Ready to Drink Cocktails VS Bar Mixed Drinks

The choice between going to a bar and buying a drink or simply popping the tab on a ready-to-drink cocktail isn’t one you’d think is too complicated, but as it turns out, there are a lot of ways the two differ, and you definitely need to consider them before settling on a way to get your cocktail fix.

Today, we’re going to compare ready to drink cocktails against bar-mixed drinks to see which one comes out on top in the average situation.

Let’s get started.


Ready to drink cocktails are the clear winner here. We’re not even going to try to leave you guessing on that one. When you order a drink from a bar, whether it’s a cocktail or anything else, you pay a massive upcharge. The fact is, a bar has to keep up with its licensing from the government to sell alcohol, pay all of its employees, manage the overhead of the building, and several other things before you even factor in the high cost of alcohol. A $1 beer at a bar will usually cost $2 or even $4 depending on how much the bar has to charge to get by. With a cocktail, you will usually pay just as much as you would for a whole fast-food meal for one drink.

Ready to drink cocktails are much cheaper, and for the price of one or two bar cocktails, you can usually get a six-pack.


This is another area where ready to drink cocktails win for obvious reasons. When a bartender makes your cocktail, they might give you too little or too much of one ingredient just due to being tired, one bartender might make it different than the one you usually have, etc. In short, bar cocktails aren’t very consistent, and there’s a reason many cocktail drinkers will only go to one server at their favorite establishment. However, if you don’t fall into the above category and prefer a fixed drink always, you can choose to set up your own tiki bar in your home and enjoy your drink the way you prefer instead of waiting for the bartender to fix it. If interested, for the above, you can check out this blog post from Ozeneu.

In comparison, ready to drink cocktails are made by machines under the watchful eye of specialists. They’re designed to be perfectly consistent.


This one is subjective. You also have to consider that different brands do things differently, and different bartenders do things differently. So, you more or less have to find something you personally like and stick with that.

No one wins in this category due to the subjective nature of it.


This is one category where the bar wins. When you buy a ready to drink cocktail, you get what you get. You can’t special order drinks from the manufacturer that match your specific needs, and manufacturers tend to make only a handful of flavors that are likely to sell. So, more oddball options aren’t likely to be found in stores.

However, at a place like the NoMad NYC rooftop bar, you can tell the bartender to dip a slice of pizza in your Bloody Mary. While they’ll probably look at you like you don’t need anymore to drink, they’ll still do it. This is one of the most crucial benefits of being at a bar, which ready-to-drink cocktails do not have. In a bar, drinks can be customized, but readymade drinks cannot. Keep in mind that as long as the bar has the ingredients, they’ll put together whatever you want.


While going to the bar gives you unlimited options, ready to drink cocktails simply win in every other way. So, if you like a cocktail you can find in a can, you can skip the bar entirely from now on.

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