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16 Jul 2021

Supermarket gin and tonic cans beat branded versions in Which? taste test

Two supermarket G&Ts triumphed against Bombay Sapphire, Gordon's, Sipsmith and Tanqueray tins
Gin and tonic with garnish

If you're after a gin-on-the-go, some supermarket brands are a savvy choice - saving you money and getting you a tastier drink, according to the latest Which? taste test.

Our G&T taste test pitted Alfie, Bombay Sapphire, Brewdog, Gordon's, Sipsmith and Tanqueray gin tins against five supermarket options, ranging from the cheap Aldi and Lidl cans to M&S, Tesco and Sainsburys tins.

In a blind taste test, we asked 88 people who enjoy a gin and tonic to try out the 11 pre-mixed cans and rate them to find the best.

Several supermarket tins impressed our panel, beating branded versions to the top spot. But we've also found which branded versions are worth plumping for if your choices are limited.

Discover our top picks for your picnic in our round-up of the best gin and tonic cans.

Alcohol content varies widely in tins of gin

Friends drinking gin and tonic

A key benefit to pre-mixed gin and tonic is the convenience. They're a handy option for impromptu gatherings - or to have stashed in the fridge for surprise socialising (or a hot summer's day).

However, unlike making up your own drink, you can't adjust the strength.

We found that the alcohol content in high street gin and tonic cans varied from 4% ABV (alcohol by volume) to 8%.

That 8% option may suit you if you like the boozy taste to really come through, although bear in mind that this would equal around two units, whereas the 4-5% gins are just one.

ABVPrice (per 250ml can)
Aldi Greyson's5%85p
Bombay Sapphire6.5%£2
Lidl Finton's5%85p

Of the drinks on test, the supermarket options are by far the cheapest. That's partly due to their lower alcohol content, with most shops going for a 5% ABV - about the same strength as you'd find if you ordered a single gin and tonic in a bar.

Going for a big brand gets you a fancier tin, and (Alfie aside), a more alcoholic drink. Bombay Sapphire, Brewdog and Tanqueray go up to 6.5%, and Sipsmith - the priciest tin in our line-up - offers a 7.3% ABV drink.

Whatever your preference, you'll want a well-balanced drink for an experience to savour. Our tests revealed that some pre-mixed gin and tonics got the balance just right, with the gin flavour coming through nicely, but others weren't quite spot on.

See our best gin and tonic cans to discover which ones are worth choosing.

Aperol vs Aldi vs Sainsbury's Aperitivo - see our top pick for summer spritzes

Pre-mixed gin and tonic vs supermarket gin

Holding gin and tonic

Pre-mixed gin and tonics are great on the go, and they can be handy at home if you're fighting for fridge space. However, they aren't great value compared with buying separate bottles of gin and tonic.

If you prefer to mix up your own G&T, head to the best gins we've tested to see which budget supermarket and premium branded bottles we recommend.

How we tested gin and tonic cans

Finton's, Sainsbury's. Sipsmith and Bombay Sapphir

The gin and tonic cans were assessed by a panel of 88 consumers, broadly representative of the UK population, who enjoy the drink.

Panellists rated the taste, aroma, appearance and mouthfeel of each drink and told us what they liked and didn't like.

The taste test was blind, so each taster didn't know which brand they were trying. The order of the samples was fully rotated to avoid bias.

This was all done in a private booth, so participants couldn't discuss results or be influenced by others.

Prices correct as of 16 July 2021