Every Tip Top Canned Cocktail, Ranked

Tip Top canned cocktails
Tip Top canned cocktails - Dani Zoeller / Tasting Table

Necessity is the mother of invention, and while ready-to-drink cocktails aren't necessarily new, drinks that do not taste like they come from cans are. Formerly involved in music festivals, co-founders Yoni Reisman and Neal Cohen saw firsthand how beneficial it could be to offer well-made cocktails quickly and easily at venues, festivals, and even during the weekly game night in your living room. So, they set about making this a reality. Tip Top Proper Cocktails offers a range of cocktails that come in little cans, perfectly sized to be a cocktail that is ready to enjoy from the can, shaken, over ice, or even stirred in a rocks glass.

With such a range of drinks available, I was curious how they would stack up. Having received the whole range to sample, I tasted each and then ranked them according to how closely they resembled the prepared cocktail when it wasn't from a can, the mouthfeel, and how much I enjoyed the flavor of each cocktail.

I've tried plenty of canned drinks in this arena. Tip Top is unique in its simplicity and the apparent determination to focus on favorite cocktails rather than trying to create something outrageously new. Tip Top took what's already delicious and made it more accessible, so here are all of its offerings, ranked from worst to best.

Some recommendations are based on first-hand impressions of promotional materials and products provided by the manufacturer/distributor/etc.

Read more: The 40 Absolute Best Cocktails That Feature Only 2 Ingredients

11. Daiquiri

Daiquiri canned cocktail
Daiquiri canned cocktail - Dani Zoeller / Tasting Table

The typical daiquiri cocktail recipe usually includes a mixture of three basic ingredients: rum, lime juice, and sugar, often in the form of simple syrup. Tip Top's Daiquiri followed the same model with rum, lime, and sugar listed on the front of the can. To prepare this one, I shook it over a large ice cube to avoid diluting it, but simply to chill it further, and then poured it into a coupe glass with a lime wedge as a garnish.

Daiquiris are a common fixture around my home, being a favorite cocktail for both my husband and myself. Thus, I'm quite familiar with what the traditional taste should be like, and unfortunately, this one simply didn't live up to those expectations.

I found that the overall flavor was a little hard to pin down, but it was something like a stale drink. It didn't taste like it was freshly made and, indeed, tasted very much like it had come from a can or some other pre-made mix. I found that the flavors blended together in a way that wasn't totally pleasing, leading to a mash of things placed together rather than fully combined, as I enjoy my cocktails to be. Overall, this was definitely my least favorite of the bunch, which is unfortunate because it was one of the ones I was most looking forward to trying and hoping would exceed expectations.

10. Margarita

Margarita canned drink
Margarita canned drink - Dani Zoeller / Tasting Table

Crafting the perfect margarita can be great fun on a warm summer's day, but cracking open a margarita can take all the work out of it and get you relaxing with a drink in hand under the sunshine that much faster. Like the basic margarita, Tip Top's offering has tequila, orange liqueur, and lime in it. To prepare mine, I added a lime wedge to moisten the rim to help the salt adhere and added garnish to make it feel that much more freshly made.

In terms of flavor, I found the tequila to be quite mild with this one, and this canned version is probably a perfect opportunity for someone to try a margarita who may not be as familiar with the base flavor because it's substantially less strong than other margaritas I've had, including the one I regularly make at home. To strengthen it, adding a bit of tequila to your glass certainly wouldn't hurt, and to bring out the flavors a little more, I found that this one definitely benefited from a squeeze of the lime that I had as garnish. All told, I was a little disappointed with how weak it felt compared to other margaritas, but the syrupy feel certainly wasn't there with this one.

9. Bee's Knees

Bee's Knees cocktail
Bee's Knees cocktail - Dani Zoeller / Tasting Table

This gin-honey cocktail may have risen from the ashes of Prohibition and settled right into the hearts of those who enjoy sweet gin drinks. Seeing this cocktail on the Tip Top lineup, I was eager to see how it stacked up against the favorite I like to make at home. Although I found it definitely reminiscent of the drink I am used to, it wasn't quite what I was expecting, even if it was the same type of drink. Like I do when preparing this cocktail from scratch at home, I made sure to shake it very well and even used a large ice cube to get it extra chilled before pouring it into my coupe glass.

Typically, I find that Bee's Knees cocktails have a balance to them that takes the parts of honey, gin, and lemon to offer a nice balance between the three, but this Tip Top drink focused very heavily on the lemon, with the honey and especially the gin having much more of a backseat role. It felt like a cocktail I would enjoy in a lounge; I just would have preferred the balance of flavors to lean more heavily on the gin than it did. Although this one has honey in it, I didn't find that the syrupy feel was strong enough to detract from its overall mouthfeel.

