tinnie has never been so modish – and superbly satisfying.
Shiny, slimline and easy on the eye, these cute single serve, liquid formats, often dressed up in candy colours, make you feel like a big kid in a grown-up sweetie shop.
Looks aside, 25cl cans are easy to chill, lighter to carry, easy to recycle and, best of all, there’s no guess work involved. Of course, fizz flows freely – but when you fancy a cocktail, with a ready-made option, all the hard work has been done for you.
And who wouldn’t drink to that? Factor in that you don’t have to bother with stemware either, muddle or do anything messy, it’s hardly surprising a ‘walk tail’ (walking cocktail) is what we want right now. Pop one of these top picks in your picnic hamper…
1. SERVED Lime Infused Hard Seltzer, £10.99 for 4 x 25cl cans, 4% abv, Selfridges
This summer’s biggest tinnie trend, hard seltzer is huge. Super refreshing, SERVED have spiked their alcoholic, low-calorie, sparkling water with wonky fruit (bent, crushed, etc). In this case, Brazilian limes for a crisp, lightly infused fizz. Free from added sugar and anything artificial, there’s also a raspberry expression.
2. 58 Gin Raspberry Hard Seltzer & 58 Gin Pink Grapefruit Hard Seltzer, £2.70 each, 25cl, 4% abv, Harvey Nichols
From the 58 Gin stable in London’s East End, here’s another fab seltzer to slip in your picnic basket. Created using natural fruit flavours with sparkling water and 58 London Dry Gin, subtle juniper notes are allied with red fruits in the Raspberry edition, or tangy grapefruit in the second iteration. Refreshing with a clean, bright finish, and no artificial flavours or sugar.
3. Punchy Mixed Hard Case, £55 for 24 x 25cl cans, 4% abv, Punchy Drinks
Nothing short of a work of art, these stylish sundowners look and taste fantastic. Expertly mixed, you can experiment with deliciously different flavour combinations, while taking in a sunset or dreamy swimming pool. From their Holiday Romance (rum, peach, ginger and chai), to First Dip (gin, cucumber, yuzu and raspberry) and Golden Hour (whisky, blood orange, bitters and cardamom), Punchy hard punches are knockout. Also available in soft punch.
4. 6 O’Clock Gin – London Dry Gin & Tonic, Exotic Orange Gin & Tonic, Damson & Ginger and Light RTD cans, £30 for 12 x 25cl cans, 5% to 7% abv, 6oclockgin
Nailing the art of the mix, 6 O’clock Gin have expanded their range with two new flavour combinations. Their classically refreshing London Dry now combines tangy citrus with subtle, warming spice in their Exotic Orange G&T, while their fruity Damson gin is livened by a burst of ginger for drink-it-now freshness on the go.
5. Bacardi Mojito & Bacardi Raspberry Spritz, £1.50 each, 25cl, 5% abv, Sainsbury’s
We love a bit of Bacardi branding, especially when this rum giant tantalises our taste buds with their canned serves. The crowd-pleasing Mojito is dominated by a fresh, minty palate and the Raspberry Spritz offers the perfect balance of rum and raspberry, as you’d expect.
6. Doña Sofía CBD Classic Cocktail Range – Gin & Tonic, £12 for 6 x 25cl cans, 5% abv, Dona-Sofia
A first on our summer roll call of RTD cocktails, the dinky Doña Sofía G&T is infused with 10mg CBD, to ‘add a complementary edge’ to this classic combo. Made with Top Beverages Classic Top Gin, the combination of Valencian orange, lemon and lime peel adds a citrusy freshness to the finish. Refreshingly uplifting, the G&T is available now. Rum & Cola and Vodka & Lime CBD infused coming soon.
7. Bombay Sapphire Gin & Tonic, £2.80, 25cl, 6.5% abv, Master of Malt
Could this be the closest thing to the real deal? We think so. Celebrated gin label Bombay Sapphire have topped their vapour-infused London Dry Gin with tonic – and if you close your eyes, you’ll be hard pushed to tell this top-notch tinnie from a freshly poured G&T. Lightly floral and aromatic, with bright citrus notes and a crisp, refreshing finish, it’s worth foraging for.
8. Didsbury Gin Pre-Mixed Cans – Blood Orange & Ginger G&T; Stawberry & Sicilian Lemon G&T; Raspberry & Elderflower G&T and Tutti Frutti Gin Fizz, £8 for 4 x 25cl cans, 5% abv, Didsbury Gin
With ditsty florals and wildflowers dotted with wheels of lemon, these must be the best dressed RMDs clattering down the canning line. Didsbury Gin deftly mixed with tonic and natural, fruity flavourings are definitely ones to have on your radar. Equally delicious, the Tutti Frutti Gin Fizz is a riot of fruit-driven fun, with gin-y fruit mixed with soda.
9. Sipful Drinks Cocktail Can Mixed Case Variety Pack – Orange Mimosa, Blood Orange Mimosa, Peach Bellini (4.5% abv) and Organic Bubbles (11% abv), £38 for 12 x 25cl cans, Amazon
They say variety is the spice of life and there’s loads of fizzy fun to be had with these light, refreshing, Spanish sparklers. The Bellini is a real peach – literally, with real peach juice mixed with sparkling wine for a sweet, juicy summery cocktail. In contrast, the Blood Orange Mimosa is sharply satisfying and the Orange Mimosa bang on the money. Or you can opt for the Organic Bubbles.
10. MINIVINO White Fizz, £1.99, 20cl, 10.5% abv, Savers stores
A little Italian gem and cited as the wine that loves to go places, Minivino is perfect for those mini moments. A lovely alternative to prosecco (it’s from the same Veneto region), this light, fizzy Italian sparkler really charms with its crisp, zesty fruit. Cin-Cin!