Gin & Juice Canned Cocktails By Dre And Snoop: '90s Nostalgia With The Pop Of A Can

Snoop and Dr. Dre may not have invented the beverage of gin and juice, but they certainly immortalized it with the rapper's and producer's 1994 rap classic celebrating the party punch. And now, they've capitalized on the concept even further, introducing their own take on a fizzy pop-top cocktail that brings Gin & Juice to the prepared drink market. Fans of the rap icons can finally sip along with an official version of the frisky mix as they enjoy the song that turned the drink into an earworm for the ages. It's a boss marketing move that, to some minds, took too long to arrive, but it's finally come about.

To glide into the beverage game, the two rap moguls teamed up with the founders of On the Rocks cocktails to produce a quartet of flavors that go beyond the basic mix, and partnered with Southern Glazer's Wine and Spirits for distribution. As soon as we heard that these drinks were dropping, we knew we had to put them to a taste test and finally get a first-hand take on whether gin and juice the drink lives up to the legacy of "Gin & Juice" the rap track. 

Could a canned cocktail capture a zeitgeist-shaking moment that's still easily quoted and listened to by fans today? We couldn't wait to snap the tab on a can and find out for ourselves.

These cans contain gin and juice as advertised, plus a little extra something

No ... it's not that, despite the Snoop affiliation with feel-good secret ingredients. Despite the recent upswell of CBD and weed-related drinks, these beverages contain no cannabis or related elements of any kind. They do contain one of a quartet of juicy-sounding flavors: Apricot, Citrus, Melon, and Passionfruit. There's no indication that the flavors aren't part of the distillation that results in a fruity gin, rather than being a shake-up of fruit elements with gin then added as a separate component. Because the gin-making process includes a step where botanicals are added to give the spirit its essential flavors, it's possible that each formulation is an infusion of fruits and florals providing unique sets of tasting notes, in addition to the juice listed on the labels.

Though Snoop and Dre enjoyed their gin with orange juice back when the famous tune was in the works, there's surprisingly little OJ in these beverages. In fact, there's nothing more than a mention of citrus flavoring in the Citrus can, among the others. And while their lyrics immortalized Tanqueray as the gin of choice, it isn't called out as the branded ingredient in the cans. It only took 30 years, but Gin & Juice has helped the original drink grow into a sophisticated combination of gin and real juice, plus a host of upscale add-ins that offer intrigue and complexity, if not strict adherence to the original song lyrics.

The price is fairly comparable to other canned cocktails

We were able to nail down an eight-can Gin & Juice multipack containing two 12-ounce cans of each flavor at our nearby BevMo! for $24.99, despite a website listing the box set at $35.99. We also found four-packs of each individual flavor priced at $12.99, all of which puts Gin & Juice on par with similar canned mixed cocktails from other manufacturers. For instance, we found that Absolut offers an eight-pack canned variety box for $24.99, while Cutwater shelves four-packs of party cans in familiar flavors like Strawberry Margarita for $13.99. These prices may be slightly different depending on your location, but they're more or less in line with how Snoop and Dr. Dre's selections are priced.

That may be a calculated move intended to bring in beverage fans who love the Dre and Snoop duo but don't want to pay outrageous amounts to sample the premium goods. Or it may just make good business sense to meet the market where your competitors are, in an effort to remain attractive to a broad audience. Either way, you won't be paying much more for your Gin & Juice than you would for other cocktails in cans, if there's any difference at all.

We found this bubbly beverage at BevMo!

We count ourselves lucky to have zeroed in on Gin & Juice canned cocktails after its release. Our local liquor chain had shelves that were clearing out of the stuff when we found our box, possibly because it's the only place in town we could locate it. Is this a sign that it's a highly popular sip that won't stick around for long, or is it a limited edition that's destined for a short run before Snoop and Dre move on to their next fun endeavor? 

