Summer’s Best (and Newest) Ready-to-Drink Cocktails and Seltzers

Ideal for park or porch sipping, these coolers and cocktails are perfect for the dog days of summer.

With the Vancouver Park Board’s relaunch of the alcohol in parks summer pilot and the weather finally feeling, well, summery, we thought it was the perfect time to take a look at all the drinkable newbies that have hit our shelves recently. These are kinds of drinks that are packable, park-able and dare we say, actually flavourful.

As much as these would taste wonderful under the sun on, say, a beach—the park board has some big ol’ restrictions on where you can and can’t drink. So, we would never suggest that you should take these down to the shore—no matter how well might they pair with a quick game of spike ball. Not that we’d know.

1. Swan Dive

Low cal seems to be the name of the game when it comes to canned drinks in 2022. BC-brewed Swan Dive does it right with a tea-based drink that has no added sugar but lots of flavour. Hard iced tea tends to lean super sweet, but Swan Dive flips the script with their floral sparkling teas that taste like something I might brew at home. I’m partial to the hibiscus rose rooibos, but apple berry and lavender oolong are pretty darn sippable, too. Plus the packaging is oh-so-grammable, if you’re into that kind of thing.—Dani Wright, assistant editor

Price: 12-pack averages around $25
Where to buy: Select liquor stores
More info:

2. Topo Chico

It’s finally here. Topo Chico mega-fans rejoice, the premier sparkling water (don’t @ me Perrier people) has made their own hard seltzer and it really is that good. How is this different from your go-to White Claw or Nude you ask? Topo Chico’s signature tight bubble structure and some killer flavours like strawberry guava and tropical mango take this canned drink to the Top(o) the list.—DW

Price: $30 for a 12-pack
Where to buy: Your friendly neighbourhood BCL
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3. Virtue Wholesome Lemonade

This vodka-based drink just celebrated its first birthday (read our whole review here) and it’s definitely a go-to for folks who don’t want their summer drinks full of bubbles. It’s way less sweet than a Mike’s Hard (8 grams of sugar per can, compared to 32 grams in Mike’s) and an extra-refreshing choice for a summer day. Get the neighbourhood kids a liquor license, this is the lemonade stand we need.—Alyssa Hirose, associate editor

Price: $24.99 for a 12-pack
Where to buy: Select private liquor stores
More info:

4. Please!

It just wouldn’t be Vancouver without locally-made, small-batch, bottled cocktails. Made with fresh juice and packed in glass bottles, these are not your average ready-to-drink. A fan favourite is the Third Beach—unlike any other bottled drink I’ve had before, this one is made with mango, coconut, lemon, lime, sticky rice, pandan and of course, vodka.—DW

Price: From $22 for a four-pack
Where to buy: Select private liquor stores, including Legacy LiquorDarby’s and Crosstown Liquor
More info:

5. Olé

Up until now the canned marg game has been subpar: always too sweet, never tequila-forward enough. Olé’s canned margaritas and palomas are the ideal summer drink, plus they have fun variations like a tequila sunrise and chili mango that go above-and-beyond in the flavour department. Bright, acidic and just sweet enough (the agave is subdued with a key pinch of salt), these are my go-to canned cocktail.—DW

Price: $15.99 for a four-pack
Where to buy: Your local BCL and more
More info:

6. Tee Beverages

No hate to the label designer of these tea-infused coolers, but when I drank this at a party last summer, everyone thought I was sipping on a Coors. No matter. Behind this unassuming can is a hard tea that’s ultra-delicious: flavours include lemon hibiscus, rose lychee, passionfruit tea and peach green tea. The rose lychee was my favourite, but they’re all awesome (and not carbonated—chug away). —AH

Where to buy: Select private liquor stores including Legacy Liquor StoreViti Wine and Lager and Liberty Wine Merchants
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7. Edna’s

Sometimes you want something delicious to drink, but without the nasty next day hangover. Edna’s zero-proof cocktails actually taste like the cocktail they’re replicating and are the ideal summer sipper for anyone looking for a less-indulgent day. These little cans pack a mean punch of complexity thanks to apple cider shrub (a tart, vinegar-based drink) and real ingredients (the mojito contains Cuban mint and fresh lime)—plus they’re so good that they took gold in the 2022 Made in Vancouver Awards drink category.—DW

Price: $4 each
Where to buy: Available at select stores such as The Drive CanteenOh Carolina and more
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READ MORE: 2022 Made in Vancouver Awards: Food and Drinks

8. Provincial Cocktails

Based out of Port Coquitlam, Provincial Spirits is doing very cool things with ready-made cocktails. Each drink is just outside the box enough to keep it interesting (think spruce tip, vanilla & gin) while they’re still grounded in the ease of drinkability (their mango michelada is made with Walter Caesar and Twin Sails Low Life Lager). This is the type of drink that cocktail connoisseurs will ooh and ahh at—but they’re ready to drink straight from the bottle—making you the most popular person at the party.—DW

Price: From $60 for a 12-pack
Where to buy: Order online or purchase at select liquor stores like Crosstown LiquorJak’s and Darby’s.
More info: