At first, I was a wee bit skeptical, but I’ve become a complete fan of cans. They sure beat hauling around bottles of wine, cider, or big jugs of cocktails when you’re going to a game, hiking, camping, motorcycling, or hanging out at the beach. Here are five makers who hit the mark. (For more on canned beverages, read “Yes We Can.”)

  Backpack Wines

These cute, beautifully decorated 250mL cans really are perfect for purses and backpacks. The rosé, made of Pinot Blanc and Sangiovese from Washington state, offers crisp peach and strawberry flavors, with a nice tartness. Bright and thirst-quenching. The Snappy White, a Wahluke Slope blend based on Riesling, is just a touch sweet, with green apple and Asian pear. It hits the spot for cocktail hour on the veranda or by the pool. This is a delivery device for those with a sense of adventure.


Cutwater Spirits

Cutwater Spirits makes canned cocktails using its own distillates. The Moscow mule is pleasantly gingery, the gin and tonic cheekily embued with cucumber, and the vodka soda is a spritzy, seltzer-like breezy beach babe with hints of grapefruit. I loved the mild bloody Mary, which is actually pretty dang spicy—I didn’t want to add anything! Can’t beat these canned cocktails for fresh flavors, and they’re really boozy, so don’t hand them to a lightweight.


Ginger Beer from Bruce Costa

BCGA Corp from Brooklyn, N.Y., makes a line of spicy ginger ale and beers in bottles, mini bottles, and cans, with fresh ginger bits you can actually see and taste. The spicy ginger beer in can and in bottle were both zingy, bright, and zesty, with more ginger bits in the bottle. I slightly preferred the adorable 250mL can for its portability. It can easily make a couple of kick-ass Moscow mules (or one very large one).


Sway Rosé from Yes We Can

Bone-dry and comprised of 100 percent Texas High Plains grapes, including Mourvedre (32%), Carignan (32%), Muscat (15%), Viognier (10%) and Malvasia Bianca (11%), this rosé shows a peachy-strawberry hue and beautiful aromatics. It offers guava, passion fruit, and ripe strawberries on the palate with a crisp, refreshing finish. Sway Rosé pairs well with anything, from potato chips to caviar, or just a fun afternoon fishing on the lake.

Underwood from Union Wine Company

Underwood launched Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris in June of 2014, more recently adding rosé, bubbles, Riesling Radler (a slightly sweet, Riesling wine infused with hops and blended with their own grapefruit soda formula—trust me, it grows on you), and Get It Girl (sales of which benefit Planned Parenthood). The Pinot Noir in cans is exactly the same wine that goes into the screwcapped bottles. I tried them side-by-side and could discern no difference whatsoever. Both deliver a pure Oregon Pinot experience, with aromas of slightly smoky red plum and blackberries, good acid, and the pleasing persistence of perfectly picked Pinot. Good enough to pack a few in your carry-on.