Would you drink a Paloma in a can? A daiquiri? Reporter Tan Vinh gave some new options a try, with mixed results.
You see lovebirds around Green Lake and college kids around Capitol Hill with them, these stealthy, canned cocktails. At 200 mL, they fit snugly into jacket pockets like a flask. They’re ideal for a picnic or at events where glass bottles are banned.
In recent years, distillers and beverage companies have started hawking canned cocktails like beer.
Never heard of them? That’s because canned cocktails haven’t become a supermarket staple like Coors Light. Nor have they had a good rep. I blame it on Bud Light, which pulled off one of the great marketing gimmicks in 2012 when it snookered a generation into thinking its citrusy malt liquor Lime-A-Rita is a margarita.
No. No. No. That’s not a margarita, people.
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But cocktails in cans are a real thing. Usually at $4 a pop, it’s a decent deal, especially if you don’t have all the ingredients (tequila, bitters), equipment (cocktail shaker) or a home bar to mix your own drink.
Two recent entries hitting the market have local ties: Novo Fogo Cachaça, based in Seattle, launched a sparkling version of the Brazilian cocktail caipirinha, and Black Magic Beverages partnered with Seattle’s Scrappy Bitters on a line of canned drinks called Half-Seas Sparkling Cocktails.
How were they? The mixed drinks had mixed results.
Novo Fogo’s sparkling caipirinha: The ingredients are listed as cachaça, sugar and “natural” lime juice, which isn’t the same as fresh lime juice. That freshly muddled lime taste is impossible to duplicate in a can. This caipirinha lacks that bright, citrusy punch. Still, it’s pleasant enough, crisp and bubbly. Fine as is, though I squeezed in some fresh lime juice for a more bracing tartness. Recommended buy.
Half-Seas’ Paloma: The popular Mexican tequila drink with grapefruit soda seems like a natural to can. But this variation lacks the sharp, agave bite the best beach Palomas have. It doesn’t tastes like the Mexican classic, more of a tangerine-orange-blossom flavor. Not recommended.
Half-Seas’ Daiquiri: Tastes like aspirin. Smells like a hospital ward. Highly not recommended.
Half-Seas’ Bramble: The best of the Half-Seas lineup, it’s aromatic with ripe blackberries. It’s sweet enough to go down easy, but not cloying like the company’s other two offerings. Once the bubbles subside, it has a pleasant Creamsicle flavor. Recommended.