If you feel a little nostalgic for summertime celebrations once Labor Day is in the rearview mirror, you’re not alone. Luckily, the feeling doesn’t have to linger. With International Canned Cocktail Day on the horizon only a few days after Labor Day, you can have one last summer celebration before ushering in the busy nature of fall.
Yes, Canned Cocktail Day is a real thing. It falls on September 10th and is dedicated to ready-to-drink canned cocktails. This is a holiday you’ll want to celebrate in style, so it’s a good idea to spend some time brushing up on the basics. We’ll explore what this unexpected holiday is all about and some of the most popular cocktails around the world.
What is International Canned Cocktail Day?
Not to be confused with National Cocktail Day in March or World Cocktail Day in May, International Canned Cocktail Day is all about celebrating pre-mixed, canned cocktails. You may be thinking you should have heard of this holiday before, but it hasn’t been around very long. The very first International Canned Cocktail Day was in 2018.
While ready-to-drink (RTD) cocktails have been around for quite some time, they haven’t always had the best reputation. Pre-mixed cocktails of the past were typically dedicated to convenience and a lengthy shelf life instead of quality and taste. As a result, they’re often associated with overly sweet drinks made with artificial flavors and cheap liquor.
However, not all RTD cocktails are created equal, and canned cocktails are growing in popularity. High-quality canned craft cocktails are made with authentic ingredients like real lime juice, orange curacao, and premium spirits. They come in a can the size of a traditional cocktail and are made in small batches to preserve freshness. The result is a ready-made bar-quality cocktail in a convenient package you can take anywhere.
As consumers recognize this critical difference, demand for canned cocktails is surging. Now that they have a dedicated holiday, it’s a good time to see what all the buzz is about.
The Most Popular Cocktails Around the World
You may already have a favorite drink and even know its history and origin. Yet an international holiday offers a good excuse to expand your horizons and try something new. While you may be able to find them in your local bar, these popular cocktails originated from different countries around the world.
- Pimms: Invented in London between the 1820s and 1840s, Pimms began as a gin-based health tonic. Today’s Pimms cocktails are easily adaptable and known for their fruity, citrusy flavor. This iconic summertime drink is made with Pimms No.1, lemonade, cucumber slices, orange, and strawberries, and garnished with mint leaves.
- Margarita: While it’s widely considered a Mexican drink, the origin of the Margarita is unclear. Some speculate that it was created between 1938 and 1948, and its immediate popularity rapidly made it a top favorite. A classic margarita contains tequila, orange liqueur, and lime juice, served in a salt-rimmed glass.
- Sangria: The earliest versions of Sangria likely came from Romans using wine to kill the bacteria in water. However, Spaniards introduced the drink to the Americas. Many historians believe this introduction occurred in the early 1800s, but the officially recorded date is in 1964 at the New York World’s Fair. The now popular drink is usually made with some combination of light fruity wine mixed with slices of orange, green apple, lemon, mint, brandy, and sparkling water.
- Negroni: It’s widely accepted that this drink was invented in Florence, Italy in 1919 when Count Camillo Negroni asked for a stronger version of an Americano. A Negaro is made with gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth, and garnished with orange peel.
- Manhattan: Invented sometime in the late 1800s, the Manhattan is known for its simplicity. Yet skill is required to make one. A quality Manhattan is made with the perfect balance of whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters.
5 Drinks Perfect for International Canned Cocktail Day
Mixing the perfect cocktail requires know-how, skill, and a multitude of different ingredients. Since International Canned Cocktail Day is about celebrating finely crafted pre-made cocktails, you can take it easy and serve as many guests as you like with no work at all. Simply set out your favorite cocktail glasses, pour in the canned drink, and garnish as desired. It’s also a great opportunity to embrace a variety of flavors.
These classic cocktails offer variety and style sure to elevate your holiday.
- Old Fashioned: Every celebration needs a quality classic. A Double Old Fashioned is the ideal blend of bourbon straight from the barrel, bitters, and demerara syrup, with a hint of orange zest.
- Espresso Martini: A specialty drink in many bars, the Espresso Martini is as popular as ever. With quality vodka, coffee liqueur, and 100% arabica cold brew coffee, this rich cocktail could quickly become your new favorite.
- Mai Tai: If summer could be condensed into a drink, it would be the MaiTai. A true classic Mai Tai contains a carefully balanced combination of Caribbean rums, real lime juice, almond orgeat, orange curacao, and a hint of mint.
- Daiquiri: A classic daiquiri adds tradition to any summer holiday. The No. 4 Daiquiri is made with white rums, Italian maraschino liqueur, real lime juice, and cane sugar syrup.
- Southside: If you’ve never tried a Southside, this holiday offers the perfect excuse. A refreshing Southside blends London Dry gin, 100% lime juice, and garden mint.
How to Celebrate International Canned Cocktail Day in Style
Cocktails are reminiscent of vacations on sandy beaches, elegant parties, and relaxation by the pool. Such ideas can serve as inspiration for a worthy celebration. When your drinks are canned for easy portability, your plans are only limited to your imagination (and general safety, of course).
Enjoy a Day at the Beach
As summer draws to a close, beaches will be less crowded and more relaxing. You can find the best spot to enjoy the views, water, and sunshine without worrying about trying to beat the heat and avoid sunburn. Whether you make a day of it or take a few hours in the afternoon, the beach is a wonderful place to unwind and relish the end of the warm season. Pack a few of your favorite canned craft cocktails in a cooler, and enjoy a quiet day on the sand.
Pack Up for a Relaxing Picnic
The portability of canned cocktails makes them ideal for transporting to your favorite picnic spot. Since the drinks are pre-made, you can focus on the food. Prepare a light meal or favorite snacks and add style to your picnic with a ready-made Cosmo or Margarita.
Elevate Your Camping Trip
For many, cooler nights can be an invitation to spend time under the stars. With all the equipment needed for camping, why lug around ingredients to mix the perfect drink? Canned cocktails are easy to transport in a cooler and can be poured over ice when you’re ready to drink them. They’re perfect for the forest, mountains, or beach with no fear of forgetting that one essential ingredient.
Plan a Late Summer Barbeque
There’s never a wrong reason to fire up the grill. Canned cocktails add convenience to your barbeque and ensure you have everyone’s favorite drink on hand. Create a drink list based on your guests’ favorites, or surprise them with new offerings that will quickly become beloved standbys.
Host a Bonfire Gathering
In September, a bonfire is the perfect way to celebrate the upcoming fall. Don’t forget to learn about local fire regulations and check the weather for clear skies. Once you’re sure you have everything in place for a safe gathering, create a delectable snack list and pair your offerings with a variety of canned cocktails sure to delight your most discerning guests.
Get Ready for the Festivities of the Canned Cocktail Holiday
While all canned cocktails are convenient, quality is key to making them enjoyable. Cocktails weren’t designed to be mixed with artificial ingredients and cheap liqueur. You and your friends deserve drinks that taste like they came from a professional bartender. The celebration can cure your nostalgia for summer days while satisfying your tastebuds with a perfectly crafted cocktail.
Whether you’re a seasoned cocktail aficionado or just curious about what these popular drinks have to offer, International Canned Cocktail Day is a great way to expand your palate and try high-quality canned cocktails.
At Post Meridiem, we craft quality cocktails with no artificial ingredients. All of our drinks are made with 100% real juices, authentic steeped bitters, and imported liqueurs. Precise measures and standard-size cocktails prepared in small batches ensure you always get a bar-quality cocktail with the convenience of a package you can transport anywhere. Celebrate International Canned Cocktail Day in style with classic cocktails and zero compromises. Find us online or at a local liquor store.