It’s an exciting time for cocktail lovers on the go. From cans and bottles to cartons and bags, there are now a plethora of premixed drinks available on the market that make it easier than ever to enjoy our favorite cocktails without having to go to a bar.
The options are especially endless for whiskey lovers, with a sea of everything from Old Fashioneds and Manhattans to gold rushes and spiked lemonades hitting the market with gusto. With so many options for whiskey-based RTDs now available, the VinePair team sampled the many offerings to separate the wheat from the chaff.
Much of these RTDs are Old Fashioneds and Manhattans – the former beating the latter by a landslide, impressing our panel with natural orange essences and avant-garde depth of spirit. With so many Old Fashioneds to choose from, our final list includes the offerings, canned and bottled, that stood out from the pack and impressed the VinePair team the most.
From liquor bottles that are sure to please whiskey lovers, to crushable canned cocktails that can easily replace your weekend hard seltzers, these are the best whiskey-based RTDs to drink right now.
Old fashioned Tattersall
This very aromatic Old Fashioned delights the senses with a note of golden honey on the nose and a richness on the palate. Perfect for sipping in season, this cocktail features festive spice flavors and an edgy whiskey finish that lingers long after the last sip.
Sunday’s finest gold fashioned
Saffron sets this cocktail apart from others, giving it a bright yellow color and vibrant aroma. Best served over ice and spritzed with the citrus oil spray that accompanies the cocktail, this large-bottle Old Fashioned tastes like it was freshly mixed by a professional bartender. Expect a hint of whiskey with a touch of freshness and a hint of spice.
Old school dash fire
Don’t be fooled by its size: this mini can is packed with energizing flavors. Candied orange and aromatic bitters hit the nose, followed by a forward-thinking flavor on the palate. It is best chilled in the refrigerator and poured into an Old Fashioned glass expressed with orange oil.
Tip Top Good old-fashioned cocktails
A brand adored by the VinePair team for its mini Margarita, Tip Top’s Old Fashioned stood out from our panel for its pungent scent. With all the body and aroma we crave in the classic cocktail, this forward-thinking whiskey offering has a nice hint of spice to complement the strong flavors of bitter Angostura and orange.
Slow & Low Rock and Rye by Hochstadter
Hochstater’s has been manufacturing its whiskey RTDs since 2008, long before the recent trend emerged. The old-school brand impressed our panel with sweet notes of rock candy offset by the spiciness of aromatic bitters. Cutting-edge with hints of baking spice and orange expression, this is a whiskey lover’s RTD.
Old Fashioned Livewire Gutter Cat
Created by legendary bartender Chris Patino, this old-school riff has all the classic aromas you’d expect from the classic cocktail, followed by the welcoming tastes of cherry, apple brandy and vanilla bean. Instantly recognizable as an Old Fashioned, this variation is as inventive as it is delicious.
Party can old fashioned gold rush
With the viscous texture of a Gold Rush and the orange spice of the Old Fashioned, this cocktail is tantalizing from the first puff. Christmas aromas of pine, gingerbread and baking spices are complemented by comforting chamomile and honey. Less alcoholic than many of its competitors, this cocktail invites a second (and third) sip.
Jim Beam Citrus Highball
Dry but refreshing on the palate, this canned offering is balanced and effervescent, with a nice depth of flavor and texture. Aromas of lemon and honeysuckle are followed by a hint of oaky bourbon sweetness. And at just 5% ABV, this highball would be a great swap for seltzer water or beer.
Old Fashioned Bully Boy Distillers
Orange defines both the color and flavor of this Old Fashioned. Along with the seasonal smells of Christmas tree pine needles and caramel candy tastes, this drink has some distinctive characteristics that make it stand out while still retaining all of the classic elements that make an Old Fashioned an Old Fashioned.
Old fashioned golden rule
Another little box with big flavor, Golden Rule’s Old Fashioned is intensely fruity on the nose, with hints of candied orange and cloves. Although the cocktail is made with bourbon, it has a peppery spice reminiscent of rye whiskey. Herbal and alcoholic, this Old Fashioned is bursting with vibrant flavor and character.
Old Fashioned High West Distillery
The quality of High West whiskey shines through in this cocktail. The pre-dosed barrel-aged cocktail features both bourbon and rye, both of which show up on the palate with sweet and tangy notes, respectively. For whiskey geeks who pride themselves on the quality of the spirits in their cocktails, this is a great choice.
Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey and Lemonade
Crowd-pleasing and crushable, this RTD has a balanced sweetness on the nose. It’s sweet without being cloying, with the tartness of lemonade that pairs beautifully with the vanilla and brown sugar notes of Jack Daniel’s. The resulting drink isn’t very complex, but it would be great to have on hand for a tailgate or a fall picnic.
Fisherman’s Island Lemonade
For those new to whiskey or who prefer a sweeter profile, this boozy lemonade is a great place to start. It’s made from both whiskey and vodka, with smells of rock candy, fresh lemon and a slight hint of peppermint. Although there isn’t much whiskey flavor on the nose or palate, it’s a bright, flavorful drink that’s sure to be refreshing on hot, humid days.
Crown Royal Washington Apple
Its bright red color may make this RTD feel artificial, but on the palate it tastes like fresh apple juice with just a hint of sweetness. It benefits from the texture achieved by carbonation, creating an inviting mouthfeel. It’s by no means a cutting-edge whisky, but it’s a fun drink that’s great for sipping with friends at outdoor gatherings.