Have we reached the pinnacle of canned cocktails? Jack & Cook is ready to drink here for a low-stress summer

I clearly remember my first mixed drink. It was someone’s 19th birthday, and some friends and I made our way to a local dive bar – complete with wet pool tables, dart boards, and the unyielding aroma of frying oil and spilled beer. He was also known to be lax when it came to combing.

“Just get in like you belong,” one of the group’s over-21s said, shrugging his shoulders. “You have to be confident.”

My confidence prompted me to walk through the door, but it quickly dissipated once face to face with the waiter. Despite living in Bourbon country, my parents were basically purveyors. Drinking was, until that point, confined primarily to the occasional Blue Moon plucked from my ex-boyfriend’s parents’ refrigerator.

“What can I get?” asked the waiter, before shouting at a drunk man who was messing with the karaoke machine. He returned to me with anticipation. “Uh… I’ll have…,” she muttered. I could watch his impatience grow, like a boiling kettle before the hissing sound of steam.

Related: 8 Best Light And Refreshing Cocktails For Cooking And Picnics

However, instead of blowing his head, he took a breath and said, “Let me make you something simple, shall I?”

A few seconds later, he offered me a short glass full of ice and a dark drink that looked almost cherry under the red Christmas lights hanging above the bar.

“It’s Jack and Cola,” he said, before winking at me. “Strong, sweet and easy.”

It’s all too easy to laugh when I saw the news Tuesday night about the Braun Foreman and Coca-Cola partnership to release Jack and a Ready-to-Drink (or RTD) canned cola. It’s a two-ingredient cocktail: do you really need to mix beforehand?

laughing very It quickly dissipated when I remembered that dinner that night was potato chips, pre-chopped vegetables and the dip because I simply couldn’t be bothered—by the sweltering heat, nagging migraines, and just life—to do more.

Forget the hot summer girl. Personally, I’m in the midst of a low-effort summer, and RTD cocktails are a benchmark for their success. And I’m not alone: ​​We’re in the midst of a ready-to-drink cocktail boom.

Year-on-year RTD cocktail sales are up 126%, according to data compiled by NielsenIQ. Industry experts say this triple-digit growth can be attributed to several factors.

“Canned cocktails are a convenient, high-quality solution for cocktail lovers,” Earl Kate, co-founder and head of sales and marketing for Cutwater Spirits, told BevAlc Insights regarding cocktail forecasts for the 2022 RTD. “No ingredients, no preparations or cleaning agents. They deliver controlled, consistently delicious ABVs.”

Andy Morrison, a Chicago bartender turned beverage consultant, told Salon Food that their liquor store customers are assuming the skyrocketing popularity of RTDs really started amid the pandemic.

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“People missed going to a real bar and getting them a drink,” Morrison said. “But then they go to the liquor store and are overwhelmed by everything they have to buy to make a bar-quality cocktail — bitters, different spirits, simple juices, appetizers. That’s when a lot of companies really started to focus on real cocktails — served only in cans.”

According to Morrison, RTD cocktails have come a long way from their predecessors like canned wine coolers or hard lemonade. They refer to drinks like Gold Rush from Crafthouse Cocktails, made with “bourbon whiskey, honey, real lemon and aromatic myrrh,” or a non-alcoholic aperitif from De Soi, which is made with “reishi mushrooms, passion flower, and L-theanine derived from tea.” the green “.

And while many bars across the country have reopened in some capacities, the popularity of RTD cocktails is still going strong with the height of summer. Canned drinks are allowed in many places – such as beaches, festivals, pools, and parks – where bottled drinks are prohibited and it can be difficult to get a drink (at least at a reasonable price).

All you have to do is open this little metal bar, and your drink is ready. Whether this drink comes with artisanal quality 17 ingredients or two simple ingredients – Jack and Coke – is up to you.

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