July 25, 2018

Canned Drinks for Summer

Summer Canned DrinksAs we round the corner of summer into August there are still plenty of picnic and boating days ahead. Remember the days of trying to pack that bottle of wine in your beach bag by carefully wrapping it in your towel to avoid breakage? Well, no more my friend. Canned wines, meads, cocktails, and ciders have come of age and you are no longer relegated to a can of Miller Light at the pool. Canned drinks are here to solve your summer travel needs.

At first wine in a can seemed like a bad idea, or at the very least not very sophisticated. However, there are many advantages to canned wines and beverages including:

  • Portability – Easy to carry cans which are generally lighter.
  • Durability – doesn’t break like glass.
  • Less waste – Smaller portion sizes lead to less waste.
  • Portion control – We need that right? A bottle of wine is 750 ML, while most cans are 350 ML or half a bottle of wine.

Here are a few suggestions to fill your cooler.

The Best Summer Canned Drinks


House Wine | Canned WineHouse Wines Rose – 12.5% alcohol by volume – $5.99

Tasting Notes: Pale salmon in color, this is an aromatic rosé with notes of strawberry, peach, and jasmine. Light, very sweet.

Rating: 2. This was just too sweet for me and not very full-bodied.

Underwood Bubbles – 11 % alcohol by volume – $6.49

Tasting Notes: Slightly sweet but not overwhelming. Good acidity, strong apple and citrus and the bubbles are subtler than bottled sparkling wines, very refreshing.

Rating: 4. I really love bubbles, so this was a home run for me. Take your time with the can though – most people don’t drink a half bottle of bubbles in one sitting.


Underwood Radler | Canned DrinksYou may have heard of summer shandy, but have you had a radler? What’s the difference?

The shandy is made by mixing beer (normally a blond lager) with lemonade, or even lemon-lime soda. A radler—which means cyclist in German—is a similar citrus and beer concoction, but can also include other fruit juices, like grapefruit. I have found two radlers that should make it into your picnic cooler.

Underwood Riesling Radler – 3% alcohol by volume – $4.99/can

Tasting Notes:

Comprised of Oregon riesling, hops, malt and grapefruit.

Rating: 3. A little sweet for me. It is more like soda water with fruit than wine, but perfect for a hot Summer day.

Stiegel Radler – 2% alcohol by volume – $2-$3/canStiegl Radler | Canned Drinks

Tasting Notes: Aroma is sweet and fruity. It smells like grapefruit and lemonade blend is 60 percent soda and 40 percent beer.

Rating: 4. 180 calories per can, which I love and low alcohol. I have been known to mix with other cocktail mixes.


Mead, also called honey wine, is the oldest alcoholic drink known to man. It is made from honey and water via fermentation with yeast and is hitting the scene in the last few years with the proliferation of Cider companies.

Nectar Creek Cluster Cranberry & Strawberry session mead – 5.1% alcohol by volume – $2.50/can

Tasting Notes: Smells great. Light pink color, nicely carbonated. berry and a hint of honey. Taste is a bit floral at first, moving into an interesting blend of cranberry and strawberry. Finishes on the dry side of semi-sweet.

Rating: 3.5. At 150 calories a can, the all-natural ingredients water, honey, berries and being gluten free make this a good option.

Nectar Creek Ginger mead – 6.2% alcohol by volume – $2.50/can

Tasting Notes: Dry, very ginger forward.

Rating 4. It’s carbonated, it’s dry and it’s oh so delicious. I love this new take on mead. Very gingery, could sub for ginger ale in a Moscow mule.Uncle John's Canned Hard Cider


Uncle Johns Blueberry Apple Hard Cider – 6.2% alcohol by volume – $2.50/can

Tasting Notes: Michigan cidery. Refreshing, real blueberry flavor.

Rating: 4. It’s gluten free, and I really like cider and adding blueberries to cider is perfect.

Sociable Cider – 6.4% alcohol by volume – $2.50/can

Tasting Notes: Freewheeler blends the Midwest’s finest freshly pressed apples with a touch of lightly hopped cane sorghum. The result is bright acidity and more effervescence than most cider.

Rating: 5. This is my go-to cider. It’s like the champagne of ciders. Dry, perfect on ice, and one of the great canned drinks for summer.


Juice Bar Cocktails – 4.7% alcohol by volume – $2.50/canSociable Ciderwerks Canned Cider

Tasting Notes: These are malt beverage-based and combine fruits, vegetables and herbs into a cocktail blend. Flavors like Carrot Aloe Mango and Pineapple Lime with Cilantro.

Rating: 2. I love the idea of “clean and green” cocktails with all-natural ingredients like you’ll find at your local smoothie or juice bar – I just didn’t love the taste.

Joia Cocktails Cosmopolitan – 6.7% alcohol by Volume – $3.50/can

Tasting Notes: Refreshing lime. Just the right amount of crisp.

Rating: 5. Minnesota made. I love the convenience of these and always have them on hand. They are fresh, perfectly sweet and I squeeze extra lime.