These Aren’t Your Usual Canned Mixers, These Are Cool Canned Mixers

published Mar 21, 2023
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cocktail on blue surface on brown coaster with someone stirring
Credit: Photo: Heami Lee; Food Stylist: Jessie YuChen; Prop Stylist: Beth Pakradooni

If you come over to my place for dinner, I’ll have no problem cooking a multi-course feast complete with dessert. But just know that you’ll have your pick between just wine and water. To my Negroni drinkers, martini squad, G&T friends — you’re totally welcome, but we’ll just have to pop out to a bar after dinner for those sorts of sips.

Here’s the thing: I don’t dislike other forms of alcohol, I’m just truly horrible at fixing a drink! I find it ironic that although I consider myself to be really good with food flavors (I even have the pastry chef creds to prove it), my skills just don’t translate to cocktails. So I stick to wine and leave the mixology to the experts. 

Recently, though, I’ve been getting creative with mixed drinks in the comfort of my own home. How? Because I finally gave the canned mixers I’ve been seeing all over social media a shot (pun intended). Perhaps you’ve seen Avec all over your IG feed, and wondered: Are those stunning cans worth the hype? The answer is yes, and they are even more delicious and versatile than you’d expect. 

What’s So Great About Avec Premium Carbonated Water?

“Avec” translates to “with” in French. From a branding perspective, it’s kind of ingenious; the name explicitly demonstrates the drink’s intent. (You mix Avec with your alcohol of choice. Or don’t — I’ve cracked open a can sans-ABV for an afternoon pick-me-up and it tastes like a more nuanced soda.)

The Black female co-founded direct-to-consumer brand offers six flavors: Yuzu & Lime, Grapefruit & Pomelo, Jalapeño & Blood Orange, Spiced Mango & Passionfruit, Ginger, and Hibiscus & Pomegranate. Each one is crafted with natural sweeteners and flavors, and has 80 to 90 percent less sugar than other, comparable canned mixers. The drinks are made in Brooklyn, New York, and the bevs are canned in recycled aluminum.  

I recommend the brand’s sampler pack, which gives you two cans of each of the six flavors, but you can also get a party pack (a brilliant way to provide guests with cocktails, but without needing to be on bartender duty all night) and a custom 12-pack so if you fall in love with one flavor, you can stock up. I tried four of the flavors, but couldn’t test out the Grapefruit & Pomelo or Hibiscus & Pomegranate, and I was completely bummed because I loved everything I tested. 

What’s the Best Way to Mix Avec Premium Carbonated Water?

My favorite flavor is Yuzu & Lime. It’s zesty, fresh, with the faintest touch of lemongrass. I like to pair it with tequila, but you can’t go wrong with the slightly sour, perfectly sweet, and always refreshing flavor profile. I also really, really love the Ginger. If you immediately thought of a Moscow Mule, I get it, but this can is a whole lot more complex than your average ginger beer with pineapple and allspice mixed in. It doesn’t give off a tropical vibe (although if you added coconut milk and lime, it would), but rather a warming winter drink.

Up next: Jalapeño & Blood Orange. Okay, I guess I have several favorites! If you love a spicy marg, this can’s the one for you. Tart, sharp, crisp, and floral from the added calamansi (a Southeast Asian citrus), the bite of spice is beautifully balanced with the juicy citrus notes and subtle sweet undertones. I love this one with a smoky mezcal or even with some high-quality vodka. 

For those who love a little umbrella in their drink (if you raised your hand, consider yourself my new BFF), you’ll find yourself gravitating towards the Spiced Mango & Passionfruit. It’s the perfect blend with chili, almond, as well as tropical flavors of alphonso mango and sour-sweet passionfruit. I love to drink it with tons of ice and some rum. If you, like me, are looking for an instant escape from these final days of winter, this stuff will transport you to a sweltering sandy beach … all you’ve gotta do is close your eyes. 

Finally, while I didn’t get a chance to test out the Grapefruit & Pomelo flavor, if it’s as tasty as the four I tried, it promises the most stunning Paloma-esque bev you’ve ever had. In fact, I’m about to order a Sampler Pack to find out for myself. With spring and warm-weather celebrations around the corner, the very least I can do to prepare is to stock up on Avec’s mixers.

Buy: Avec Premium Carbonated Water Sampler Pack, $36 for 12 8-45-ounce cans