In the 1990s, pre-made mixers flooded liquor store shelves. The sticky-sweet, neon-hued bottles were the go-tos for impatient party hosts and bars looking to push cheap, sugary cocktails on young, neophyte drinkers. Eventually, though, people grew weary of them, and the craft cocktail movement inspired pros and home bartenders alike to start using fresh fruits again and preparing homemade syrups.
And we couldn’t be happier about that. We’re all for people getting crafty with their cocktails and when it comes to making the best-tasting cocktail, fresh citrus is the only way to go. But we also enjoy the occasional happy hour shortcut. Luckily, there are now actually good mixers on the market made with real fruits, spices and herbs. They don’t come with speed pours. They don’t come laden with sugar. And they don’t come in DayGlo green. Here, the best pre-made cocktail mixers to help make your cocktail hour a whole lot easier.