The Best Bottled and Ready To Drink Cocktails
The bottled cocktail market has become a big subcategory of the booming ready to drink market.
As ever, a trend that started in the USA has slowly filtered over to the UK (drinks entrepreneurs take note) and is now booming.
Let’s face it, premixed cocktails, were for a long time, dreadful.
As basic an affair as you could possibly imagine, using terrible base products to recreate some of the worlds most unpopular cocktails like the Woo Woo.
Thankfully the independent craft crew have now got involved.
We are now awash with beautiful ready to drink bottled cocktails, that use premium ingredient’s, advanced technique and taste incredible.
The trend of bottled cocktails and RTD’s taking the same trajectory of craft beers is upon us. Stylish artwork and brands, crazy flavour combinations and a consumer desire to try new things.
The questions is – how far can this trend for RTDs and bottled cocktails go?
Time will tell.
The trend has been accelerated somewhat by the global pandemic, with hospitality businesses looking to pivot and claw back some revenue in any which way they can.
Top venues and new brands dominating the bottled cocktail and ready to drink market and bringing us, the consumer, incredible choice and extremely well made, bar quality drinks that we can enjoy at home.
So without further ado, we have picked 10 of our absolute fave bottled and ready to drink cocktails.
The team at Liquid Intellect, a drinks consultancy led by two industry kingpins, Charles Roche and Eleanor Holcroft, brought their exquisite bottled cocktail range to market before the pandemic hit.
With their range including the Banana Bread Manhattan, Cookie Dough Old Fashioned and the Jam Doughnut Old Fashioned, what you get is a uniquely flavoured product.
What’s more, they are made by hand in the teams cocktail laboratory (yep it’s an actual lab) and they use their immense cocktail craft to create beautiful cocktails.
Mac & Wild
Mac and Wild has been hugely popular on the London restaurant scene since its launched in 2015 and its success since then has been phenomenal.
With a string of venues under its belt, the team used their considerable abilities during the hospitality shutdown to launch a bottled cocktail range.
The bottles are a beautiful object in themselves with understated labelling and wax bottled tops. The best bit though is the cocktails, as you would expect, heavily influenced by Scotland.
One of the biggest names in world cocktail culture also happens to have his own bottled cocktail range.
And as expected it’s exceptional.
The cocktails are well thought out, innovative and really tasty. Which is no surprise as Mr Lyan has worldwide acclaim for serious innovation in our industry.
Our favourites are the Rainy Day Spritz – an awesome blend of raspberry eau de vie, vermouth and rhubarb liqueur (as good on its own as it is with soda or prosecco – or both!) and the Bonfire Old Fashioned that gives the classic an overhaul with cola bitters, lapsang tea and Mr Lyan Whiskey.
If you want authentic cocktails then this Italian brand of ready to drink bottled cocktails might be for you. They create premium Italian cocktails which are made in their homeland. The aperitivo and its stable of cocktails have become widely popular in the last decade with the Negroni in particular featuring in the worlds top cocktail lists permanently.
Primo Apertivo has been created by an exceptional pedigree of drinks industry professionals, italian-born mixologists Danilo Tersigni, Filippo Previero and the founder of the Rome Bar Show Andrea Fofi.
The available cocktails are of course, all of Italian origin, with a classic Negroni, Americano and the Sbagliato. Made using the best ingredients the guys can get their hands on these are a super premium cocktail experience available in 50cl bottles.
The Handmade Cocktail Company
Carrying on with the classic cocktail flex next up we have The Handmade Cocktail Company. What we like about these guys is they have not tried to reinvent the wheel, not everyone wants a complex twist on the original or something that’s come out of a lab…occasionally a well made Gin Martini or Old Fashioned hits the spot just right.
Their range also includes a Vesper Martini (exceptional), Rob Roy, Hanky Panky and Manhattan cocktails among others. All made with top-notch ingredients this is the go-to if you want to explore classic and prohibition cocktails.
The Cocktail Trading Co
These are bound to be good. One of London’s top bar entered the fray earlier this year as a result of the pandemic and have created a delish range of unusual bottled cocktails.
The Brick Lane bar is highly regarded as is their bar team – the head honchos Elliot Ball, Andy Mills and Olly Brading know a thing or two about creating cocktails and have won a string of awards for their craft.
Right, so you’re thinking the drinks are bound to be good and you’d be right. The range is mainly made of bespoke creations including the delicious Ain’t No-Jito which is a reworking of the classic with aged rum, mint tea blend, clarified lime and sugars all fizzed up to the 9’s. If you want something you can’t find anywhere else then look no further.
Bottled cocktails for the serious aficionado, Tayer is one of the capitals top bars and they are again pushing boundaries with their ready to drink cocktail range.
These drinks are for the highbrow, those that love complex flavours, chefs and mixologists. Cocktails include the Sandalwood Martini, Bergamot Margarita and a Vetiver Negroni (you see what we were saying)
Also, big mention to Tayers branding and bottles which have been exceptionally designed. This alongside the intriguing liquid gives us a beautifully curated cocktail range.
Another brand that’s breaks the cool barometer.
The cans look awesome, with bespoke illustrations on a spectrum of pastel colours. Super pretty.
Liquid wise we are not over-complicating anything here, they have opted for well-known cocktails made really well.
Moscow Mule, Paloma and Tom Collins is the order of the day with Vacay but why not offer premiumisation of really well-known cocktails in a can?
Ace + Freak
The brand that takes its liquid super seriously and one which has worked tirelessly to perfect every drop in each can. With its roots in East London, the team at A+F was one of the first independents to enter the RTD market and they have a strong connection between great drinks and great music (you might have seen them popping up at a number of festivals over the last few years.)
With cocktails built for summer, the range includes Ginger & Lemongrass Mule, Mint & Elderflower Fizz and a Blood Orange & Cranberry Americano. They are all delicious.