Aug 14, 2023

Best Whiskey Canned Cocktails For Summer Sipping

The seven best whiskey canned cocktails for summer imbibing. (Photos: Whiskey Raiders)

It’s hot. Or “too darn hot,” if you want to quote the late and great jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald. According to an article in Scientific American, July was the hottest month ever recorded on our planet.

The temperatures don’t exactly appear to be going down any time soon, and as we plod through the dog days of summer, there’s nothing that sounds more appealing than a nice, refreshing, pre-made whiskey cocktail. Because who wants to make drinks — much less do anything — in this heat? We sure don’t.

The following list comprises the best canned whiskey cocktails for easy summertime sipping.

This canned cocktail line is the brainchild of career bartender Aaron Polsky. Polsky’s aim for Livewire was to offer highly skilled bartenders a platform to reach their fans from all around the world. Essentially, Livewire is like a record label, and each expression is handcrafted by a bartender, so you too can sample their insanely talented, creative mixology skills. Not to mention, the labels are on point.

Golden God was created by Polsky himself. This blend of rye whiskey, brandy, apricot, green tea and elderflower is liquid genius at its finest, and the final product clocks in at 7.5% ABV. Incredibly light on its feet and lifted from the elderflower, Golden God tastes like a sparkly, sophisticated and summery iced tea with some sherried aromas from the brandy and plenty of herbaceous spice from the rye whiskey.

If you’re a fan of higher-end cocktails and want something that tastes like it would belong in a sexy rooftop hotel bar to-go, Golden God is the quintessential canned cocktail to snag for the summer. Livewire’s Golden God is priced at a hefty $56 for an eight-pack, making it a bit of a splurge. But for a canned cocktail with class? We get it.

Seriously, it tasted so good — our tasting notes were riddled with expletives.

Do not let that cute label fool you — Golden Rule’s Old Fashioned clocks in at a hefty 79 proof, and this itty-bitty yellow canned Old Fashioned packs one heck of an alcoholic punch! The Golden Rule Old Fashioned is liquid proof that dynamite indeed comes in small packages.

The brand was founded by two cousins who grew up in the restaurant world in New England. Golden Rule prides itself on crafting quality cocktails that conjure up nostalgia. The Golden Rule Old Fashioned is made with straight bourbon whiskey, aromatic bitters, natural orange and cane sugar, according to the brand.

Serious cocktails have their place in the summertime, too, and Golden Rule’s Old Fashioned is perfect for folks who are sick of “umbrella drinks” and want something a little more substantial during the warmer months. Spicy, weighty and cerebral with plenty of tobacco qualities, Golden Rule’s Old Fashioned makes us want to hide out in a cool, air-conditioned library somewhere with a good, leather-bound book. A four-pack of these to-go-sized Old Fashioneds hosts a suggested retail price of $20.

If boozy, spirit-forward and sophisticated drinks are your thing, Golden Rule’s Old Fashioned might just be the canned cocktail you’re looking for.

Clocking in at 5% ABV, Fishers Island Lemonade Fizz is a trip to childhood lemonade stands in grown-up form.

The brand was launched on Memorial Day weekend in 2014 by Bronya Shillo. The recipe was inspired by the signature house cocktail served at Shillo’s family-owned and -operated inn on Fishers Island, New York.

Fishers Island Lemonade Fizz is composed of an equal mixture of barrel-aged whiskey and corn-based vodka, intermingled with natural lemon juice. This fun fizz is also gluten-free, so everyone can crack open a can for some refreshing summer sipping. White Claw enthusiasts or hard seltzer lovers who want to branch out and enter the canned whiskey cocktail game will fall hard for this refreshing, whiskey-and-vodka-spiked carbonated lemonade.

Out of all the canned whiskey cocktails in the lineup we’ve chosen, Fisher’s Island Lemonade Fizz is perhaps the most casual and fuss-free of the bunch. Two four-packs of these 355-milliliter cans starts at $29.99. This drink is pool-party-friendly and tastes like an endless summer.

