We wouldn’t blame you for giving canned cocktails the side-eye. Little can replace a well crafted cocktail made by a skilled bartender at one of your favorite local bars, and while the canned cocktail scene is rapidly growing in popularity, there are still improvements to be made.
But the pandemic has caused many of us to move our cocktail drinking outside or at home, and if you can’t make it to a bar, canned cocktails might be the next best thing. Luckily, there are some stellar options that still allow imbibers to support local businesses. A handful of Massachusetts distilleries and restaurants are making excellent negronis, spritzes, mimosas, vodka sodas, and other libations in a can, all ready to be cracked open and enjoyed at your next barbecue or backyard hang.
Check out the canned cocktail options below for easy spring and summer sipping.
Boston’s Bully Boy Distillers has already nailed a couple of canned cocktails, including its sessionable Amaro Spritz and the recently relaunched Grapefruit Spritz. In early May, the distillery launched a new Italian Iced Tea, which is currently available at its outdoor garden (and rolling out nationwide later this month). The cocktail combines Bully Boy Amaro with cold-steeped black tea and orange flavors, resulting in an ultra-refreshing sipper.
Salem distillery Deacon Giles has crafted a playful line of Speakeasy Cocktails, including the G&T AF, the Splash O’Cran, and the fall/winter seasonal Wicked Stahmy, Kehd. But its latest drink has a decidedly more tropical spin. On Memorial Day weekend, the distillery will launch a canned Mai Tai, made with Liquid Damnation Rum (Deacon Giles’s white rum); natural lime, almond, and orange extracts; cane sugar; and lime and orange purée. To truly channel beach vibes, pour it in a glass and top with a colorful umbrella.
Family-owned Fabrizia Spirits may be best known for its limoncello line, but the Salem-based company delved into the world of canned cocktails, too. One great place to start: its Italian Style Lemonade, which showcases Fabrizia limoncello, freshly squeezed lemons, and vodka.
Though Mahaniyom opened just before the pandemic, the Thai restaurant in Brookline was quick to adjust by offering a streamlined takeout menu that includes a couple of canned cocktails. One of the drinks, the Mali Negroni, is a welcome addition to the local canned cocktail scene. Made with Nikka Coffey Gin, Avèze liqueur, vermouth, orange bitters, and jasmine, it goes well with pretty much everything on Mahaniyom’s menu — though we highly recommend the salt-and-pepper pork cheek and green papaya pad thai.
Cambridge-based Ohza was founded in 2019 after owner Ryan Ayotte tried mixing up mimosas on a boat in Cape Cod. To make the whole process less messy, Ayotte launched Ozha, which offers brunch-worthy cocktails in a can. The line includes classic, mango, and cranberry mimosas, plus a classic Bellini made with real peach juice.
Light, refreshing, and fruity without being cloyingly sweet, the vodka soda line from Rockland-based Spiritfruit tastes like a spiked seltzer. In addition to vodka, the canned cocktails use real fruit and carbonated water. They’re currently available in four flavors: clementine, blackberry, grapefruit, and cranberry lime.
In early 2021, Yellow Door Taqueria launched a selection of canned cocktails to-go, available at both its Dorchester and South End locations. For those looking for a bit of heat, the Spicy Paloma is a shoo-in, featuring tequila blanco, rosemary-infused mezcal, jalapeño, lime juice, and Fever Tree sparkling pink grapefruit tonic. But if you’re looking to try their whole selection, Yellow Door now offers its canned cocktails in a mix and match four pack to go, with drinks like strawberry and kiwi tequila seltzer, Spicy Mango Drank, and both the Yellow Door Paloma and Spicy Paloma.
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