SpiritsHandpicked by IWSC

11 award-winning canned cocktails

From a bartender-standard Espresso Martini to a Negroni that totally hits the mark, discover the best canned cocktails according to judges at the IWSC

Words by IWSC judges

Handpicked by IWSC

Everyone loves a cocktail but canned cocktails used to have a bit of a bad rep. Happily, innovative producers have turned their attention to ready-to-drink and pre-batched options, creating drinks that are a world away from a pre-mixed can of whisky and coke or the bog-standard G&T traditionally associated with train journeys.

It’s not surprising that producers are getting in on the action when it comes to ready-to-drink options (known as RTDs in the industry). Interest in canned cocktails is on the rise – their popularity was likely boosted by demand during the pandemic and various lockdowns, when bars around the world were closed, but the trend shows no signs of slowing down.

archie rose espresso martini
One of the top-scoring canned cocktails was an Espresso Martini from Australia's Curatif, in partnership with Archie Rose Distilling Co

These days, the ready-to-drink cocktail offering is hugely varied, with everything from Piña Coladas to Old Fashioneds available in canned cocktail form. At the 2023 IWSC, the Vodka Mule produced by Cutwater Spirits scored 95/100 and was praised for its ‘gloriously warm mouthfeel with the beautiful lingering flavour of caramelised ginger stem.’

Williams Cocktails’ Negroni also scored 95/100, with judges impressed by its ‘absolutely classic Negroni profile with aromas of orange, roots and bark.’ They praised its balance too: ‘The levels of sweetness and bitterness are in perfect harmony.’

Curatif’s Archie Rose Espresso Martini scored highly for the second year running, thanks to its aromatics of coffee, chocolate and vanilla and a ‘sumptuously indulgent’ palate. The judges also loved the ‘elegantly creamy mouthfeel with an equally sweet, luxurious finish.’

Read on to discover the best canned cocktails on the market right now, as rated by the IWSC’s panel of experts.

How do we judge these drinks?

We run a tightly structured, rigorous tasting process. That means that each drink sample is pre-poured into numbered glasses and assessed blindly by the judges. Most importantly, our IWSC low and no judges are experts in their field, who work across all sectors of the drinks industry. For evidence, see our full list of judges.

How do we score these drinks?

Only the best drinks sampled receive a Gold or Silver award. For example, to win Gold, spirits have to score between 95 and 100 points. Meanwhile, Silver winners range from 90 to 94 points. Click here to read more on our scoring system.

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