New takes on old fashioneds

Simonson and Raskin size up the ready-to-drink landscape

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If you feel like you’re seeing more ready-to-drink cocktails at the liquor store, you’re not wrong: According to research firm Mintel, the beverage category grew by 226 percent between 2016 and 2021, with almost half of adults in 2021 counting themselves among premade cocktail drinkers.

But which mixed drink is worth buying? With the holidays approaching, I arranged a Zoom tasting of ready-to-drink old fashioneds with cocktail writer and fellow Substack publisher Robert Simonson. Simonson has authored half a dozen books, including The Old-Fashioned: The Story of the World’s First Classic Cocktail, and Modern Classic Cocktails, published in October by Ten Speed Press.1

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