Ready-to-drink, canned cocktails are no longer rare in the United States. Though, not too long ago Cutwater Gin & Tonic was the only widely available canned gin and tonic.
Canned in 12 oz./355 mL size, the Gin and Tonic is 6.2% ABV. The ratio is 6:1, with the 1 part being Old Grove Gin and the other 6 parts being “house-made grapefruit cucumber tonic.” The hint of grapefruit borrows slightly from the grapefruit + tonic accord that makes the Finnish Long Drink an enduring crowd pleaser.
Nose: Sweet grapefruit accompanies the initial effervescence. Slightly candy at first, with hints of watermelon.
Flavor: Cucumber early, a bit of quinine mid-palate, and grapefruit and watermelon notes coming on at the finish. It’s cool and long with a touch of bitterness coming on late.
This ready-to-drink can is incredibly easy to drink, and seems almost surprising to me that it’s 6.2% ABV. It tastes deceptively mild. At the beach, it would be incredibly easy to kick back quite a few of these.
However, for the gin and tonic fan, the ratio of Cutwater Spirits Gin and Tonic has to be a little unsettling. Whereas most G&T’s top out at a 3:1 ratio of tonic to gin (and many places will go with even more gin, at a 2:1), this is 6:1. And unfortunately, it’s not surprising that you just don’t get much gin. It’s the cucumber and grapefruit tonic stealing the show.
In all fairness, this might be a product of the challenge in bottling a drink in the 12oz. can size. It’s not as if you can make a canned drink at the 3:1 ratio and have it be an assertive 12.4% ABV. You need to align with expectations, so to their credit, they’ve bottled their drink at a strength that means it can sit in a cooler and you can pick it up with the expectation that Cutwater Spirits Gin and Tonic is as strong as a can of beer.
As a picky gin critic, I want more Gin in my Gin and Tonic. However, the difficulties of canning cocktails at a reasonable ABV— the ratio is forgivable and largely in line with the RTD market as a whole.
Although I will make my G&T’s to a 2:1 ratio when I’m mixing at my home bar, for the beach and barbecue, when I’m not being a gin critic, this is absolutely perfect.