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The Underrated Joy of Canned Cocktails — Don’t Dismiss These Easy Drinks as Unworthy Novelties

Beautiful Drinks Can Surprise

BY

A recent staycation in Malibu presented me with the opportunity to assemble a selection of wines I had been meaning to sample for review purposes, and in the mix I threw a few canned cocktails.

We were hosting friends from Texas, a couple we had not seen since late in 2019, and while Todd is an expert and gifted creator of cocktails, and we counted aperol and bourbon and vodka in our staycation bar, I wanted to taste these canned libations again, so that my palate and mind could be refreshed about them.

Beautiful Drinks Co. is the name of the brand behind these portable cocktails, and my overall impression is favorable. Regarding the company’s grapefruit and rosemary gin and tonic, well, I’m a loyal customer now. It is my favorite of the three cocktails (more on that later).

Canned alcoholic beverages, including wine, are a growing market in the United States, and I’ve written about them from time to time (click here for one example). And while I do not anticipate that this canned format will ever be my first choice when it comes to wine or cocktails, these easy-to-serve drinks have their place in one’s beverage lineup.

Before I continue, know that Specs is one place to find Beautiful Drinks Co. products in Texas, and as noted above, the ready-to-drink (RTD) category is exploding in popularity on these shores, so you’ll likely find these libations in ample supply. One indicator of this: Between April 2019 and April 2020, the overall category (hard seltzers, canned cocktails, etc) grew by more than 80 percent, according to Nielsen. The COVID-19 pandemic has further increased consumer demand for RTD products — people unable to order their favorites drinks at bars and restaurants turned to the ease of use canned drinks offer.

“We know that the RTD market is booming, and specifically the spirit-based cocktail category, which many believe could grow tenfold in the next five years” says Robert T. Chin, CEO of Aquilini Beverage Group, which owns the brand. “Beautiful Drinks Co. speaks directly to the consumer who recognizes the value of being in nature and wishes to sustain all that it offers – our pollinator on each package serves as a reminder of the importance of these winged dynamos, each providing a service to the natural world.”

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I participated in a Zoom-conducted tasting of the Beautiful Drinks Co. cocktails, and was fascinated by the contributions of Kim Eierman, an environmental horticulturalist and ecological landscape designer. She’s the founder and owner of EcoBeneficial, a horticultural communications and consulting company, and if you are passionate about plants and the environment and pollinators, you must get to know her.

I mention Eierman here, however, because these canned cocktails are all about the botanicals, and she explained during the tasting how each pollinator featured on the cans — the bumble bee, the ruby-throated hummingbird, and the Monarch butterfly — contribute to both our ecology and the cocktails.

Here’s the rundown on each drink (MSRP of $14.99 per 4-pack):

Beautiful Cocktails Co.
It might not replace your favorite homemade margarita, but this rendition of the classic drink is a worthy addition to your refrigerator (and glass).

Lime & Ginger Sparkling Margarita

The ginger here is delicate, and does not overpower the lime. Extract blend includes lime, agave verde, oak and orange blossom. This cocktail is not overly sweet.

Cucumber & Lemon Sparkling Vodka Collins

I am a big fan of cucumbers and their freshness in cocktails, and this one scores high in that regard. There are also lemon and lemongrass. The extract blend features cucumber, juniper berry, quassia, coriander and lemongrass.

Beautiful Cocktails Co.
Cucumber and vodka fans, you’ve got to try this canned cocktail.

The Grapefruit & Rosemary Sparkling Gin & Tonic

My favorite. First, I love gin and tonics, and while rosemary is often overdone in drinks, the people behind this libation got it right. The herb never dominates, down to the final sip, and marries oh so well with the grapefruit.

There’s a beguiling bergamot note here, and it’s joined by extracts of elderflower, juniper berry, rosemary, and quassia. Perfect for outdoor lunches and balcony relaxation.

Beautiful Cocktails Co.
Grapefruit and Rosemary star in this refreshing gin and tonic.

If you’ve not entered the RTD world, these three canned cocktails are a good place to start. I like serving the gin and tonic in a wine stem, the vodka collins in Collins glass, and the margarita in Champagne coupe.

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