What’s So Great About Canned Craft Cocktails?

Cocktails have long been a symbol of celebration and refinement, but the way we’re enjoying them is changing. Traditionally, crafting a well-blended cocktail required a skilled bartender who understood the art of mixology. An experienced mixologist crafted the drink from various ingredients, and the best drinks sometimes took several steps and considerable time to prepare. 

As the landscape of the cocktail scene evolves, canned craft cocktails offer a new and convenient way to enjoy top-quality cocktails. Thanks to convenient, portable cans, consumers can now enjoy the taste of their favorite cocktails almost anywhere. 

These aren’t the canned cocktails your dad knows, either. Canned cocktails used to be associated with uninspired, mass-produced beverages. A new generation of canned cocktails is turning that old reputation on its head. Small-batch producers are capturing the attention of cocktail enthusiasts and revolutionizing how people indulge in their favorite drinks by creating something spectacular, fresh, and authentic. 

Taking inspiration from seltzers but setting themselves apart, canned cocktails are significantly impacting the beverage industry. Learn more about what makes the new canned craft cocktails so special and how consumers are reaping the benefits of drinking their favorite bar-quality beverage from a can. 

Canned Craft Cocktails vs. Hard Seltzers: What’s the Difference?

When it comes to ready-to-drink boozy beverages, there is no denying that hard seltzer hit the market in a big way. Hard seltzers are light, bubbly drinks infused with subtle flavors and a low alcohol count. The low-calorie beverage focuses on simplicity, and it’s a formula that made them a hit with the millennial market. The hard seltzer industry grew to over $17 billion in 2023. The drinks appeal to those who want a casual drinking experience that is light on alcohol and big on refreshment without the flavor complexity of the cocktail. 

Canned cocktails, on the other hand, capture the magic of the bar-crafted cocktail in the convenience of a can. These beverages appeal to those who want the same taste they get at their favorite cocktail bar without actually going to the cocktail bar. The drinks are typically not fizzy like hard seltzers and are much more focused on big, sophisticated flavors. The goal of the canned cocktail is to deliver a drink that tastes just as fresh, complex, and satisfying as the one mixed for you by your favorite bartender. 

Related: The Best Canned Alcohol Without Carbonation

Both ready-to-drink options have their merits, but the canned craft cocktail truly revolutionized the bar scene. While hard seltzers may satisfy those seeking a light, portable beverage, canned craft cocktails raise the bar on the taste experience you can have at home. These beverages represent the marriage of craftsmanship and convenience, delivering a portable beverage experience without compromising taste or complexity. They embody the spirit of mixology and have transformed how cocktail connoisseurs everywhere enjoy their favorite drink.

The journey to take canned craft cocktails from a once-shunned bargain-basement option to a premium drink experience wasn’t easy. It required a lot of dedication from the best brewers to develop the right way to bring these drinks to an eager market.

How Canned Craft Cocktails Revolutionized the Beverage Industry

Canned craft cocktails have reshaped how we enjoy cocktails at home. It’s an innovation that’s helped cocktail lovers leave the confines of the bar so they could enjoy the sophisticated tastes of their favorite drinks anywhere—expanding horizons for how cocktails could be enjoyed. 

It also democratized the cocktail experience. Canned cocktails reduced the barrier to entry for those who wanted to explore more classic cocktails but were intimidated by cocktail culture or by ordering a drink at the bar. Pre-mixed and expertly balanced cocktails in a can are a gateway to the art of mixology, and you can have the thrill of tasting something like the classic Old Fashioned without needing a lot of prior knowledge. It’s making top-quality cocktails a lot more accessible and teaching a new audience about the rich and exciting history of the cocktail. 

As producers refine and perfect canned cocktail production, the surge in demand within the ready-to-drink market is remarkable. An increasing number of brands and distilleries are introducing their own canned cocktails to the market, resulting in an impressive selection of options for cocktail enthusiasts. Discerning drinkers can tell you, though, that only a few of these manufacturers have actually nailed the creation of a real bar-quality canned cocktail. 

