Ready-to-Go Cocktails Can Conquer Your Spirited Desires
Ketel One, RANCH2O, and Haus are among the new portable potables
By Wayne Alan Brenner,
2:00PM, Mon. Nov. 16, 2020
We recently told you about our three favorite local whiskeys – and we almost did it without mentioning any gin, because we weren’t talking about gin – but now here’s three ready-to-go cocktail concoctions from all over.
Because, sometimes, people prefer to have the mixing already done and waiting for them – and often in ever-so-convenient cans, too, just like the soda pop we used to gulp back in small times.
But, first, since we’re interested in hipping you to all the various expressions of The Really Good Stuff – because we love you, reader – we won’t even start this list without mentioning the canned Tanquerey cocktails we blurbed in this Perfect Date Night post a while ago. Because those cocktails – and the new Tip Top whistle-wetters, too – are solid industry champions.
Okay – we cool?
Now here’s some of what else is going on:
KETEL ONE Here’s another brand that needs no introduction to anyone who’s come within hailing frequency of a bar or has read a slick magazine at any point in their life. And, sure enough, Ketel One’s Vodka Spritz lives up to the company's celebrated name with a series of botanical quaffs for your cultured consideration. (The cans are as beautifully designed as those of the abovementioned Tanquerey, too.) These drinks are light and refreshing, promising less drunkening and more flavored enchantment with every sip. Yes, enchantment is definitely the word: Ketel One’s three available spritzes so far are Grapefruit & Rose, Peach & Orange Blossom, and Cucumber & Mint – any of which we can easily imagine Titania and Oberon sipping from as they argue child custody and send the weather reeling. These palate-pleasers are pretty much cottagecore in a can, and well done.
RANCH2O A name like that – Ranch Two Oh, is how it’s pronounced – you might think this brand of ready-to-drink cocktails originated up in Dallas somewhere. And you’d be right: Dallas native Amelia Lettieri founded the company and serves as its CEO. “I created RANCH2O to provide a real cocktail experience in a convenient package,” she says, “but canned convenience means nothing if it doesn’t taste great.” Well, we’ve tried these bevvies over ice on a late summer’s day, and can attest that, whether you’re opening the original Ranch Water (tequila, soda water, and lime), the classic Margarita, or the Vodka Soda with cranberry, you’re on your way to a small Texas torrent of delicious thirst-quenching. Also, juniper fiends please note: RANCH2O will release a Gin Fizz in the spring of 2021.
HAUS These delights are promoted as, specifically, aperitifs. And while “aperitif” simply means “an alcoholic drink taken before a meal to stimulate the appetite” – and these beverages will certainly fulfill that function – we reckon such a definition is overly reductive. Because these spirits from Sonoma County’s Helena and Woody Hambrecht (the man’s a third-generation winemaker) are spot-on before, during, or after a meal – and will serve you equally well if the only thing stimulated is your sense of liquid elegance and the taste of lower-alcohol refreshments fashioned from herbs, fruits, and other botanicals. Also, these aren’t just pop-the-tab-and-swig-the-can products; these Haus aperitifs are poured from beautiful glass vessels, onto whatever small pile of ice is fortunate enough to be waiting, and thus to your grateful mouth. Mmmm, so good. (So good, in fact, that it’s likely our enjoyment of them that’s stretched this list’s parameters enough to place them here. But then, a foolish consistency is, as Emerson counseled, the hobgoblin of little minds, n’est-ce pas?) Our recommendation: Order direct from Haus, and try the Sampler Kit ($40), with its 200ml bottles (choose four) of Citrus Flower, Rose Rosé, Bitter Clove, Peach Passionfruit, Spiced Cherry, Lemon Lavender, and (our favorite) Ginger Yuzu.