What are the best craft spirits, mixers and canned cocktails?
According to the Craft Spirits Data Project, active craft distilleries in the United States increased by around 17% in 2022. So, consumers continue to enjoy plenty of options when it comes to selecting premium, American-made spirits.
To help narrow that field, we asked a panel of experts to select the best craft and small-batch spirits and mixer producers – family-owned distilleries, grain-to-glass operations and companies using only the best local ingredients in their products. Then, our readers voted for their favorites over a period of four weeks, and the results are in.
Click on each category below to see the full winners list:
Best Canned Cocktail Company: Spritz Society
Spritz Society wins two years in a row — Photo courtesy of Spritz Society
Spritz Society believes that taste matters – that’s why they use all-natural ingredients, including real fruit flavors and white wine, to create a convenient sparkling wine cocktail that can go anywhere. Enjoy five different flavors that were crowdsourced by their community: grapefruit, peach, blood orange, pineapple and lemon. Each can contains 6% alcohol by volume, just 120 calories and 5 grams of sugar.
Full list of winners: Best Canned Cocktail Company »
Best Craft Brandy: DW Distilling in Walla Walla, Washington
Best brandy in the U.S.? Find it at DW Distilling — Photo courtesy of AlexRaths // Getty Images
This small batch craft distillery makes barrel-aged brandies using top local Walla Walla wines. The end result is a complex and smooth brandy that lets the notes of the original wine shine through.
Full list of winners: Best Craft Brandy »
Best Craft Distillery Tour: St. Augustine Distillery in St. Augustine, Florida
Enjoy the best distillery tour at St. Augustine Distillery — Photo courtesy of Brady Skye
At the St. Augustine Distillery, you can take a free self-guided tour seven days a week, a real rarity in the distillery tour industry, and even learn how to make St. Augustine’s four signature cocktails. For something more in depth, try the distillery’s unique Fill Your Own Bottling Experience, where you’ll fill, hand cork, seal and craft your own personalized bottle of cask strength bourbon.
Another option is the Spirit of Florida Bourbon Experience, where a certified bourbon steward will fill you in on the history and production process of the distillery, assist you in a tasting of bourbons and leave you with a complimentary tasting glass to bring home.
Full list of winners: Best Craft Distillery Tour »
Best Craft Gin: Revivalist Botanical Gin in Elverson, Pennsylvania
Revivalist Botanical Gin wins for fourth year in a row — Photo courtesy of Revivalist Botanical Gins
Housed in what they affectionately have nicknamed the “Hippie Barn,” the Revivalists are shaking things up with their award-winning gin. The philosophy behind their dry, juniper-forward and seasonally inspired gins is “is rooted in radical curiosity, bold experimentation, and love for one-of-a-kind experiences.”
Full list of winners: Best Craft Gin »
Best Craft Mixer Brand: Strongwater
Strongwater claims its third consecutive win for Best Craft Mixer Brand — Photo courtesy of Jason LaBella
Inspired by the apothecaries of the 16th century, Strongwater adds a dash of botanical integrity to cocktails through their line of syrups, bitters and sparkling mixers.
Full list of winners: Best Craft Mixer Brand »
Best Craft Rum: Key West Legal Rum in Key West, Florida
Sip on the best rum in the U.S. from Key West Legal Rum — Photo courtesy of petrenkod // Getty Images
Key West Legal Rum is the first legal rum distillery in Key West since Prohibition. The rums here feature Florida sugar cane and infusions of coconut, Key limes and vanilla creme brulee. In addition to their regular rums, they offer some specialized creations like Devil’s Rum (finished with cinnamon leaf oil) and Cuban Coffee Rum that’s made with the extract of dark roasted coffee beans.
Full list of winners: Best Craft Rum »
Best Craft Specialty Spirits: City Gate Spirits in St. Augustine, Florida
City Gate Spirits wins for third year in a row — Photo courtesy of Amanda Olivero
This distillery offers moonshine, whiskey, rum and vodka – only steps from St. Augustine’s iconic City Gate. If you prefer moonshine, they have White Lightning, Apple Pie, Cola and Orange N’ Cream flavors. You can also take home their Ancient City Spice or Passion Fruit Sour mixers as souvenirs of your trip to St. Augustine.
Full list of winners: Best Craft Specialty Spirits »
Best Craft Vodka: Sugarlands Distilling Company in Gatlinburg, Tennessee
Sugarlands Distilling Company wins for Best Craft Vodka — Photo courtesy of High Rock Vodka
This Gatlinburg distillery, noted for their craft moonshine, have partnered with auto racing legend Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his wife Amy to create High Rock Vodka, a triple filtered corn vodka that is 88 proof, matching Earnhardt’s Daytona 500-winning car number. Sugarlands also features a range of sipping cream and moonshines.
Full list of winners: Best Craft Vodka »
Best Craft Whiskey: Ironroot Republic in Denison, Texas
A consistent favorite, Ironroot Republic wins for fifth consecutive year — Photo courtesy of Ironroot Republic
Ironroot Republic mashes, ferments, distills, ages and bottles all their spirits in Denison, Texas for a true grain-to-glass experience. The lineup includes six whiskeys – three bourbons, an American whiskey and two straight corn whiskeys.
Full list of winners: Best Craft Whiskey »
Best Spirits Tasting Room: Sugarlands Distilling Company in Gatlinburg, Tennessee
Experience the best tasting room in the country at Sugarlands Distilling Company — Photo courtesy of Sugarlands Distilling Company
A visit to Sugarlands should be at the top of your list. They do tours, have tastings of their unique craft moonshine and sipping creams, the bartenders are super conversant, and there’s always a party atmosphere going on here. Tasting treats include eggnog or butter pecan sipping creams or moonshines in flavors like blueberry muffin and peanut butter and jelly!
Full list of winners: Best Spirits Tasting Room »
Congratulations to all these winners! Remember to visit 10Best.com daily to vote in our Readers’ Choice contests.