By C.W. Cameron - December 14, 2021
Whether your holiday celebration is large or small, premixed cocktails and hard seltzers in cans are easy to chill, easy to display and easy to store. All the bartending work has been done for you.
Rye whiskey cocktails
WhistlePig Farm & Distillery produces award-winning rye whiskey on a former dairy farm in Shoreham, Vermont. This year, it launched a line of naturally carbonated canned cocktails that combine its 100% estate rye with fruit and barrel-aged ingredients. PiggyBack Barrel Aged Rye Smash is available in three flavors: blackberry lemon fizz, session citrus mint and fresh ginger lime. We sampled all three, and can tell you that even those who thought they didn’t like rye whiskey enjoyed these drinks, which have a balance of sweet and tart, and an occasional bit of spice. These are 8 percent alcohol by volume, so they carry a little more punch than a spritzer, but nothing like a full-out cocktail.
$17.99 per pack of four 12-ounce cans. Available at Greens Discount Beverage Stores, Little Five Points Package, Pitch & Putt Liquor, Tower Beer & Wine, Citi Wine and Spirits, Clairmont Liquor, My Friends Bottle Shop, Savi Provisions, H&F Bottle Shop and Toco Giant Package. piggybackryesmash.com/rye.
Canned craft cocktails
Lee and Dawn Egbert first built Minnesota-based Dashfire to create craft bitters. It wasn’t long before bitters led them to producing ready-to-drink cocktails, available in bottles, as well as in tiny 100-milliliter cans. They’re tiny, because these are full-proof drinks, 38 percent alcohol by volume. Also, they are not run-of-the-mill cocktails: The elderflower martinez combines gin, cream sherry, elderflower liqueur and grapefruit bitters; the pomegranate el presidente uses rum, vermouth and grenadine; and the martini is vodka and sherry combined with the company’s lemon and lavender bitters. Those are just three of the six flavors available. These are drinks that surely will inspire conversation among your guests.
$4.99-$5.99 per 100-milliliter can. Available at Decatur Package Store, Dunwoody Beverage, Corners Fine Wine & Spirits in Peachtree Corners, Partymaster at Parkaire, Big Al’s Liquor Store in Powder Springs and some Kroger and Sherlock’s locations. dashfire.us.
Christopher Wirth and Camila Soriano of Charleston, South Carolina, entered the hard seltzer market with a tequila-based version, Volley. Their seltzers have only three ingredients — tequila, sparkling water and organic juice — and come in four flavors: lime, ginger, grapefruit and mango. With their tropical flavors and low alcohol content (only 5.25 percent alcohol by volume) these are great for the those who want something light and refreshing. A tip from the makers: The real juice inside might settle, so give the can one or two gentle flips before serving. The foil toppers keep the can tops clean until you’re ready to drink.
$30 per eight-pack of 355-milliliter cans. Available at Bim’s Package, pH Wine Merchant, Greens Discount Beverage Stores, Toco Giant Package, Hops, Grain & Vine in Marietta, Infinity Beverage in Roswell and at drinkvolley.com.