There’s something about summer’s heat-induced lethargy that encourages a slow, steady succession of drinks from lunch ‘til dinner. Beer, while favored for its no-fuss accessibility, becomes filling. Mixing cocktails is laborious; pouring vodka into a pitcher of lemonade, too uncouth. The solution: canned cocktails.
The new wave of conveniently portable (and easily concealed) libations marks a departure from the cloyingly sweet malt beverages of summers past, holding true to time-honored formulas like the Old Fashioned. Sip straight from the can or pour over ice and garnish appropriately, with ample sun and optional antics.
Cutwater Spirits Gin & Tonic
Best for lawn games and late-afternoon rounds of golf. A fine gin and tonic sipped straight from the can, but it’s even better poured over ice and topped with a squeeze of lime (or cucumber slice, or red berries). Pair it with a game of cornhole while the grill heats up. And if a G&T isn’t your jam, Cutwater also makes cans of rum and coke, rum and ginger and Bloody Marys.
Dress It Up: Pour over ice and garnish with lime, cucumber or a sliced strawberry.
Novo Fogo Caipirinha
Best for beach days. Brazil’s national cocktail, the caipirinha, is made with cachaça (a sugarcane-based spirit), sugar and lime. Novo Fogo’s canned riff is analogous to a mojito, mixed with soda for a more tolerable (though by no means insubstantial) ABV.
Dress It Up: Pour over ice and top with mint and an extra squeeze of lime.
Fishers Island Lemonade
Best for boat rides (with someone else at the helm). An adaptation of the iconic Pequot Inn bar’s signature cocktail, Fishers Island is a blend of vodka, whiskey and lemonade. It’s by no measure a low-impact drink, but it’s absurdly quaffable.
Dress It Up: Cut it with a splash of club soda and top with a sprig of mint.
Garden Party Botanicals’ Ruby
Best for poolside sipping. While technically a malt beverage, Garden Party Botanicals’ soda fancies itself a cocktail. Taking a cue from herbal tisanes, Ruby is a ginger soda infused with hibiscus and pomegranate. It’s fruity but not overwhelmingly so — and not cloyingly sweet (as malt beverages tend to be), either.
Dress It Up: Add a splash of vodka for an unconventional take on a Moscow Mule.
Slow & Low Old Fashioned
Best for landlocked lounging. Inspired by one of the oldest cocktails in the book, Slow & Low packs rye whiskey, raw honey from Pennsylvania, air-dried Florida oranges, Angostura-style bitters and a pinch of rock candy into a (literal) pocket-sized can. Sip it straight, or pour it over ice.
Dress It Up: Pour over ice and garnish with an orange twist