Understanding the Development of High-Quality Canned Cocktails

In their earliest stages, canned cocktails were relatively limited in flavor options and quality. They were widely associated with cheap liquor, artificial or not so “natural” ingredients, and high sugar levels that kept the questionable ingredients inside shelf stable. As demand for high-quality beverage options increased, so did the innovation and quality of the canned craft cocktail market. Distilleries, mixologists, and brands recognized the huge potential in the market. They began looking for ways to produce a cocktail in a can that tasted as fresh as if a beloved bartender had just mixed it. 

Related: The Social Perks of Ready-to-Drink Cocktails

One of the biggest challenges, though, was how to produce that authentic cocktail taste. Expert brands knew they had to prioritize taste and sourcing premium ingredients. Some creators realized the only way to create an authentic taste was to use authentic ingredients. Instead of sugary substitutes, they stuck with ingredients like real lime juice, orange oil, and precisely measured pours of top-quality liquor. 

They then had to perfect the size of the can, borrowing the standard 100ml size of a proper cocktail. The smaller cans keep ingredients fresh, and small batches ensure the taste stays fresh as it journeys from the creator to the consumer. By focusing on a commitment to creating the best, freshest tasting cocktail possible, a few brands are delivering an exceptional canned craft cocktail while also cultivating a deeper connection with the consumer and the drinks they love. 

How Consumers Are Benefiting from Canned Cocktails

Canned craft cocktails have quickly become a preferred beverage for those seeking an out-of-the-bar drinking experience. And it’s no wonder because consumers are enjoying a myriad of benefits, including:

  • Convenience. There is no need to gather an assortment of ingredients, invest time in preparation, or worry about measuring ratios correctly. You just have to grab a can, pop the top, and enjoy a high-quality cocktail instantly. 
  • Consistency. Say goodbye to inconsistent homemade cocktails and embrace the reliability of the canned cocktail. Each can is meticulously crafted to ensure every sip delivers an exceptional taste experience. 
  • Long shelf life. Whether it’s a special occasion or just another Thursday, you’ll always have a well-stocked selection of cocktails to celebrate life’s moments. Canned cocktails can be stored for an extended period, allowing you to curate a collection of your favorite drinks at home. 
  • Portability. Canned cocktails come in convenient packaging that’s ready to travel. Take them to BBQs, beach outings, or any other social occasion. Say goodbye to bulky bottles and cocktail shakers and pop a few cans in your bag on the way out the door. 
  • Variety. Whether you love the classics or are craving something new, you’ll be able to find a cocktail that suits your palette. There is a fantastic selection of canned cocktails on the market—just be sure to check labels and choose only brands that use real ingredients and nothing more.
  • Proportions. The best-tasting canned cocktails are meticulously measured to ensure they contain the perfect balance of ingredients. It eliminates the guesswork from mixing your own drink and gives you the best flavor profile possible. The size of the cans promotes responsible consumption, too, so you can enjoy your favorite drink without overindulging. 
  • Cost-effectiveness. Buying multiple bottles of spirits, mixers, and garnishes can get very expensive, very quickly. Canned cocktails are an affordable way to enjoy high-quality drinks without breaking the bank or compromising your budget. 

Craft cocktails in a can have transformed how we enjoy cocktails. Embrace the benefits and bring a selection to your next gathering. 

Embrace the New Sophistication of Canned Craft Cocktails

The cocktail world has experienced a considerable transformation with the rising popularity of the canned craft cocktail. These portable, pre-mixed delights are changing how we enjoy cocktails. They are no longer the proprietary offering of the cocktail bar. Now we can enjoy a freshly made, high-quality cocktail anywhere in a convenient, ready-to-travel can. This new generation of canned cocktails is redefining the ready-to-drink beverage industry with top-quality authentic ingredients in perfect proportions for the best possible taste. 

Want to stock a sophisticated selection of canned craft cocktails in your home bar? Check out the premium lineup from Post Meridiem. Choose from the timeless Old Fashioned, original recipe Mai Tai, buzzy espresso martini, and many more. You can order our premium canned cocktails online or at a quality liquor store near you.