Tip Top Proper’s Manhattan is the quintessential canned cocktail for folks who want to add a bit of class to their summer imbibing. This mini can of rye whiskey, vermouth and bitters is beautifully balanced. Tip Top’s travel-sized Manhattan has plenty of dark, herbaceous qualities from the interplay between the rye whiskey and bitters.

The Tip Top brand was founded by music industry veterans who operated some of the largest music festivals in the U.S. The team noticed the demand for craft cocktails and the difficulty in producing quality cocktails on a consistent basis. With the help of world-class bartender and James Beard finalist Miles Macquarrie, Tip Top was born.

The brand has a variety of mini, purse-sized expressions ranging from Jungle Birds to Martinis and even Daiquiris. An eight-pack of this elegant and peppery riff on a Manhattan will cost $39.99, but the brand offers subscriptions for die-hard fans. If you’re never the type to pass up on a classic cocktail and are always on the go, consider giving Tip Top Proper Cocktails’ Manhattan a try.

Nothing is quite as refreshing as a highball in the summer. With the perfect amount of whiskey and carbonation, highball cocktails are proof that there is beauty in simplicity.

These classic drinks made from an ounce — or two depending on how you roll — of spirit and carbonated beverage served over ice date back to the late 19th century. According to Wine Enthusiast, the first highball drinks emerged during the days of the railroad, and the term “highball” referred to a “railroad signal for the train to proceed at full speed,” according to Merriam-Webster. Regardless of this classic cocktail’s origin story, the Jim Beam Ginger Highball screams “summer.” With all that warm, honeyed bourbon and a spicy yet refreshing kick from the ginger beer, the Jim Beam Ginger Highball is a great canned warm-weather sipper.

This no-fuss blend of bourbon and ginger ale is straight-up delicious, with the perfect amount of thirst-quenching sparkle from the carbonation. Jim Beam’s Ginger Highball is also affordable and has a suggested retail price of $10 for a four-pack.

Do you have a bit of a sweet tooth? If so, look no further than Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey and Lemonade.

This canned, slightly effervescent concoction of lemonade, Jack and honey experienced a small regional launch in 2020. After quite a bit of success, the brand expanded and can now be found pretty much everywhere. Jack Daniel’s offers three expressions: Apple Fizz, Cola and Lemonade.

Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey and Lemonade is one of the lighter offerings of Jack Daniel’s canned cocktail line, yet it still clocks in at a solid 7% ABV. The suggested retail price of these cans of liquid sunshine is $13 for a four-pack of 12 oz cans.

With a noticeable, distinctively honeyed quality, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey and Lemonade is a cheery, dressed-down and informal cocktail in a can for folks who love a really good Gold Rush yet basically want the Netflix-and-chill, sweatpants version of that.

Vintage soda lovers and bourbon enthusiasts have found their dream combination with Cardinal Spirits Bourbon Cream Soda.

Based out of Indiana, Cardinal Spirits is a craft distillery that not only makes whiskey but makes vodkas, gins, rums and canned cocktails as well. The distillery claims it uses authentic botanicals, fruits and spices and no extracts or flavorings are allowed in its products. A four-pack of Cardinal’s Bourbon Cream Soda can be purchased off the company’s website for $14.

Cardinal Spirits Bourbon Cream Soda Cocktail tastes like authentic liquid nostalgia. With a distinctly vintage vibe from the vanilla cream soda, and a spicy — yet warm and huggable — kick from the bourbon, this 8.5%-ABV cocktail in a can is dangerously drinkable. There’s plenty of creamy, marshmallowy vanilla goodness here and a warm buttery throughline from the bourbon. Consider it a truly comforting cocktail in a can.

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Cynthia Mersten is a writer/editor for Whiskey Raiders and has worked in the Beverage Industry for eight years. She started her career in wine and spirits distribution and sold brands like Four Roses, High West and Compass Box to a variety of bars and restaurants in the city she calls home: Los Angeles. Cynthia is a lover of all things related to wine, spirits and story and holds a BA from UCLA’s School of Theatre, Film and Television. Besides writing, her favorite pastimes are photography and watching movies with her husband.