Canned cocktails at home
We’re well past the Mad Men days when having a child above the age of six meant having your own personal home bartender to mix up simple drinks. But that doesn’t mean we’re past the days of enjoying a cocktail at home without having to do any stirring or shaking. Enter the at-home canned cocktail.
We’re living in the golden age of canned cocktails. This is the era when a libation poured from an aluminum can has the ability to match the flavors you’d find in a cocktail mixed up at your neighborhood bar. That means two things from the cocktail lover’s perspective: hosting a cocktail party is that much easier, and wearing pants is no longer required when you want to have a relaxing, after-work cocktail in the comfort of your own home.
For the latter reason, the draw is obvious. Especially for people who prefer the taste of cocktails over beer or wine, yet favor the ease of something that’s ready to drink. It can be a lot to get yourself ready and then travel to a cocktail bar and pay handsomely for the drink you desire. Buying all of the bottles needed to make a good cocktail at home can also be a hassle — particularly when you’re on a budget and staring down that $84 bottle that you need just a single dash of for your drink.
Canned cocktails make for the ultimate house party drink
One of the biggest draws for canned cocktails at home, though, is that it’s always easy to satisfy guests. We all have that friend (or friend of a friend) who shows up to a gathering, sees a fridge full of beer, and then insists that they only drink cocktails.
Sure, you could take yourself away from the group to spend 10 minutes working on a cocktail. But what fun is that? Time is a valuable thing, and no one wants to watch it fly by while swinging a cocktail shaker back and forth every time a guest gets thirsty. Batched cocktails are great, but only when you’ve had the proper amount of time to prepare. Not to mention the cleanup involved from all the stirring and citrus squeezing.
That said, there is one thing canned cocktails can’t replace for anyone who does know how to mix up their own cocktails at home: A fancy bar cart that really brings the room together. Canned cocktails aren’t here to do that. In fact, they’re here to enhance that bar cart. If there’s one thing that is universally true about hosting a cocktail party, it’s that you never know when someone is going to ask for something chilled, simple, and completely out of the range of your capabilities based on the spirits and mixers you have available.
By now you probably don’t need more convincing that a good selection of canned cocktails is an invaluable addition to a cocktail party host’s drinks arsenal. If you do, just wait until you’re the one doing the hosting.
The best types of canned cocktails to keep at home
The number one rule for stocking up on canned cocktails is to pick a canned cocktail style that is loved by just about everyone. No small task, we know. It’s hard to find someone who doesn’t enjoy the crisp taste and bold ginger of a good mule cocktail, though. Which brings us to the second rule: variety is king.
So yes, grab that canned old fashioned or caipirinha for your picky friends. Then stock up on a mule for every type of person. There are canned Moscow mules for the classics lovers and Kentucky mules for bourbon drinkers. A Mexican mule will satisfy those who prefer tequila, while a tropical mule made with rum brings the beach vacation vibes. And who could forget an all-American mule made with spicy cinnamon and whiskey, which will warm the party up real fast.
All this is to say that canned cocktails at home make life easier and more enjoyable, whether you’re the type of person who throws regular cocktail parties or you’re the person who wants to relax with a cocktail without any of the inconvenience of making said cocktail yourself. All that’s left to do now is stock up.
Nickolaus Hines is a Denver-based freelance writer who covers drinks, food, and travel. You can follow his work on Twitter and Instagram.