Summer is over, but canned cocktails are still in. With Nielsen reporting sales tripling over the last six months, Ready To Drink (RTD) beverages might be the only winner of the pandemic. As long as this category keeps growing, Neat Pour will keep taste testing them for you.
In this installment, we look at Volley, a ‘clean’ hard seltzer, and LiveWire Drinks, a confederacy of industry stars spearheaded by Aaron Polsky.
Backstory: Volley is built on a simple concept. Basically, founders Chris Wirth and Camila Soriano recognized that hard seltzer is booming. Then, they set out to create a hard seltzer that was built with quality, natural ingredients and actually tasted good. The product was Volley: 100% Blue Agave Tequila mixed with organic juice and sparkling water and nothing else.
Details: Volley is available in Zesty Lime, Spicy Ginger, Sharp Grapefruit, and Tropical Mango flavors. ABV clocks in at mid-range 5.25% and 100-110 calories per can. The 355ml cans are sold in four packs. You can find them in retail stores in New York, New Jersey and Florida for $12 a pack or online here at $27.98 for eight cans.
Taste: Admittedly, the Neat Pour staff is a little skeptical about the entire hard seltzer category. This “clean” entry into the sector presented a pleasant surprise. The taste was crisp and true to the ingredients. Volley does not taste like a soda pop; it tastes like what it is: solid tequila mixed with juice and bubble. Straight from the can, they’re an excellent antidote to a hot day.
Backstory: Los Angeles bartender Aaron Polsky is celebrated as a rock star of the industry. Polsky’s RTD outfit, LiveWire is an extension of that persona. Borrowing a cue from the music industry, LiveWire promotes and represents the bar world’s stars through a talent agency as well as a line of canned cocktails.
The cans feature bold designs evocative of 70’s album covers and the drinks sound like chart topping singles with names like ‘Heartbreaker’ and ‘Golden God.
The initial roster of creators is a virtual super group list of the craft cocktail world. Moe Aljaff of Two Schmucks, Joey Bernardo of Harvard & Stone, Yael Vengroff of The Spare Room, Chris Amirault of Otium, Christine Wiseman of Broken Shaker, Travis Tober of Nickel CIty, Erin Hayes of Westward Whiskey, and Sother Teague of Amor y Amargo will all have drinks in the lineup.
Details: LiveWire is sold 12 oz cans for an MSRP of $5.50 a pop. 750ml bottles are slated to follow in the future. ABV varies by variety. The current offerings consist of Honeydew Collins, Heartbreaker, and Golden God. Polsky promises more flavors in the weeks ahead.
LiveWire is available online here. You can also find them on Drizly and Postmates as well as retail in states such as NY and CA.
Taste: LiveWire does tries neither to replicate bar room cocktails nor create hard seltzer-type beverages. Instead, the RTD’s strive to be something unto themselves. The goal is to equip expert bartenders with a multitude of high end ingredients and let them create incredible drinks designed specifically for the canned format. And, LiveWire succeeds!
LiveWire’s drinks are unlike anything on the market, complex yet perfectly balanced. Most of all the libations are delicious and immensely poundable.