8. Espresso Martini

Espresso Martini cocktail
Espresso Martini cocktail - Dani Zoeller / Tasting Table

As a coffee lover, it's awfully hard not to love the classic Espresso Martini cocktail. It combines alcohol with coffee to make a drink that's both delicious and warming all in one. It's also not surprising that I've been on quite the Espresso Martini kick lately, constantly seeking out the best Espresso Martinis in my area. So, it may be unreasonable that the very first can I cracked open from Tip Top was indeed the Espresso Martini.

I had high hopes for this one, but unfortunately, I just felt like the coffee flavor overpowered the alcohol quite a bit in this one. The coffee comes from Counter Culture and is quite good, but even when refrigerated and shaken over ice, I found it to be far too diluted and could benefit from just a little bit more alcohol added to the recipe. Like the margarita, you could add a little more liquor to the drink to add a little more backbone to this one. That said, it definitely has that enjoyable look to it once shaken over ice, creating the foamy top that you would expect from an Espresso Martini ordered in a lounge. However, overall, I definitely needed more strength in it to make it one of my favorite Espresso Martinis, let alone drinks from Tip Top.

7. Negroni

Negroni canned cocktail
Negroni canned cocktail - Dani Zoeller / Tasting Table

For a classic negroni cocktail, you'll typically blend gin, vermouth, and red bitters — often Campari. In crafting Tip Top's rendition of the negroni, I served the cocktail over a substantial ice cube in a rocks glass, topping it with an orange slice for a touch of garnish.

Flavor-wise, this variant proved unexpectedly juicy despite lacking any overt juice content beyond what might be derived from the Campari or red bitters. It was a surprising taste sensation that I had not anticipated. Additionally, the drink had a somewhat syrupy mouthfeel, though the large ice cube played a significant role in tempering this effect, smoothing the flavors and diluting the syrup-like texture as the ice melted.

Strangely enough, despite its robust taste, the feel of the drink didn't quite match up to how I felt it ought to taste, leading me to speculate whether a bit more time chilling with the ice might have further softened its intensity. Perhaps allowing the ice more time to melt could balance the bold flavors more effectively, reducing the overall feel and enhancing the drink. Alternatively, using more meltable, crunchy ice may have made this one a little more enjoyable to me.

6. Old Fashioned

Old Fashioned cocktail
Old Fashioned cocktail - Dani Zoeller / Tasting Table

If you enjoy an old fashioned cocktail, there's a good chance you've had your share of good ones, great ones, and bad ones. Some believe that a great old fashioned is the mark of a talented mixologist, and while that might be true, I was curious how an old fashioned from a can — not a talented bartender — would stack up against old fashioneds from swanky lounges I've sipped in the past. I found Tip Top's canned old fashioned to be solid in terms of its flavor and mouthfeel, but it wasn't great. Order it from a sports bar, and you'll be happy with your old fashioned. But ordered from somewhere a little more upscale, and there's a good chance you'll be a little disappointed.

All of that said, the fact that it even comes close is pretty impressive. I was most impressed by the color of the cocktail, even if it was a little more ruby than I originally expected. I garnished my rocks glass with an orange wedge and chose to enjoy this one straight rather than over a large ice cube to really see how the drink tasted, completely undiluted.

5. Gin Martini

Gin Martini cocktail
Gin Martini cocktail - Dani Zoeller / Tasting Table

Some drinks just scream prestige, and there's nothing quite like a gin martini, or any martini for that matter, to make me feel ultra fancy, even if I'm just pouring a drink into a glass and having a quiet night at home. The gin martini from Tip Top combines gin and vermouth to make one of the simpler cocktails out there.

One sip of this one, and it was clear that it tasted like something from a lounge rather than a drink from a can. Garnishing only ups the ante to make it feel as special as the stemmed martini glass you'll no doubt drink it out of, though I drank it out of a coupe glass here. It's got everything you want in a gin martini: It's strong and pretty basic, making for an enjoyable drink. The only trouble is, in terms of gin martinis, they don't tend to be my go-to drink. So, while I rank this one highly for what it is, this one wasn't one of my favorite options because I quite simply don't enjoy gin martinis as much as others. Even still, this tasted similar to other gin martinis I've had that others have enjoyed a great deal.

4. Mai Tai

Mai Tai cocktail
Mai Tai cocktail - Dani Zoeller / Tasting Table

The mystique and intrigue surrounding the real, original, and true Mai Tai cocktail is nothing short of juicy. The story goes back to Victor Bergeron and Donn Beach, who both claim ownership over the Mai Tai, with Bergeron's claim gaining more popularity, even though Beach asserts he created it first. Regardless of the original mixologist, the drink continues to evolve, with seemingly every tiki bar, swim-up bar, and sushi restaurant in the United States creating an original spin on the drink.