Gin & Juice is continuing its national rollout and will be increasingly available at a variety of beverage retailers. Though no other brick-and-mortar stores in our area listed Gin & Juice for sale, an Internet search revealed a slew of delivery services offering to drop off a pack or two.

It's difficult to believe these creative concoctions won't get their fair share of play in the long run, considering the long-term popularity of its producers. For now, anyone interested in taking these cans for a test drive should search their local adult beverage retailers and jump at the chance when they find a few packs on the shelves.

These sips are sharply carbonated, throwing the canned cocktail seltzer scene a juicy twist

With the glut of carbonated canned cocktails focusing on vodka or rum, the idea of a gin-based bubbler is duly captivating. Drinkers who've grown up with Snoop and Dre are of an age when less sweetness becomes preferred in the glass, either through someone's palate evolution or by introduction to a higher class of cocktails. And with the sweetness dialed down, adding bubbles to the brew can only make the party more effervescent, right? It's a way to throw a little extra life into the chemistry, a move that sometimes masks flavor missteps by attacking your faculties with fun sizzle.

Rather than foisting another sugary, overly soda-like glug on the drinking public, Snoop and Dre have instead opted for a more dry take with Gin & Juice. There's no sugar listed on the ingredient label, and gin isn't known for its sweetness, but rather for its bodacious herbaceous persona. It's a firm flavor that draws a distinct line in the sand that gin fans adore and foes of the historic distillation won't cross. So anything carbonation can do to smooth things over with the consuming public is likely to be a win for the product. Just be cautious of the extra intense carbonation hangover – it's a real phenomenon.

Though nutrition is a lost cause, the ingredients feature fruit, herbs, and botanicals

When it comes to nutrition, well, this if a canned cocktail boasting 5.9% APV, with gin clearly stated in the name. So no, there's no hope for nutrition here. At least the notion of infusing the formulas with natural essences adds a nice bit of hype. Gin may have a somewhat medicinal flavor thanks to the inclusion of juniper berries in the basic recipe, but it's not a known cure for anything. And adding fruit juice to gin sounds like a possible way to sneak a bit of vitamins into your weekend celebration. Yet, with no ingredient breakdown on the box or label and no information found online, there's no way to gauge the ratio of gin to juice to know if you're even consuming a full serving to reap the potential benefits, even if it were a possibility.

But what about the botanicals tossed into the kettle, you ask? Those appear to be flavor enhancers rather than healthy mix-ins. It's safe to say you won't be having anything close to a nutritious drinking experience here — but were you really expecting that? Gin & Juice is a full-on boozy brew meant to make the good times even better. If you're looking for a nourishing drink, stick with drinking green tea everyday.

Review: These cool cans are oddly intriguing, if not entirely satisfying

With four flavors to sample, we found a natural hierarchy emerged as the sipping sesh unfolded. Passionfruit blended the namesake tropical taste with hints of pineapple and ginger, resulting in a perfume-like, beer-ish personality. Apricot, with its honey and bergamot twist-up, gave us a malty aftertaste that didn't sit so nicely on our tongue. We tasted again and found the strange flavor had dissipated, perhaps because the can had time to breathe. This time, we found a slightly tart take on a fruit that's usually much sweeter. We would have preferred more honey in the formula.

With Melon, we learned that, though the side of the can brags of watermelon and hibiscus essences, the most notable flavor detected upon our initial swig was magazine paper. That isn't a typo; something about the combination of flavorings calls to mind the strange aroma of glossy magazine pages. It was another unexpected shake-up that took a bit of taste bud-centered detective work to suss out. Subsequent sips confirmed our initial impressions, so we ditched the can for a much better option in Citrus. Its grapefruit-forward notes were a tart delight, easily making it our favorite of this pack.

Even lacking some needed sweetness, there's real fascination in flavors that evolve as you sip, whether they turn bitter or better. And if you like your nostalgia fizzy, then Gin & Juice provides the right kind of mid-'90s feels when you pop the top.