Where they’re from: The Draft Pass hails from Sourced, an online, same-day service for craft cocktails. The company says they use bartenders that are currently out of work due to the COVID-19 pandemic to create bottled cocktails, which they’ll hand-deliver to your door. It’s available in 11 markets across the country — I’ve used them a few times here recently in NYC, and they’re a solid deal (a batched bottle with 12 cocktails averages a little over $7/drink).
The Party Can arrives from the people behind Cocktail Courier, which offers pre-packed cocktail kits from top bartenders. The Can, while utilizing some e-commerce know-how from CC, is its own venture. “There are two types of cocktail enthusiasts,” as Scott Goldman, the company’s founder, tells us. “The first are those who appreciate the art, tradition and process of making a well-crafted cocktail (Cocktail Courier), and the other are those who expect it shouldn’t take you longer to make a delicious drink than it does to consume it.” And that’s where Party Can comes in.
Why we’re drinking these: Because if we’re stuck at home, we want our drinks to begin to rival those at our favorite bars — but with added convenience and at a lower price point.
The Draft Pass is the first draft cocktail container we’ve ever seen for home use. They’re not initially cheap — an infuser (via GrowlerWerks) that holds 15 cocktails starts at $179, but you get to keep the Draft system and refills are pretty cheap (closer to $5/cocktail … also the first round is on them).
“It’s flawless cocktails at the pull of a handle,” as Jill Broek, Vice President of Marketing & Sales at Sourced, describes the process. And, as she notes, the bartender who delivers and refills your order will take care of making sure your growler and your drinks are set up properly, so you don’t have to mess with mixing ingredients or CO2 cartridges.
Meanwhile, The Party Can claims to be the first-ever large format, ready-to-drink craft cocktail in a resealable can; the first available flavor is a Triple Spice Margarita (the can holds 12 drinks). The format is pretty self-explanatory.
How they taste: I was only able to demo one cocktail with the Draft Pass, a very spicy and yet sippable Dancin’ in the Streets (whiskey, honey, lime, elderflower liqueur and jalapeño tincture). The quality of the drink was already there; the “draft” aspect added some fizz and a suggestion of freshness, which lasted several days.
While the Draft Pass is a bit hefty and takes up some room in a fridge, I appreciated its ease of use and will hopefully appreciate its refillable nature some day soon. There are currently 13 different options for recipes, so I’ll be going back for more.
As for the Party Can: I poured a lot of the margarita (100% blue weber agave tequila, orange liqueur, fresh lime juice, and a triple spice mix of real ginger, cinnamon and chili pepper) over ice into a thermos and drank at a social distanced event a few weeks back. In spite of the spice factor, it was a smooth tipple. I waited two weeks and did the same sequence of events again, and it still tasted like a very good margarita with just enough kick to keep it memorable.
No losers here:the Draft offers more variety and elevated tipples, while the Can is eminently more affordable and convenient to store/carry.
Fun fact: As Goldman tells us, his other company Cocktail Courier has grown by a whopping 3000% since COVID-19 hit the country.
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