Ready to Drink - RTD Cocktails

Alcohol in a can has been around for nearly 87 years. It was the Gottfried Krueger Brewing Company that introduced the world to Ready-to-Drink adult beverages when it sold the first canned beer in Richmond, Virginia on January 24, 1935. Canned alcoholic drinks are typically associated with beer and malted beverages but in the last few years the Ready-to-Drink cocktail made with distilled spirits has started to come into its own.

Time to Raise a Can!

And as we head into summer the canned cocktails will be popping all over the United States as people dive into outdoor activities such as picnics, camping and boating. No lugging around bottles of spirits, mixers, fresh fruit, knives, and shakers. None of that. These babies are ready to go straight from the fridge or cooler.

The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) reports that last year the spirits based RTD and pre-mixed cocktail category grew an astounding 56% from 23.5 million cases sold in 2020 to 36.6 million in 2021.

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The pandemic accelerated the growth of these spirits-based products as adult consumers looked to recreate the cocktail experience at home with convenient, pre-mixed cocktails made with premium spirits, fresh ingredients, and low alcohol by volume options.

“With so many diverse, fresh flavors and spirits to choose from, spirits-based RTDs make for a perfect summer sipper to toast the Fourth of July,” said Chris Swonger, president and CEO of DISCUS who noted that spirits-based RTDs often contain the same amount of alcohol as malt or wine-based RTDs. “Spirits-based RTDs allow consumers to enjoy a refreshing cocktail that is also convenient for outdoor activities, including at the beach, poolside or during backyard BBQs.”

Swonger urged adults who are planning to socialize with family and friends over cocktails this holiday weekend to do so responsibly.

“For all those who will raise a toast to our country and celebrate together, please drink in moderation and never drive impaired.”

DISCUS - Distilled Spirit Council of the United States - April is Alcohol Awareness Month
Each beverage portrayed above represents one standard drink (or one alcoholic drink equivalent), defined in the United States as any beverage containing 0.6 fl oz or 14 grams of pure alcohol. The percentage of pure alcohol, expressed here as alcohol by volume (alc/vol), varies within and across beverage types. Although the standard drink amounts are helpful for following health guidelines, they may not reflect customary serving sizes.

An important part of responsible drinking is understanding the standard drink equivalent established in the Dietary Guidelines For Americans, 2020-2025, which states that regular beer (12 oz.), distilled spirits (1.5 oz. of 80-proof spirits) and wine (5 oz.) each contains the same amount of alcohol.

View all U.S Distilleries.

Time to Open Up to Cans

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