foodDrinks

Fort Worth distillery launches line of 3 canned whiskey-based cocktails

Find the Whiskey & Cola, Whiskey Ranch Water, and Whiskey & Sweet Tea at D-FW liquor stores.

If you want a cocktail but don’t have the time, ingredients or knowhow to make your own, don’t fret — whatever you like to drink is probably available in a can. The recent surge in ready-to-drink (RTD) cocktails has taken the country by storm, and D-FW is not immune from its wake.

Hard seltzers aren’t new, and brands like Zima and Mike’s Hard Lemonade dominated the ‘90s. It turns out they were just a little early to the party. Once White Claw and Truly launched in 2016, it was off to the races, and since then dozens more RTDs have hit the market. (No, it doesn’t just seem like canned cocktails are everywhere — they really are.)

According to IWSR Drinks Market Analysis, the biggest volume gains in U.S. alcohol consumption last year were seen across the RTD category, which grew by 62.3% in 2020 and shows no signs of slowing down. Canned and bottled cocktails already surpassed spirits in total volume, and by the end of 2021, they will account for more volume than wine.

As far as Texas-based producers go, you can find gin- and tequila-based canned cocktails from Dallas-based RancH2O, ranch water hard seltzer from West Texas-based Lone River Beverage Co., and more ranch water from Texas-based Epic Western.

The latest to join the market is a line of canned whiskey-based cocktails from Fort Worth’s TX Whiskey distillery.

“We wanted to create a versatile product that allows TX Whiskey fans to savor our cocktails without the hassle of mixing a drink,” says TX Whiskey Director of Marketing, Steve Gordon.

Seven months after the company’s first experiments, three cocktails have debuted: TX Whiskey & Cola, TX Whiskey & Sweet Tea, and TX Whiskey Ranch Water, a whiskey-spiked version of the popular tequila cocktail. Each is 7% ABV and lightly carbonated. Master Blender Ale Ochoa says the whiskey is the star of the show, and “the cocktail flavors beautifully complement our whiskey on the palate.”

Fort Worth's TX Whiskey launches line of whiskey-based canned cocktails.
Fort Worth's TX Whiskey launches line of whiskey-based canned cocktails.(TX Whiskey)

TX Whiskey & Cola features flavors of baking spices, including cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg, with hints of rich vanilla and caramel. The TX Whiskey Ranch Water has notes of tart lime, pear and vanilla, with a citrusy finish. And the TX Whiskey & Sweet Tea leads off with earthy black tea, lemon and soft pear before moving to a creamy vanilla finish.

The Whiskey Ranch Water is the lightest and driest of the bunch. The others are sweet, but not cloying, and pouring them over ice helps to tame the sweetness. All three taste like what you’d expect, which is a compliment — they’re absent the artificial, chemical notes present in many RTDs.

“The team really looked to develop flavors that appealed to our fellow Texans,” Gordon says. Whiskey and cola are a natural combination, and sweet tea is the liquid of record for many Southern drinkers. The classic Ranch Water is having a lengthy moment in Texas and elsewhere, and the distillery’s bar makes a not-canned Whiskey Ranch Water that’s one of its best sellers. They saw an opportunity to strike, especially since there wasn’t already a whiskey-based version on the market.

Gordon says TX Whiskey has ambitions to release more flavors down the road, but first they want to see how these cocktails perform.

TX Whiskey canned cocktails are only available in Texas and they can be found at all your favorite large and independent liquor stores across the state. A four-pack carries a suggested price of $12.99 — do a little math, and that’s just $3.25 per drink, which is a lot less than it costs to drink cocktails at bars. And, in this case, your only role as bartender is to pop the top.

Food

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