From the classy and classic Martini and Old Fashioned, through to a Pina Colada and Mojito, nothing beats a perfectly mixed cocktail. So when our editor challenged me to review cocktails in cans, I must admit I was pretty hesitant, my experiences to date had basically started and ended at a cheeky G&T on a plane or train. But never let it be said that I back down from a challenge, and so it was last Friday that I found myself in Asda staring at a wall of brightly coloured cans and hoping that some (any) would be remotely palatable.
My Cocktail Strawberry Daiquiri (£1, 4% ABV) – by far the best tasting drink we sampled – jam-packed with sweet strawberry juice and a smooth finish. We’re not exactly convinced this is anything remotely like a daiquiri but we could certainly see ourselves enjoying a few whilst picnicking in the park this Easter.
Captain Morgan’s White Rum Mojito (£1.87, 5% ABV) – with a good balance of sweetness and a hint of mint, this tasted the closest to the real deal of all the drinks we tried. Serve super-chilled over ice, preferably with a plastic monkey dangling from the glass.
Gordon’s and Schweppes Gin and Tonic (£1.80, 5% ABV) – a good taste of gin and citrus but let down by a distinct lack of fizz. A shame as this could have been quite nice with a few bubbles.
Authentic Cocktail Woo Woo and On the Beach (£1 each, 4% ABV) – two truly terrible drinks that should be nowhere near the words “authentic” or “cocktail”. Everything about these tasted synthetic and saccharine. Reader, they were so bad we couldn’t finish them and wouldn’t even use them to clean pennies.
My Cocktail Pina Colada (£1, 4% ABV) – if you like Pina Coladas and walks in the rain, avoid this like the plague. Smells like you left an open can of pineapple chunks in the fridge for a month and then added coconut water. Cocktails shouldn’t be chewy.
Crooked Beverage Co Alcoholic Soda Dayglo Skies (£2, 4.7% ABV) – Not a cocktail but an alcoholic soda. With a good fruit flavour, decent amount of fizz and a hint of malt, this reminded me of the short-lived 90s “Refresher” alcopop, based on the classic children’s sweets. We’re not really sure what to make of it other than we would definitely buy these again.
Baileys Iced Coffee Mocha (£1.87, 4% ABV) – as long as you concentrate on the “coffee” part of the equation, this is quite a nice drink. If you’re expecting any flavour of the famous Irish Cream liqueur, you may be left disappointed.
Whilst we discovered that you can get a decent drink in a can, not one matched up to the complex, layered flavours of a well-mixed cocktail. Yet with cocktails costing upwards of £7 a drink, and using premium spirits, syrups and botanicals, there is no way I expected them to. The good news is, with most of these costing under £2 you can afford to experiment a little.