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Style & Living Food and Drinks

Cocktails in a Can Are Your New Best Friend This Summer

Skip the bar and pop open a can instead.

By Sara Gauchat

Canned cocktails are here, and they’re actually legit. These booze-in-a-can options have much more in common with the beverages painstakingly hand-crafted by mustachioed hipster bartenders than they do with the sad, vaguely fruit-flavored malt beverages you find at your nearest gas station. Basically, these are portable drinks that have real, recognizable (and delicious) alcohol in them. The next time you're headed to the beach, a picnic, or a backyard barbecue, try toting along one of these eight options.

1. Goodwin Hill Gin & Tonic

Itchin’ to get sippin’ on gin and juice as fast as humanly possible? The brewers at Interboro Spirits & Ales in East Williamsburg feel you. That’s why they created Brooklyn’s very first cocktail in a can (heroes alert!). The Goodwin Hill Gin & Tonic is only sold on site at the combo brewery/distillery’s tasting room, which means…boozy field trip.

2. Slow & Low Rock & Rye

From the small-but-oh-so-mighty category of pocketable beverages comes this potent cutie (seriously, the 100mL can is adorbs) concocted by Cooper Spirits. Its blend of rye, bitters, air-dried Florida oranges, raw honey, and a hint of rock candy (to take the edge off) was inspired by a pre-prohibition cocktail—but the total canned package thoroughly smacks of right now.

3. Novo Fogo Caipirinha

What’s the one thing that would make your beachside chair even more perfect? Brazil’s national drink, the caipirinha, of course. The tart, sweet cocktail made up of cachaça, sugar, and lime has now been canned—with carbonation added for good, fizzy measure—by Novo Fogo. And we feel pretty refreshed just thinking about it.

4. Punching Mule

Sure, those copper mugs are quite traditional, but you shouldn’t necessarily be beholden to a specific type of metal every time you crave a Moscow Mule. And with the Punching Mule, you aren’t even beholden to a cup at all. The can-crafted cocktail from Denver’s Mile High Spirits is a blend of their own Elevate vodka (corn-based, for the gluten-averse), ginger beer sweetened with beet sugar, and natural lime flavor. Fisticuffs may or may not ensue.

5. Boar’s Bourbon Root Beer

Should you sip it as a cocktail? Should you make it into a float? Should you be extra inclusive and just do both? The answer to everything is yes when it comes to Boar’s Bourbon Root Beer, from Sacramento-based Can Can Cocktails, which launched after a Kickstarter campaign last year. The mix of bourbon, root beer, and Angostura bitters will delight the kid and adult in you simultaneously.

6. Spicy Bloody Mary

Just think about how much more efficient (and dare we say effective?) your hair of the dog would be if it were just waiting patiently in a can in your fridge. The booze masters at San Diego’s Cutwater Spirits have your back with their Spicy Bloody Mary, made from tomatoes, black pepper, cayenne pepper, horseradish, and their very own Fugu vodka. (It also comes in mild, if you’re feeling fragile.) You’ll just have to BYO celery stalks.

7. Pampelonne French 75

High class meets high convenience with this super-totable version of the cocktail classic. Full disclosure: The Pampelonne French 75 does omit the recipe’s traditional gin (gasp!), but it offers up a mix of sparkling wine, Meyer lemon, and elderflower that’ll quickly soothe any and all hard-liquor-withdrawal pains.

8. Fishers Island Lemonade

Here's to summer never ending. #cocktailinacan 📷: @lauren.haile Psst: Fishers is now available in NYC via @FreshDirect!

A post shared by Fishers Island Lemonade (@filemonade) on

So you’re looking for summer in a can… How does a concoction of vodka, whiskey, and lemonade strike you? The canned version of the signature cocktail served by The Pequot Inn on (you guessed it) Fishers Island, New York, is all kinds of potently refreshing. Its toddy-like nature even surprisingly makes it a winter winner—just heat it up and pour it in the nearest mug.

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