It used to be a lot harder to drink on the go. Having an alcoholic beverage anywhere that was not a house or bar required bringing liquor, a mixer, and ice, depending on what you wanted to drink. Now, thanks to the Internet, we can get pretty much everything in a convenient amount of time, in whatever packaging we request. Sites like Drizly make it so that you literally don't have to leave your lounge chair by the pool, just order and wait—no DD necessary. And somewhere along the line, we stopped putting just soda and beer in cans and moved onto wines, malt beverages, tequila, vodka, even coffee.
I'm not against a canned drink (known as tinnies in the U.K.), but I taste-tested every option below (and more), and learned that not all canned beverages are created equal—and also that four 250ML cans equals 1.3 bottles of wine, so pace yourself. Or don't. Either way, I hope these help you pick something to sip on before you switch to the hard(er) stuff.
Oh Malibu, how I love thee. I hold a special place in my heart for Malibu—it helped ease everyone I know into their first hangover. I personally was more of a Smirnoff Ice gal (we'll get to them later), but pineapple and Malibu was always my sister's go-to. One major thing to keep in mind with these pre-mixed rum cocktails is that they have .05 percent more alcohol content than most other cans, coming in at 5 percent alcohol, and that's sure to get you buzzed a little faster. Expect the same coconut-y flavor in all three delicious flavors: fizzy pink lemonade, piña colada, and strawberry kiwi.
I can't do a story on canned drinks and not mention Lime-A-Ritas. After Four Loko was recalled, there was a major void in the canned industry. You think I'm kidding, but I'm dead serious. That was until Lime-A-Rita came around. Now you can get strawberry, mango, passionfruit, coconut, lemon, cherry-lime, and they've even gotten into the spritz game. You can get one at your local liquor store or an MLB game—the Lime-a-rita is officially mainstream and I am not mad about it.
While canned drinks are typically reserved for beer or soda, you can now also get a spiked kombucha with 4.5 percent alcohol. Flying Embers organic hard kombucha comes in three yummy flavors: Lemon Orchard, Ginger & Oak, and Ancient Berry. I was a little skeptical at first as I had never tried kombucha, but it is super refreshing. I can definitely sip on one or two of these.
Always down to try a new drink, I was excited about this zero-sugar options. They use a mix of ancient grains and cassava root (a.k.a. yuca), which piqued my interest. These cans have the lowest alcohol content at 4 percent, and are naturally gluten-free, so, score. If peach is not your thing, opt for the strawberry lemon, coconut pineapple, or mango flavors.
Nothing like a malt beverage to get your party started. Since my green apple Smirnoff Ice days, the brand has really stepped their game up. Like, a lot. They now offer cranberry-lime, piña colada, four different rosés, watermelon, and orange mango flavors in their sparkling seltzers. There's something for every member of the crew, no matter how picky they may be. You can expect a crisp, fresh taste that tastes dangerously close to water after the first one is down.
It was only a matter of time before tequila came in a can. It seems that everywhere you go, people are obsessed with margaritas, while palomas come in a close second. Cutwater Spirits is based in San Francisco and offers a lime version with 12.5 percent alcohol content, so I recommend treating this as you would any other margarita (carefully!). Cutwater also offers Gin & Tonic, Vodka Mule, Vodka Soda, and Rum & Cola. Gangs all here!
Rosé is the drink of summer. Remember when people were actually worried about a rosé shortage in the Hamptons?!? Thankfully, those dark days are behind us and now we can get rosé in a bottle, on tap, and in a can. This bubbly drink will keep you pleasantly buzzed as you go from lunch to afternoon snacks before it's time for fireworks. FYI the price on this is for a 24-pack because rosé really should be bought in bulk.
Bonterra is based in Sonoma, California, and it's committed to an organic approach to wine. The winery has decided to appeal to the masses with their canned options. Wine is very much a personal preference so pick your poison accordingly, but the brand is currently offering sauvignon blanc, rosé, and young red varieties. Warning: Just because it comes in a can does not mean it will drink like a beer. This canned wine has 13.3 percent alcohol content so please drink responsibly.
Archer Roose has the largest variety of canned spirits for sure. Based in Boston, the brand sources wine from all over the world, so there is sure to be something for you to enjoy. The brand currently features Bubbly from Italy, Rosé from Provence, Sauvignon Blanc from Chile, Malbec from Argentina, and red, white, and rosé spritzes. The spritzes all are only 90 calories and 6 percent ABV, while the wine ABVs vary. If you're in the mood for something more refreshing, go with the spritz, it will keep you alive all day so you can actually see, and remember, the fireworks.
My memories of Kahlúa involve family carne asadas that ended with the iconic liquor being added to coffee. This is essentially a fancier and on-the-go version of that. Made with nitrogen, this espresso features a bit of a foamy top after opening. I recommend for either starting or ending your night—definitely not something to sip on all day unless you love a caffeine rush.
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