There are a lot of canned cocktails on the market, including many that are locally inspired and produced. I can definitely understand the use case for these grab-and-go drinks — for outdoor parties, an easy option for drop-in visitors, a way to stock the bar at a party or a wedding, etc. But in my experience, most of what I have tried has been overly sweet and unbalanced, made with cheap spirits or even malt beverage bases, and generally uninspiring.
One brand I tried while I was in Atlanta got me particularly excited, but they weren’t available in Tennessee. At least, not until now, because Tip Top Proper Cocktails have finally arrived in our market, and I’m fired up to welcome them to town!
If you’ve traveled on Delta lately, well, bless you. But more importantly, you might have seen Tip Top’s Old Fashioned on the airline’s drink menu. That’s another persuasive use case, because harried flight attendants just don’t have the time or training to mix up a proper cocktail on the fly. (Heh.)
Tip Top’s recipes were crafted by seven-time James Beard-nominated mixologist Miles Macquarrie of Atlanta’s beloved Kimball House. I’ve been fortunate to enjoy Macquarrie’s cocktails on visits to Atlanta and at food and drink festivals around the region, so I can guarantee he knows what he’s doing.
The 100-milliliter canned cocktails are made using quality ingredients that are appropriate for the individual recipes, and they are sized properly for shaking over ice, stirring or just pouring in a coupe glass instead of a 12-ounce can of giggle juice fruit punch moonshine, for example.
You’ll notice that many other brands of RTD (ready-to-drink) cocktails have the same proof level across their product lines, a sure sign that they start from some flavor mix, add a neutral spirit and then water to achieve the ABV that they’re searching for.
At Tip Top, proofs vary from boozier drinks like the 74-proof Old Fashioned to the tamer 44-proof Espresso Martini. This makes sense, because an Old Fashioned is basically mostly booze when properly made, and an Espresso Martini has, well, espresso as a majority of the whole.
Other excellent Tip Top options include Manhattans, Negronis, Daiquiris (not frozen, not too sweet,) Gin Martinis, Bee’s Knees and a fruity Jungle Bird punch. As the company has expanded, supply chain issues have led to some flavors being sold out from time to time, but they also offer bulk eight-packs if you find one that you’d like to stock up on to maintain your personal supply chain.
Pay no attention to the map on their website that doesn’t show availability in Tennessee yet, because if you search on their store locator, you’ll find lots of local retail options to pick up a few cans. Since shipping to Tennessee has been previously unavailable, this is an important development so that we don’t have to (Moscow) mule them back from Atlanta. For a balanced cocktail that is made with quality ingredients and priced appropriately for what you’d have to pay to buy all the makings, this is a game changer! Grab a can or two for the weekend.