ith all the bar buzz on
house-made syrups and
bitters, artisanal infusions
and beloved mixologists, it
seems everyone must be on the crafted
cocktail bandwagon. Not so. Ready-to-
serve (RTS) cocktails are consumers’ dirty
little secret—simple for entertaining and
the fraction of the price of a fancy drink.
While many in the business may scoff
at premade cocktails, new brands and
exciting flavors are proving to be easy to
swallow—to the tune of 6.8 million 9L
cases alone last year, a 6% increase over
according to Impact Databank.
To clarify, RTS products are distinct
from RTDs (ready-to-drink), which are
single-serve, often malt-based brands like
Mike’s Hard Lemonade or Smirnoff Ice.
RTD cocktails represent about 55% of the
overall category, with RTS making up the
Lorena Streeter, marketing commu-
nications manager for Florida’s ABC Fine
Wine and Spirits, sees a shift across her
approximately 145 stores across the state.
Over the years, we’ve seen RTDs go from
primarily single-serve or two-serving
cocktails to a category dominated by
larger-sized bottles that you’d pick up for
a party. It’s also become a category largely
driven by brands, whereas years ago you’d
find a single company making a range of
drinks with a variety of spirits.”
While most major suppliers have
played in the RTD and RTS category for
Premium, premixed cocktails drive innovation in the ready-to-serve category
by brandy rand
se l ec t i on
Ready to serve
Most RTS products come in a multiple flavors, and many also now feature smaller (200ml) options as well. Check local markets for availability.
dark ’n Stormy