Is it us, or does it seem like ordinary occurrences that we would typically take for granted, or even become annoyed by, now tend to illicit a new kind of satisfaction, or dare we say….actual joy? Simple pleasures like sharing a bottle of prosecco under an umbrella during a thunderstorm with a friend you haven’t seen in months, or just getting out of dodge (i.e. the city)—no matter where you happen to be going?
As we bask in the remaining weeks (hopefully) of summer, we have one more recently discovered little pleasure to be chuffed about: the ready-to serve cocktail, a trend which has been booming during these alcohol-forward pandemic times. Sure, they’re not new to 2020; but thanks to award-winning local distilleries and marquee mixologists, the new breed of crafted, canned tipples is now giving its predecessors, like High Noon, some serious competition.
What started as a quest for the perfect gin & tonic by Julie Reiner and Tom Macy, Clover Club’s cocktail culture pioneers, eventually inspired them to make the perfect mixed drink. The result is Social Hour, canned cocktails that are convenient as open-and-pour, and at the ready for whatever occasion—perhaps even breakfast. In fact, we’ve been enthusiastically experimenting with day-of-the-week and time-of-the-day possibilities, and highly recommend it.
“Social Hour comes from what my family has always called cocktail hour,” explains Macy.
Their trio of libations include summer’s favorite past time, an herbaceous and floral gin & tonic, as well as a citrusy, effervescent whiskey mule, and a light(er)-on-alcohol poolside refresher, the Pacific Spritz. Ingredients were carefully selected from local resources: New York Distilling’s Perry’s Tot Navy Strength Gin and Ragtime Rye; a proprietary tonic water made from scratch; and a rosé wine blend from New York’s Finger Lakes. The dynamic duo’s creations are testament to their liquid artistry and their absolute attention to detail.
“We’ve made a career crafting the perfect cocktail,” Reiner says. And it truly shows in the details.
Another newcomer to the happiness-in-a-can market gets its inspiration from a bygone era: the old fashioned. Sourced from Cooper Spirits Co, a family owned distillery in Philadelphia, Hochstadter’s Slow & Low Rock and Rye is a modern day take on a prohibition style recipe that dates all the way back to 1884 (and we all know how hip the 19th Century is right now). It’s expertly made from straight aged rye whiskey, 100% raw honey from Western PA, dried navel oranges from Florida, a pinch of rock candy, and Angostura bitters.
The result is an 84-proof eye-popper, that’s prepping us to welcome the cooler, more rustic days of autumn.
“Canned cocktails are exploding in popularity because of their ease of use,” says Chad Solomon, Cooper’s Director of Trade Advocacy and Innovation. “Slow & Low is an update of Rock & Rye, modernized through the lens of a rye whiskey old-fashioned. It’s craft cocktail bar quality in a can, that’s ready to roll wherever you go and ready to go when you get there. Life is hard, your cocktail doesn’t have to be.”
Of course, from what we can tell, we can’t actually tell anything about what the next few months holds for the now non-existent indoor bar scene. But the new gen of ready-made canned cocktails will mean your favorite new bar will be pretty much anywhere you want it to be.
Social Hour packaged in 4pk/cans for $19.95 and available at liquor stores in New York and New Jersey and their website: www.socialhourcocktails.com