Here’s to the RTD (ready to drink) revolution! This guide shows you why RTDs should be your go-to tipple at any time of year.
In recent years we’ve seen an explosion in the popularity of premixes as the category continues to evolve. Research shows a record number of Australians consume RTDs each month, and that our pandemic passion for this convenient drink is still going strong. So, why are RTD drinks so popular and how can you jump on the RTD bandwagon?
If you enjoy the combination of triple-distilled Australian vodka with retro cordial fruit flavours, you’re probably already getting to know and love the Billson’s range, featuring cult cans like Portello, Creamy Soda, Fruit Tangle and Lemonade Popsicle. The latest arrival is the sour lolly lovers dream, Billson’s Sour Blueberry Vodka Mixed Drink. Like all Billson’s cans, it’s crafted using local ingredients including alpine spring water from the well in Beechworth, Victoria. Speaking of sours, Vodka Cruiser Sour Apple Bottle is a must-try. The limited-edition RTD is a tangy sweet-and-sour hit for anyone who loves refreshing green apple and grape flavours.
With a dazzling array of products to choose from, there’s an RTD to suit every occasion and price point, from canned seltzers to curated RTD cocktails and bottled classic combinations using premium spirits.
Hard seltzers are the new kids on the block. They have quickly found a following with health-conscious consumers, as they tend to have lower calories and alcohol content, are sugar-free and gluten-free, and use natural flavours such as lime, passionfruit, watermelon or mango. They are perfect for a barbecue on a sun-kissed afternoon or for a Sunday session as you’ll still be work-ready the next day.
Do you like to drink cocktails? For that premium cocktail experience in the comfort of your own home (and a fraction of the price), you can’t go past a classic vodka cocktail. Check out bespoke companies like Grainshaker, whose vodka is handmade in Melbourne from Australia’s finest wheat, rye and corn, promising a sophisticated sip.
The Grainshaker Vodka Mixed Can 6% is not your average vodka soda mixed pack. At less than 125 calories per can, low in sugar, gluten-free and infused with a variety of natural flavours, the official vodka of the Australian Open is perfect for parties or barbecues and slinging with mates.
For those hankering after a Mad Men vibe, whisky lovers are well looked after. Jameson Smooth Dry & Lime is a smooth twist, while Canadian Club Whisky & Dry is an old-school favourite with enduring appeal. Stash some in the fridge with some seltzers for when friends drop in during the footy season and you’ll really be kicking goals. Need snacks? Try this 10-point game plan.
We’ve come a long way since Australia introduced the first RTD products of the 1960s, such as the OG bourbon or rum and cola. Smart producers, whether they’re the big brands or smaller companies, have realised that savvy consumers now want a combination of ease and quality, and they are adding exciting new premium products to the mix to meet growing demand. Think innovative Insta-worthy cocktails like The Kraken Black Mojito can, which gives the classic mojito a dark and fiercely refreshing twist. The signature black spiced rum is uniquely blended with natural mint and lime, then topped with soda to create a perfectly balanced Black Mojito.
Heading to a gathering in our great outdoors? RTDs are the ultimate in convenience. Pack the cooler with the latest from iconic Australian company Bundaberg, whose Alcoholic Lemon Lime Bitters can has a refreshing, citrus flavour kick that Aussies love as the warmer weather approaches. A full-flavoured take on the non-alcoholic pub classic, it is made with local ingredients, bringing fresh, delicious lemon and lime together with Queensland cane spirit and aromatic bitters.
And for the perfect picnic pairing, the fresh notes of Somersby Super Crisp Apple Cider is a lovely match for a vegetable frittata. From Australia’s number-one cider brand, it has a well-balanced acidity with a touch of sweetness, creating a refreshing and quick finish. Its subtle apple aromas complement the light, crisp apple taste.
If you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck, let’s take a moment to salute the honchos at Moon Dog. Their 10-pack of five Fizzer favourites comes in at just $3.50 per drink and includes popular flavours Tropical Crush, Raspberry Sorbet and Piney Limey. Need a no-sugar option? You can’t go wrong with the Vodka Cruiser Sugar Free value mixed pack, made with triple-distilled vodka and natural flavours including peach and mango.
At the stronger end of the RTD spectrum at 6.8% ABV, Vodka Cruiser Double Lemon Lime Can packs a zesty flavour punch. Switching up the traditional glass bottles, these have the premium triple distilled vodka you love in a Cruiser, but in stylish cans that each contain 2 standard drinks.