Over the last few years there has been a phenomenal boom in the canned cocktail business. What once was a laughed at drink option (anyone remember 2 litre Growers cider?) is now serious business, and it seems everyone wants in on the game.
But with so many options to choose from now, how can you be sure that you’re buying something that’s worth drinking and not ending up with a sugary nightmare? That’s where we come in. We’ve taste tested dozens of BC made ready to drink cocktails to curate a list that should satisfy all your drinking needs. All of our tops are BC made and readily available in most areas.
Note: while yes, White Claw is technically BC based, we’re not including it. Why? Because you don’t need a list to tell you to drink White Claw, if you’re into canned cocktails you likely already know if you like White Claw or not.
We’re starting with our favourite option on this list. If you read no further, know that you’re in good hands with Straight and Narrow. Made on Vancouver Island, the cocktails contain handcrafted gin and natural ingredients sourced in BC like rosemary sourced from Ravenhill Herb Farm or Fraser Valley rhubarb. There are currently four flavours: Pear Rhubarb, Lemon Lavender, Grapefruit Rosemary and Peach Elderflower. You can also get a variety pack to sample each flavour.
The name behind this brand is actually Parallel 49, and they’ve been in the beer business for a long time so they know a thing or two about balancing flavours with drinkability. These are probably the sweetest options on the list but just ride that line of being sweet but not too sweet. There are four flavours to choose from: Mango, Cherry/Lime, Pineapple and Passionfruit.
One of the newest options on the market, Opus has two current offerings a Gin & Tonic and an Apertivo Spritz (think aperol spritz). Now while that may not sound exciting, they’ve made the smart decision to make both with a non-alcoholic option as well. They also use handcrafted bitters and tinctures made with real spices and herbs, along with all-natural flavours and 100% plant-based flavours extracted from real fruits.
Part of the problem many read to drink cocktails have is that they can come off tasting far too sugary or artificial. Well Wize eliminates that problem by being sugar-free. They also offer some truly nostalgic flavours like Orange Creamsicle, Vanilla Cola, Root Beer and Cream Soda. They get points just for offering something different in this crowded market, and it helps that they taste good and are only 100 calories to boot.
If you’re tired of all the duplicated vodka soda flavours on store shelves, then you may want to give SouthSide a try. This Smithers-based company has attempted to give drinkers something different with flavours like Huckleberry, Maple, Cranberry, Lemon and Spruce Bud. This is another sugar free option, that doesn’t sacrifice on taste. The spruce bud and lemon are particular stand-outs.
And finally yes, Nude makes the list. At this point, most everyone should be familiar with the Nude brand, they managed to fill the void left by White Claw before they started selling in Canada. While Nude may be the de facto Vancouver based brand, it still deserves the love it receives. Is it the best tasting option on this list? No, but it still has a decent flavour, and is completely acceptable to bring to the beach. They have expanded into a number of flavours that now include a Vodka Soda, Gin Soda, Hard Iced Tea and Tequila Soda.