Tip Top adheres to Bergeron's original recipe with rum, lime, curaçao, and orgeat advertised on the can itself. I found this drink to be very strong but also quite enjoyable, and it was surprising that it came from a can and not from my favorite restaurant. Initially, I did sense a slick, syrupy feel to it, but that sensation died down a bit as the cocktail continued to be enjoyable to drink. I was expecting a super sugary and juicy version of the Mai Tai like the ones often served, but I was surprised by the makeup and the strength because it is definitely not a sickly sweet version but rather a mix of the tiki flavors that made the original so popular. If this one interests you, it will be helpful to note that it is part of a limited, small-batch addition as the newest cocktail to join Tip Top's lineup.

3. Manhattan

Manhattan poured drink
Manhattan poured drink - Dani Zoeller / Tasting Table

To prepare a classic Manhattan cocktail, you'll need whiskey, dry vermouth, and bitters, which you stir and then garnish with an orange peel. To prepare a Manhattan the Tip Top way, you'll pour a can of the Manhattan drink into your chosen glass and then add maraschino cherries for garnish. I plopped one right in the base of my coupe glass so that the Manhattan poured right over it.

Although I tend to be more of a gin and rum lover, I was very impressed by the whiskey drinks available from Tip Top, and this was definitely one of my favorites. I did notice a slight syrupy feel, but it wasn't overwhelming and the warmth of the whiskey definitely compensated for the syrupy flavor, and the taste of cherries added to the overall experience, pulling out that dark cherry essence. I found that it definitely tasted like a Manhattan should and felt the way it should, especially if you add in that cherry garnish. To ensure the best-tasting drink possible, because I knew I wasn't pouring it over ice, I made sure the drink was chilled before pouring it into my coupe glass.

2. Boulevardier

canned Boulevardier cocktail
canned Boulevardier cocktail - Dani Zoeller / Tasting Table

I love a simple cocktail that absolutely delivers on flavor, so I'm a little surprised I've never had a classic Boulevardier cocktail before. This simple drink is a mixture of equal parts whiskey, red bitters, and vermouth. Campari is commonly used for this one, like with a negroni, but Tip Top doesn't specify that as the ingredient used in this canned beverage. That said, if the canned version of this cocktail is a solid example of what the drink tastes like, then I am absolutely sold.

I love that this one did not have a syrupy feel, and the drink seemed to spike on the tongue but didn't linger for long. There was a subtle sweetness that beautifully complemented the whiskey's smoothness and warmth, contributing to a sophisticated and well-rounded profile. It definitely tasted like a drink I would savor at a swanky establishment, perhaps an upscale lounge, where the ambiance matches the drink's elegant simplicity. It begs to be enjoyed slowly, preferably with a large ice cube to subtly dilute and enhance the flavors over time. This is certainly a cocktail I would be delighted to order from Tip Top again.

1. Jungle Bird

Jungle Bird cocktail
Jungle Bird cocktail - Dani Zoeller / Tasting Table

The Jungle Bird tropical cocktail hails from Kuala Lumpur, originating in 1973 at the Kuala Lumpur Hilton. The original drink includes rum, Campari, pineapple juice, lime, and simple syrup. It's quite the combination of flavors between the sweetness of the fruits and rum and the bitterness of the Campari. Tip Top's version was the first of this type of drink I've had, and it wouldn't be an exaggeration to say this one is worth swooning over.

I gave this cocktail a good shake and poured it over crunchy ice, which seemed most fitting given its tropical name. I then garnished my rocks glass with a lime wedge, though I found myself wishing for a tiki glass to fully embody the drink's tropical, salty air breeze vibe. Beyond just being my personal favorite, the Jungle Bird has garnered significant acclaim, notably being awarded best-in-class cocktail at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, where it received a double gold — the highest distinction awarded to any of the Tip Top offerings. This award only underscores the drink's quality and appeal.


pouring an Old Fashioned
pouring an Old Fashioned - Dani Zoeller / Tasting Table

To best rank these drinks, I followed the directions laid out on the cans in both text and icon form and then compared each to the others in terms of mouthfeel, how truthfully it felt like the actual cocktail, and the overall flavor. The flavor of each was often the deciding factor in terms of how one ranked higher than others, though another significant component was how faithfully the drink resembled one I might order at a lounge or bar. Mouthfeel played a factor in a few that struggled to remain non-syrupy, but it wasn't a problem with all the drinks.

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