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My first canned cocktail was a mimosa. It was terrible. That was about ten years ago and the quality of to go cocktails has been improving ever since. Last summer I encountered two really good canned cocktails, one at Vikre Distillery in Duluth, MN and the other at The Campground in Kansas City. As warmer temperatures lure us all outside, I was interested in finding some more quality to go cocktails to throw in a backpack or a cooler. I was looking for real canned cocktails, not hard seltzers. So, I wrote to a few brands* that I had heard good things about to try them for myself. I bought some others I wanted to try as well. Here are my honest thoughts on what a craft cocktail lover really thinks about them.

Dashfire*

dashfire cocktails to go

Dashfire started as a bitters company in 2013. It has since grown to include cocktails, spirits, and coffees. The flavors in the products are inspired by the travels of the Founder, Lee Egbert. Lee and his wife run the company along with a team of employees.

Where are they made: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Where to buy:
You can order them for local delivery or purchase locally.
Approximate cost per cocktail:
$5.99
Flavors available:
Six – Bourbon Old Fashioned; Fig & Cascara Manhattan; Lemon Lavender Martini; Elderflower Martinez; Pomegranate El Presidente; Chai White Russian
Carbonated or still:
Still
ABV:
38% except the Chai White Russian which clocks in at 17%
Overall impression:
These honestly blew me away, and not just because of their high ABV. Every drink was distinct and expertly crafted. The price point might seem high at first, but you would not be able to tell the difference between one of these and a $15 cocktail at a bar. These are made without any dilution, so stirring with ice before serving is advised.
Standout flavor:
It’s honestly hard to say. I really enjoyed all of them. If you have a go-to spirit, start with that drink.

The Campfire Cocktails

As the world locked down, The Campground (one of my favorite bars in my hometown of Kansas City) constantly innovated to keep their business afloat and their customers served. In addition to yummy take-and-bake treats like three flavors of pot pies, they also started canning some of their most popular cocktails.

Where are they made: Kansas City, Missouri
Where to buy:
At The Campground
Approximate cost per cocktail:
$11-13/can
Flavors available:
Four – Desert Paloma; Sbagliato; Sangria; Double Vodka Soda
Carbonated or still:
Carbonated
ABV:
Varies
Overall impression:
I love these. They are expertly crafted cocktails that were created and beloved from the bar and just migrated to wide pop-top style cans.
Standout flavor:
I’ve had the Desert Paloma from the bar (pictured above right) and in a can. I can honestly say that they were identical, and delicious. I love the flavor combination of Sage Mi Campo Tequila, Giffard Pamplemousse, Letherbee Besk, Rainwater Madeira, and Jarritos Taronja.

Frenchie Cocktail

Vikre Distillery frenchie canned cocktail

Last year, I got a little obsessed with the book Camp Cocktails which was written by Emily Vikre. Emily also owns a distillery on a lake that distills a variety of spirits along with one canned cocktail. They also have a beautiful cocktail bar at the distillery where you can try even more of their spirits in drinks.

Where are they made: Duluth, Minnesota at Vikre Distillery
Where to buy: You can find Frenchie in almost 200 locations across the Midwest, USA and online.
Approximate cost per cocktail:
$2.62/serving; each can contains two cocktails
Flavors available:
Frenchie is a take on a French 75 and is made with Vikre Distillery’s Boreal Juniper gin, rosé wine, rosé liqueur, and lemon juice. It is currently the only flavor, but it’s rumored that more may be on their way!
Carbonated or still:
Carbonated
ABV:
12.5%
Overall impression:
When I visited this distillery and they told me about this canned cocktail, I was a bit skeptical. Then I tasted it. It was SO delicious and inspired me to find other delicious cocktails like it.

Candid Cocktails*

Candid Cocktails was founded by a career bartender who wanted to create a balanced line of canned cocktails. With a focus on minimizing unnecessary sugar and artificial flavors, they have certainly been successful. They are made in small batches and tasted throughout to ensure a great quality beverage.

