There is no doubt that ready to drink, pre-mixed cans of gin and tonics are the latest craze. Look anywhere and you will see distilleries hurriedly putting their own gin in pre-mixed form. But what ones are worth buying? I put all the usual suspects to the test – there are lots of new ones out there ( so many I can’t wait to try!) but they are still hard to get hold of unless buying online and paying exorbitant shipping fees which seems pointless when the cans cost so little, so I have only tested ones that can be easily bought from the supermarket at the moment.
Gin in a can is nothing new, I remember drinking Gordon’s gin and tonic cans years back at festivals and thinking it was the height of sophistication – a step up from the tins of cider! Now we are faced with a veritable feast of beverages in canned form to choose from. But which ones are worth your money? For they do not all come cheaply! I raided the local supermarket and conducted a bit of a taste test, I know, what a trooper eh?! So here are my results.
£2.75 250ml 7.3% 1.8 units
Being the booziest of the lot and packing 1.8 units, it was no suprise that this ready mixed can was my favourite. I drink my gin and tonic at a 1:3 ratio so always struggle with pre-mixed drinks. This was well balanced. Floral on the nose and slightly sweet with enough juniper coming through. The can looks really chic and very Instagrammable. You wouldn’t mind being papped on the tube with one of these in hand! The price tag is the heftiest of the lot at £2.75 for 250ml but for a treat it is worth it, and I would rather spend a little over a fiver and drink two of these than have three cans of another brand.
£2 250ml 5.5% 1.4 units
Portobello Road joined forces with Franklin and Sons mixers to create this ready to drink can. The result is crisp and really refreshing. I love a bit of bite to my g&t and this delivers. Nice aftertaste and not too sweet. The can looks fab too. I have been a long fan of Portobello Road, their London Dry gin is, for me, one of the cornerstones of classic gins. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this one.
£1.80 250ml 5% 1.3 units
This was a suprise. I had kind of knocked it out of contention in my head – as the gin snob in me came out to play. But in a blind taste test this came out in the top three as most delicious, who knew?! A real citrus hit with a moreish sweetness and bitter finish. Anyone who has drunk gin since before it became fashionable again will have a memory of their first g&t and this does take you back. At 5% it definitely tastes more balanced than some of the others and the price point is good if you are stocking up for a festival or a party.
£2.75 275ml 6.3% 1.7 units
A small batch London Dry style gin, crafted to compliment their tonics – so they claim on their website. I was initially pessimistic. Who did they think they were as a tonic brand to be jumping into the gin market? I will tell you, smart! They absolutely dominate the premium mixer market and there is a good reason for that. They have been incredibly clever with this move and I think it is going to pay off. The bottle is elegant and looks great. At 6.3% they have made the balance right for me and you get the familiar taste of their signature tonic. Really fizzy, which I loved, with floral and citrus notes. Not dry enough for me but would be the most refreshing, I think.
Adnams Copper House
£2 250ml 5% 1.3 units
The can stands out on the shelf and looks bold. The first thing I noticed was that this had a great floral fragrance. A little too herbal on the tongue and a bit flatter than I would like. It also tasted a bit weaker than the others. I loved the dry finish but the balance wasn’t quite right. The aroma and aftertaste won it points and if you like less fizz and more savoury note to your g & t this will be right up your street.
£2 250ml 6% 1.5 units
Having had this can several times before I believed I knew how my scoring of this can would go. But blind tasted amongst the others it got a little lost. The juniper was lacking for me and I didn’t get the usual Edinburgh gin flavours that I love. The can looks great and mirrors the brands image.
Tesco London Dry
£1 250ml 5% 1.3 units
With this price point it is hard to argue against it for a festival or bulk buy. It is super dry and has a slight floral taste with a pleasant aftertaste. A big shock that at that price was that it was a tastier drink than some others. The look would put me off – yes I am that vain! But with better branding I can imagine people would be happier to be seen with a can of this.
£1.80 250ml 5% 1.3 units
Really herbal with a garden fresh vibe. Their is a bitter aftertaste that I didn’t enjoy and it’s sweetness tasted too artificial. It looks great and is probably one for anyone who enjoyed the more aromatic gins. Well balanced and tasted stronger than it was.
So my top picks would be the Sipsmith and Portobello Road. But for a cheap and cheerful you can’t beat Gordon’s. I was pretty surprised at the blind tastings and it really showed me that looks can be deceptive. We all love a well presented item – or else why would distilleries pay so much for their bottle and label designs? But at the end of the day, taste does matter. We all have out own palates and the beauty of the gin market is that there is something for everyone.
Have you tried many pre-mixed cans? What have been your favourites?
This year will see a huge rise of premium gin ready to drink cans and I cannot wait to test more of them!