It is only recently that the best pre-mixed cocktails have come into their own. In previous decades, the category was synonymous with excessively sugary, neon-coloured classic cocktails such as the ‘Long Island Iced Tea’.
Everything changed on the bar scene when IWSC’s Spirits Communicator 2019 Ryan Chetiyawardana – or Mr Lyan as he’s better known – starting developing his own pre-batched cocktails at his first bar, White Lyan, in 2013. Focused 100% on sustainability, White Lyan was the first cocktail bar in the world to use no perishables; no fruit and even no ice. His pre-batched classic cocktails such as the Bonfire Old Fashioned and Spotless Martini led the way when it came to packaging quality pre-mixed cocktails for a home audience.
Then, more recently, came the introduction of new, great-tasting gin & tonics, chilled in cans. Developed by industry heavyweights such as Gordon’s, as well as by craft brands including Sipsmith, it meant that everyone from picnic-goers to post-work train commuters discovered new, lip-smackingly refreshing pre-mixed cocktails.
Scroll down to see David T. Smith talking through some of the highlights from this year’s tasting of pre-mixed cocktails at the IWSC, and for six other standout performers from the judging.