Where are they made: Denver, Colorado
Where to buy:
You can purchase these online or in select Midwestern US retailers.
Approximate cost per cocktail:
$3.87/can, which at 12oz could easily be two servings
Flavors available:
Four – Vodka, cucumber, mint, lime; Vodka, black tea, thyme, lemonade; Gin, grapefruit, mint; and Bourbon, apple juice, ginger, honey
Carbonated or still: Carbonated, except the Vodka with black tea
ABV: 8.5%
Overall impression: These are really solid and balanced cocktails. You definitely wouldn’t know that they were from a can if you were just handed a glass. The flavors were great. I would definitely buy these.
Standout flavor: My favorite was the Bourbon one. It is crisp and flavorful.

Fling Craft Cocktails by Boulevard Brewing Co.*

I couldn’t leave out another hometown favorite made by Boulevard Brewing Company. Fling Cocktails launched in April 2019 at Kauffman Stadium, where the Kansas City Royals play. Boulevard partners with a couple of local distilleries to feature their spirits in the cocktails. If you are looking for something even lighter, they also produce a hard seltzer line called Quirk.

Where are they made: Kansas City, Missouri
Where to buy:
You can find them here for local delivery, or through this Finder.
Approximate cost per cocktail:
$3.50
Flavors available:
Six – Blood Orange Vodka Soda; Margarita; Mai Tai; Rye Whiskey Mule; Mojito; and Botanical Gin and Tonic
Carbonated or still:
Carbonated
ABV:
ranges from 5-9%
Overall impression:
Before we get into tasting, I have to say that my favorite thing about these cocktails are the can designs. Whiskey Design is responsible for those. The art on each can is a real treat to read. As for the cocktails, they are nice and light (most are 100 calories) and contain a nice balance of flavors.
Standout flavor:
I would say that it’s a toss-up for me between the Mai Tai and the Botanical Gin and Tonic.

Austin Cocktails

cocktails to go austin four packs

As a female cocktail blogger, I always love supporting women-owned bars and brands. Austin Cocktails was co-founded by sisters Kelly Gasink and Jill Burns. They meticulously researched and developed the perfect agave sweetener, along with a triple sec, to keep their cocktails delicious but balanced. Each serving only has 96 calories, which is great for a cocktail.

Where are they made: Austin, Texas
Where to buy: These can be purchased online, for local delivery here, or through these retailers.
Approximate cost per cocktail: $1.74/serving; each can contains two cocktails
Flavors available: Three – Bergamot Orange Margarita; Cucumber Vodka Mojito; and Fred’s Ruby Red Cocktail
Carbonated or still: Cans are carbonated but the larger bottled cocktails are still.
ABV: 12.5%
Overall impression: These have a really nice flavor with a clean finish, no unpleasant aftertaste. They are refreshing and crisp.
Standout flavor: I really like the Bergamot Orange Margarita. It has a nice bitter flavor that compliments the blanco tequila.

Revel Tales*

Proudly made in Florida, Revel Tales is in pursuit of adventures and the stories they yield. Founded in March 2020, this company is bringing bright packaging and flavors to a koozie near you. The drinks are light and include unique flavors.

Where are they made: Winter Garden, Florida
Where to buy: You can purchase these online or in select stores in Alabama, Florida, Georgia.
Approximate cost per cocktail: $2.41
Flavors available: Three – Coconut, key lime, vodka; Pawpaw, green apple, rum; and Blueberry, lemon, whiskey
Carbonated or still: Carbonated
ABV: 5%
Overall impression: The drinks are light and refreshing. They are sweetened with monk fruit which adds no calories and the flavoring is natural. The cocktails all are less than 130 calories. If you like hard seltzers, this is the closest to go cocktail in this list to that style of drink.
Standout flavor: I liked the Coconut, key lime, vodka one the best.

Wishing you delicious adventures this spring and summer (or any time) with your new favorite cocktails to go!

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