Ready-to-drink (RTD) cocktails and mocktails have been on the rise in the spirits industry for years now. Originally distrusted because of cheap ingredients and high sugar content, new brands have paved the way for exponential growth and new opportunities with better ingredients and a more unique take on what a ready-to-drink cocktail can be.
Now, almost every major spirits brand is making a hard seltzer. These innovative cocktails are filling the gaps of a booming global market — one that’s estimated to reach $13.4 billion by 2028, according to Grand View Research.
The sector saw increased growth in the wake of COVID-19. With many bars and clubs closed amid the pandemic, high quality, convenient spirits and cocktails became more in demand than ever. Now, as the world begins to move back toward normalcy and enter the summer season, we will see the strength of new brands in the ready-to-drink market as they continue to gain popularity among consumers.
Read on to explore some of the best canned ready-to-drink brands, from reimagined moonshine to a legendary Finnish drink, and the stories and entrepreneurs behind them.
1. Sip Shine
Moonshine has a connotation outside the south as a very hard, high-proof drink. After a family vacation to East Tennessee, the creators of Sip Shine set out to change this, so they made a ready-to-drink flavored moonshine. The small, privately held company has embraced social media to its fullest extent; their managing partner, Kyle Search, is on TikTok dueting with fans of the drink and more. Look out for him on social channels and check out their recipes for Shinetails, classic cocktails with flavors that include Shineberry Sweet Tea, Arnold Shiner, and Razz-berry Shineade. They’re currently hiring an Outside Sales Representative in Colorado.
2. HOP WTR
The creators of HOP WTR did what anyone would do when faced with a market that did not have what they wanted: they made their own product. Nick Taranto and Jordan Bass created HOP WTR to be the healthy alternative to beer with no alcohol. HOP WTR is essentially a combination of a few things: sparkling water infused with hops to give it that IPA flavor, adaptogens, and nootropics. This proprietary mixture of adaptogens and nootropics is an alcohol replacement that will give you that stress-free feeling. All this helps to build a drink that has no calories, alcohol, sugar, or gluten. It was made for people like the creators who said they want to “enjoy a few beers” without the “hangovers or Dad bods.” They’re currently hiring an Area Sales Manager in Los Angeles.
3. Ranch Rider Spirits
No. 2 on Drizly’s Top-Selling RTD Brands in 2020, Ranch Rider Spirits makes tequila-based ready-to-drink beverages that are perfect for summer. Ranch Rider Spirits has a unique origin story. The founders Quentin Cantu and Brian Murphy responded to the lack of choices on their Texas college campus by raising funds to provide a healthy alternative to the other main food options: their food truck Ranch Hands. And, like their food truck, Cantu and Murphy looked to find a cocktail offering to suit their business. When they couldn’t find it, they made it. Currently, Ranch Rider is only available in select states but is expanding quickly. Check out their Instagram for their particularly wonderful brand of humor and to discover where they will be available next. Interested in joining their team? They’re hiring.
4. The Finnish Long Drink
While not a new beverage by any means, the Finnish Long Drink is now available in the United States. Based on the legendary 1952 Summer Olympics drink, this gin-based, ready-to-drink beverage is now widely available in the U.S. in part because of the actor Miles Teller, who helped the brand reach national distribution. True to the beverage’s roots, the drink is crafted with traditions in mind. Everything goes back to the 1952 Summer Olympics and Finnish culture. This includes the charity event they ran on Instagram called Pantsdrunk, where followers were encouraged to take a ‘Pantsdrunk’ photo, post it, and tag them. The owners also took part.