First came the trendy and Instagram-able canned wines, now canned cocktails are gaining popularity. Canned cocktails are more portable and convenient, and they have a less detrimental impact on the environment — not only do they allow you to skip the straw, thus saving plastic, but they’re also more shelf-stable than glass bottles.
Family-owned Chicago Distilling Company introduced canned cocktails over a year ago, with a focus on fresh ingredients in a traditional serving size. Inspired by their summers in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, and Antioch, Illinois, they wanted to offer a high-quality portable cocktail that felt nostalgic to them. “Cans can go where glass can’t, like beaches, pools, and boats,” owner Noelle DiPrizio says. “Canning the cocktails also allows you the convenience of not having to bring various ingredients and bottles so you can just enjoy the water and outdoors.” Chicago Distilling values the magic of summer so much that they give back regularly to Campout for Kids, a nonprofit that gives children in underserved communities the experience of summer camp.
Now, before summer passes you by, leave the bottles and mixing at home and pick up these seven canned cocktails at your local store.
Sparkling Greyhound by Joia Spirit
Find at Binny’s
This cocktail by Joia Spirit is slightly sweet, sparkling, and boasts no artificial sweeteners, flavors, colors, or preservatives. Plus, it is only 110 calories, fewer than most skinny cocktails. They have three flavors and the greyhound combines vodka with grapefruit, chamomile, and cardamom for a refreshing drink.
Most Unique (and Local!)
Chicago Distilling Bramble & Chicago Mule
Find at Whole Foods
We got our hands on two of Chicago Distilling’s canned cocktails — the seasonable Bramble and the Chicago Mule.
The Bramble blackberry cocktail was one of the most unique cocktails we found on the shelf, with Finn’s gin mixed with sweet blackberry. It has the perfect balance of sweet mixed with the gin — you could easily have a few of these! The Chicago Mule mixes fresh and spicy ginger beer with their Ceres vodka. Both of these cocktails were delicious, fresh tasting, and a joy to sip. We also appreciated the smaller, more traditional serving sizes.
Best Wine Cocktail
French 75 by Pampelonne
Find at Binny’s
The French 75 cocktail was a big hit as it was refreshing and perfect for an afternoon on a boat or a picnic. It blends elderflower and Meyer lemon with French sparkling wine to make a light and crisp drink. Pampelonne makes 75 different French wine cocktails and next on our must-try list is their Rosé Lime.
Vitani Dirty Martini
Find at Whole Foods
Technically, this isn’t a canned cocktail. But the bottle is aluminum and we couldn’t source another martini on the market, so we included it in our review.
This martini was smooth, had a great olive flavor, and was a generous portion. The packaging was unique and would keep the martini chilled for a while. Bring a bag of olives and your picnic is made.
Cutwater Spicy Bloody Mary & Lime Tequila Margarita
Find at Bitter Pops
Cutwater seems to have the market covered for canned cocktails, with full-size cans offered in 14 different flavors. We sampled their Spicy Bloody Mary and Lime Tequila Margarita and were pleasantly surprised. The Bloody Mary was actually pretty fresh, really spicy, and had a lot of flavor — definitely not something we were expecting. Same goes for the margarita, something we hold very high standards for. It had a fresh lime taste and did not skimp on the tequila. Serve both over ice.
More from Make It Better:
- 9 Can’t-Miss Chicago Food and Drink Tours
- 7 Women Shaking Up Chicago’s Cocktail Scene
- The Ultimate Chicago Beer Tour: 6 Must-Visit Breweries (Interactive Map)
Macaire Douglas lives in Chicago with her husband and two sons. She proudly supports Share Our Spare, a local nonprofit that collects goods for children in need.