Ready-to-drink (RTD), or canned, cocktails made a big splash during the first stages of the pandemic, when diners couldn’t get out to enjoy mixed drinks at their favorite local bars and restaurants.
Savvy manufacturers jumped at the chance to bring the experience home with a range of canned cocktails featuring everything from tropical drinks to mixology classics to cannabis-laced potables.
Now that everyone is returning to the outside world and supporting local establishments again, you might think adult beverages would go back to business as usual, but this hasn’t been the case.
The year 2022 has seen a whole new batch of RTD cocktails hit the market, with plenty of consumer interest. Which canned cocktails are going to dominate the summer?
Fruity Hard Seltzers
Sweet, effervescent seltzers offer just the right level of fun and refreshment on balmy, summer days, and many RTD companies are leaning into the hard seltzer market. The Fruit Cart collection from Golden Road Brewery has a Black Cherry and Blood Orange concoction that’s anything but average.
Press offers complex flavor profiles like Grapefruit Cardamom, Blackberry Hibiscus, and Lingonberry Elderflower for the gourmet palate. Even Bud Light has thrown its hat in the ring with a mash-up of seltzer and iced tea in flavors like apple, peach, raspberry, and tangerine.
Topo Chico, of sparkling mineral water acclaim, now has a spirited version of its popular, bubbly beverages that includes simple classics like Tangy Lemon Lime, Strawberry Guava, and Exotic Pineapple.
Adventurous imbibers will also love the Raspberry Dragonfruit spiked seltzer from Bon Viv, which was reportedly launched with the help of creative advisor Priyanka Chopra Jonas.
Twists on the Crisp Gin & Tonic
Floral gin, bubbly tonic, and zesty lime make for the perfect summer cocktail, and the canned variety is no exception. While gin can be an acquired taste, the Luxardo Sour Cherry Gin & Tonic (as in, the fanciest maraschino cherries on the market) will likely open the door to new fans of this summer standby.
Super-Soft Hard Lemonade
Lemonade can be tart, but it’s never really hard, even when paired with vodka. Still, it can certainly be made softer with the addition of fruity extras, and it seems like everyone is getting in on the game this summer.
Dogfish Head might be best known for innovative craft IPAs, but they went all in on branching out, with made-from-scratch Vodka Lemonade in variants like Blueberry Shrub and Strawberry & Honeyberry.
Smithworks American Made Vodka got in on the action as well, with a line of fruity Hard Seltzer Lemonade, including Southern Peach Tree and Ripe Strawberry, among others.
There’s something truly magical about sipping a sweet Cadillac margarita on a sultry summer night, especially when paired with savory tacos or enchiladas. For those who can’t be bothered to mix up a batch, there are a range of RTD tequila bevs hitting the market.
There’s the Mango Margarita from Cutwater Spirits, a leader in the canned cocktail movement, and the citrusy Tequila Sun Crusher from Monaco Cocktails, which offers a variety of canned mixed drinks. Jose Cuervo has their own offering, as well: the Black Cherry Playamar, a tequila-based hard seltzer that keeps things light at just 90 calories.
Mod Mommy Juice
There’s one segment of summer drinkers who like to sip socially while watching their kids. They tend to like chilled pinot grigios and rosés that are pleasantly tasty and light on the ABV.
Yes, there’s an RTD cocktail for summer 2022 tailor-made for moms, aptly named Hey Mama Rosé. Hints of sweet strawberry and watermelon make this a refreshing summer libation, while each four-pack features an encouraging sentiment to give harried moms a boost.