The Best Tasting Canned Cocktails All Share One Ingredient

·3 min read
Graphic:  Natalie Peeples
Graphic: Natalie Peeples

SunDaze is a new line of canned, lightly fizzy cocktail drinks, based off a blend of Valencia orange juice. Each serving comes in at 6% ABV, 140 calories, with no added sugar. It’s advertised as being loaded with Vitamin C, probiotics, and antioxidants, but that’s not what’s most important. What’s really significant is that SunDaze cocktails are some of the best drinks I’ve had during the run of Fizz Biz.

SunDaze comes in three varieties:

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How do SunDaze cocktails taste?

I’m going to preface this review with one thing: If you’re not a big fan of kombucha, this lineup may not be exactly up your alley. The Classic is a bright and sunny orange juice cocktail that has a slight kombucha-like complexity to it, which isn’t for everyone, and it’s the base upon which the other varieties are based. It’s sweet, but not quite as sweet as a straight-up glass of orange juice.

In a glass, it looks no different than a glass of OJ either, but by that very characteristic alone, it’s a very pretty drink, unlike other seltzer and seltzer-adjacent alcoholic beverages. You already know what most seltzers look like; they are typically just a glass of clear bubbly alcohol water, and at most, barely tinted with color—this is a nice departure.

The Botanical Citrus takes the base drink to a more floral and herbal level, and has a complexity to it that I’ve never seen in any other fizzy canned cocktail in the 5-8% ABV neighborhood. It’s not quite as botanical as say, gin, but that extra flavor is significant enough of a departure from the Classic to create a unique beverage that stands apart from its companion drink. It’s terrific, and the flavor isn’t so intense that you can’t have a few in a row.

The Spicy Citrus, however, is my absolute favorite out of the three, just narrowly edging out Botanical. The chile flavor from the peppers doesn’t really impart a spicy kick, but it does add that slightly bitter note to temper the slight sweetness from the orange juice. It’s a little grassy and fruity, and provides a complex flavor that is a delight with every consecutive sip.

I typically start noticing a little harshness at 6% alcohol content in a seltzer, but the fact that SunDaze is juice-heavy mellows out any slightly boozy qualities to the drink’s finish. And one added significant detail to the SunDaze line is that it can be served on ice, which’ll be nice as a summertime sipper. I can just picture myself kicking back with one of these things on the porch.

As you’d imagine, the price tag on these guys aren’t cheap, unfortunately. They’ll run you a whopping $15.99 per four-pack. There’s no full variety pack just yet of all three flavors. Sometimes the good stuff’ll cost you, I guess.

After all the mediocre canned drinks I’ve waded through, the SunDaze line is a genuine delight. You can’t go wrong with any of the three varieties, even if you’re only slightly partial to kombucha-like flavors. In this case, I’d be cool throwing down extra cash for something I’m sure to appreciate more than a White Claw (though those have their time and place), and I have a feeling some of you might feel the same. You can order some through the SunDaze online store if you’re curious, and in this case, I think the juice is totally worth the squeeze.