Talk about growth in the RTD market; these things are frigging huge. They are, as an old high school friend of mine would have put it, a HOOT. They sit in your hand like a giant can of Hi-C, but they are several inches longer. They have the heft of two Fosters—actually, three. They are the length of an NFL football, but much heavier.
And it wouldn’t really matter all that much if they were good or not. You are arriving at a party carrying one or two of these because you are Rolling Deep. You are Bringing the Fun. You’re Jonah Hill in SuperBad.
It turns out Party Cans are pretty good, plenty good for bringing to a gathering of any sort. They are thoughtfully executed. More on their pedigree in a moment.
One trick to enjoying them, I discovered, is to accept them on their own terms. The Gold Rush Old Fashioned, for instance, is not at all an Old Fashioned. Having read the label, I should not have been so surprised. The Gold Rush, after all, is one of the brilliant, turn-of-this-century cocktails invented in New York at Milk and Honey. It features bourbon, honey syrup, and lemon juice (i.e. it is a modified sour).
This particular Party Can is Kentucky bourbon, honey, fresh lemon juice, natural herbs, bitters, and black and chamomile tea. Poured over ice, it really came across as a slightly off-kilter Long Island Iced Tea. Which is really a fine place to be, if you’re just having some casual pops with friends. The tea provides a nice tannic grip.
The Party Can Cosmicpolitan, which appeared this past autumn, blends passionfruit, vodka, orange liqueur, lime, and “all-natural colors,” which is a way of saying they use vegetable coloring. This drink is not a Cosmo. It is more like what, in Pittsburgh, they call a Purple Hooter. They may call it that in other places; that’s just the only place I ever had one. Point being, on the palate it presents much more simply than a good Cosmo—and that’s fine. Pour a round for everyone.
The company launched with what I think is the most successful of the trio, the Triple Spice Margarita. Sweeter than I’d like, sure, but would I happily show up at a friend’s place with one of these? For sure. Set up some ice, some lime garnish, and you are in business. Twelve times, in fact. People will toast you.
As I’ve said, these things are fun. They cost $34. They are the brainchild of a couple of fellows who have broken through previously: In 2012, Scott Goldman and his brother, Curt, created ShakeStir, an online platform for spirits pros; in 2014, they launched Cocktail Courier, perhaps the country’s first cocktail kit delivery company. They were ahead of their time.
Party Cans are supposedly targeted toward Gen Zs and Millennials, but why should they have all the fun?