One of the few silver linings of Covid is the rise of some of our best bartenders making pre-mixed cocktails by the batch€”and actually being allowed to sell them. Our BOTY alum Sabrine Dhaliwal is killing it at the Chickadee Room, the gang at the Keefer have a whole store of great stuff and Dachi is bringing some crazy swagger to the category. Oh, and our pals at Torafuku have just launched a program called Moontail that is making delicious sounding Asian-inflected drinks.

The drinks at all of these spots are better than this bottle from Canuck stalwart JP Wiser.  But when it came out a few years back it was actually weirdly compelling and even now in the middle of this pre-mix renaissance it’s actually pretty solid, it’s very affordable (it’s on sale right now for $24.50) and it’s shelf stable. That last one is huge because it means you don’t have to plan ahead. So we’re revisiting our post a few years ago – which, also oddly, still gets a tonne of hits on our site.


Saying you’re a fan of pre-mixed cocktails is like wearing sweatpants in public€”a sign that you’ve given up. Seriously, you can’t bring yourself to add the gin…to the tonic? And the Old Fashioned€”perhaps the most iconic cocktail of them all€”is a drink that the making of, is an exercise in meditation that’s the closest most wasp’s get to a zen moment. So when someone gave me a bottle of Wiser’s Old Fashioned Cocktail I was a bit…meh. It sat on my shelf for several weeks until I had to head out to a formal event and, as happens every single time, I forgot how to tie my bow tie (and don’t tell to me buy a pre-tied bow tie€”that’s infinitely worse than a pre-mixed cocktail). So I was both running late and sort of dreading the evening and there, offering to solve both problems, was the bottle of Wiser’s. Rocks glass, rocks, Wiser’s. And it was pretty good right out of the gate. It’s a hair sweet but a lot less sweet than most bourbon Old Fashions are and the Canadian whisky gives a nice shot of spice to balance it out. I grabbed a bottle of bitters€”I used Creole Bitters from Bitter Truth€”and suddenly things were singing quite nicely. If I had a touch more time I suppose I could’ve flamed an orange peel too. So while I’m not backing away from the pre-made cocktail thing€”don’t let me catch you not making your own Caesar or I’ll have your passport seized€”this $24.50 bottle can live on as a homegrown exception to the rule for this in a pinch.