Best Of Class Ready to Drink Finalists SFWSC 2022

by The Tasting Alliance Team  |  04.12.2022

Every year, just a few of the very best of each category go head-to-head for our judges to determine the Best Of Class for dozens of spirit categories. Here, our finalists for Best Ready To Drink of 2022, including Best Hard Selzer, Best Vodka Soda, Best Gin & Tonic, Best Rum-Based RTD, Best Tequila/Agave-Based RTD, Best Classic Cocktail, Best Signature Cocktail, and Wine-Based RTD. Winners will be announced in June.

Best Hard Seltzer Finalist
Soku Pineapple Cocktail

This soju sparkling cocktail is made with 3 ingredients – soju, real fruit juice, and sparkling water – for a burst of fruit flavor and light kick of booze. It’s refreshing and crisp, the taste of pineapple shines through.

Best Hard Seltzer Finalist
Viva Elderberry Tequila Seltzer

Designed to be “healthy-ish,” this hard seltzer is made with tequila and natural flavors, capturing the earthy and tart flavors of elderberry. It’s brisk and refreshing, coming in at 88 calories with a light carbonation.

Best Vodka Soda Finalist:
Coco Vodka Soda

CoCo Vodka has a smooth, refreshing taste, rounded out with lightly toasted coconut aromas. It has just three ingredients – triple distilled vodka, sparkling water, and coconut water – and comes in at 5% ABV, so you can enjoy this “vacation-in-a-can” all day long.

Best Gin & Tonic Finalist
Juniper Drinks Gin & Tonic

Made in Medellin, Columbia, this gin & tonic is crisp, clean, and classic, just as it should be. The use of London Dry Gin, natural cane sugar, and Columbian quinine make for a perfect G&T, enjoyed out of the bottle or on ice in a copa glass.

Best Craft Gin & Tonic Finalist
Greenhook Ginsmiths Gin & Tonic

Greenhook Ginsmiths focuses solely on one spirit: gin. Fortunately, they also extend that into this canned gin and tonic, which is intensely juniper-forward and , made with their vacuum eistilled American Dry Gin and their own proprietary tonic water. They have carefully calibrated the gin to tonic ration and carbonation level in one easy pack.

Best Tequila/Agave Based RTD Finalist
Tequila Cazadores Paloma

Made with award-winning Tequila Cazadores Blanco and real ingredients, this Paloma tastes classic in all the right ways. Pop this open at the beach or over tacos or enjoy this aromatic, bright, citrusy cocktail at your next fiesta.

Best Rum-Based RTD Finalist
Livewire Rocket Queen by Erin Hayes

A modern and sophisticated tropical drink, Rocket Queen is a seamless combination of Magdalena Rum, red pomelo, cinnamon, pandan, and absinthe. Complex aromas of cinnamon, rum, and citrus combine for a sweet, spicy cocktail. Put on your favorite record, throw it in a cooler, and let summer rip.

Maplewood’s rum cocktail packs a serious punch, coming in at 10% ABV. Orange and pineapple accompany an infusion of hibiscus and a hint of cinnamon. Red berry aromas on the nose give way to a tart, berry infused rum cocktail on the palate.

Best Classic Cocktail Finalist
Post Meridiem Espresso Martini

Post Meridiem Spirits produces full strength canned cocktails made with real ingredients in Atlanta. Their Espresso Martini offers intense coffee aromas on the nose and showcases a classic example of the cocktail using only three ingredients – 100% arabica cold brew coffee, vodka, and coffee liqueur.

Best Classic Cocktail Finalist
Post Meridiem Old Fashioned

This tiny can holds a Double Old Fashioned, with a three ounce pour of bourbon straight from the barrel, a blend of three bitters, and demerara syrup with a hint of orange zest. Citrus and herbal aromas on the nose showcase the classic cocktail, which, at 37% ABV, you’ll want to pour over ice and sip slowly.

Dillon’s Small Batch Distillers out of Ontario, Canada produces this intriguing and refreshing cocktail. Using their Dry Gin, local ingredients, and seasonal fruits, this can provides pronounced mint and tangerine notes that carry over to the palate.

Heritage Distilling Co has been making spirits in the Pacific Northwest for a decade. Thier Peachy Bourbon canned cocktail uses their classic Heritage Bourbon and mixes in peach syrup, lemon, and a little fizz for sweetness up front with a signature whiskey kick in the back.

Best Wine-Based RTD Finalist
Lolea No. 1 Frizzante Sangria

Lolea’s No. 1 Frizzante Sangria is made form Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon, with Mediterranean citrus, peach, and cinnamon. Red berries and grapes on the nose come through as a classic red wine spritzer on the palate.