Premixed, ready to drink cocktails (RTDs) are all the rage in the cocktail world. There’s no shaking, stirring or bartending skills of any kind needed. Bottled, pre-batched drinks are as easy to enjoy as opening a beer. One of the most popular American cocktails to recently get an RTD update is the Old Fashioned. Try one of these four, and you’ll be able to sell that vintage mixing glass and bar spoon collection of yours on Ebay.
Most people don’t know it, but in Wisconsin bartenders (and drinkers) continue to drink their Old Fashioneds with brandy rather bourbon or rye. It’s a long, complicated story, but brandy, specifically Cognac, once reigned supreme in cocktails in Colonial America. At the Soulboxer cocktail company—which is based in Pewaukee, Wisconsin—Doug McKenzie and Jason Neu pay tribute to their state’s unique take on the Old Fashioned with this ready to drink bottled cocktail. Made with Californian brandy, Door County cherry juice, orange oil, bitters and cane sugar, their bottled Old Fashioned is all natural and delicious. While you can technically swig this bad boy straight out of the bottle (it is ready to drink), the cocktail really opens up and reveals its complexity when it is served over ice. The dilution allows the brighter citrus flavors to shine through and the juicy cherry flavor to come to the forefront, rather than being just a back note on the finish. You can even top this cocktail with straight seltzer for a incredibly refreshing, downright chuggable take on the Highball.