Cocktails in cans? They’re the next frontier in drink trends

Contributed by Cooper Spirits Co. Ready-to-drink cocktails are now coming in cans, including this Slow and Low Rock and Rye drink that has been served as a ready-to-drink product (albeit in bottles) since 2013.

Contributed by Cooper Spirits Co. Ready-to-drink cocktails are now coming in cans, including this Slow and Low Rock and Rye cocktail that has been served as a ready-to-drink product (albeit in bottles) since 2013.

With beer and even wine now found commonly in cans, it only makes sense that the next step for the alcoholic beverage industry is to deliver ready-made cocktails in cans, too.

Although it took awhile for beer in cans to be regarded as a good thing, some of the country’s best craft brews are delivered to us in aluminum 12 or 16 oz. containers, which many brewers prefer over bottles because they believe they preserve the beer better. That’s the same with wine as well — forward-thinking wineries like the Infinite Monkey Theorem, in South Austin, offer cans so that wine lovers can enjoy their favorite grapes in a more accessible way.

And now, cocktails in cans are starting to appear on the market. Ready-to-serve cocktails have already become common products, from Mike’s Hard Lemonade to the better-tasting Austin Cocktails, a line of vodka-based drinks, but these have primarily been served up bottled.

Not so anymore.

Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits, a San Diego-based brewery and distillery, last year launched a line of ready-to-drink cocktails made from its own spirits. The cans come in flavors like rum & ginger, gin & tonic and Bloody Mary — simple but tasty mixes.

Austin’s own Mighty Swell Sparkling Cocktails launched this spring as another canned option, in flavors of grapefruit, lemon and peach, with wine as the base. They are only 5 percent ABV, a slightly lighter alternative to Ballast Point’s boozier potions.

Another promising canned cocktail has just debuted in time for fall: Hochstadter’s Slow and Low 84-Proof Rock and Rye from the Cooper Spirits Company. The alcoholic beverage producer has been making the Slow and Low as a ready-to-serve drink in 780 ml bottles since 2013, reviving the once-popular Rock and Rye cocktail from its 1800s glory days, but decided to update the cocktail even further by selling it in 100 ml cans.

“True to its 19th century roots, Slow and Low is based on America’s original bottled cocktail — rock and rye — and takes its inspiration from the Hochstadter label’s pre-Prohibition-era recipe,” according to the Cooper Spirits Company. “Slow and Low is committed to sourcing the finest ingredients, combining aged straight rye whiskey, air-dried navel oranges from Florida, 100 percent raw honey from Western Pennsylvania, Angostura bitters and a small dose of rock candy.”

That’s right: rye whiskey with honey and rock candy. Doesn’t that combination sound like something we’d love to be drinking in Texas’ temperate fall?

The Cooper Spirits Co. was begun by the late visionary Robert Cooper, who was responsible for such well-known and one-of-a-kind products like St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur. Given the company’s track record, it’s not surprising that cans are the next step for its lauded Slow and Low.

The Slow and Low is available at a suggested retail price of $3.99 in stores like Twin Liquors. Keep an eye on its place on the store shelf — it’s likely to be joined by more canned cocktails in the coming year, as more enterprising distilleries and alcohol producers catch on.

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