Whether it's at the lake, the pool, or even your own backyard, it's time to start thinking about what canned beverage will be filling your cooler this spring and summer.
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery has been hard at work in its distillery coming up with the perfect canned cocktails for all your al fresco adventures. Clocking in at 7 percent ABV, each of its fruit-forward, expertly mixed concoctions is ready to be cracked open and enjoyed during those lazy, hazy days.
There are three flavors, each reminiscent of something a mixologist would hand you at an artisanal cocktail den.
"In our 26 years of brewing with Dogfish Head we've always been committed to using culinary-quality ingredients," says founder and president Sam Calagione. "So it was only natural that we'd bring culinary creativity into the distilling space."
You can choose from Strawberry & Honeyberry Vodka Lemonade, Blueberry Shrub Vodka Soda, and Cherry Bergamot Whiskey Sour.
While vodka strawberry lemonade may be a classic spring drink, Calagione says it's the honeyberries that set this one apart.
"The acidity and tartness of a honeyberry perfectly complements the fruity strawberry," he says. "And if you're wondering what a honeyberry is, it's like a bigger, weirder-looking blueberry with both hyper pigmentation and flavor."
Calagione got the idea to add the unusual fruit from his former college roommate who now runs a honeyberry farm and — "and I'm not kidding about this," says Calagione — is named Eli Berry.
The cocktail is made from vodka distilled with honeyberries, macerated with strawberries, and blended with house-made lemonade. It's light coral in color with a fresh-squeezed lemonade haze, and exudes the well-balanced tartness of fresh-squeezed lemon combined with a sweet berry taste.
Though this line of cocktails is brand-new, Dogfish Head nevertheless submitted its Blueberry Shrub Vodka Soda to the 2020 Los Angeles Spirits Awards — where it won Best in Show in the ready-to-drink category.
A shrub is a syrup made from dark fruits macerated in sugar and vinegar that's traditionally mixed with water or soda water for a flavorful refresher.
In this case, the cocktail was inspired by the bartenders at Dogfish Head's James Beard Award-nominated bar program at Chesapeake & Maine. It begins with Dogfish Head vodka distilled with blueberries, then is macerated with lightly sweetened balsamic and red wine vinegar to create a blueberry shrub vodka which is then blended with soda water.
The ensuing deep, burgundy-colored libation is juicy and subtly sweet from the blueberries, with a slightly sour and complex fruity character from the vinegar.
Developed to accentuate the nuances of our malt whiskey, the Cherry Bergamot Whiskey Sour is made using Dogfish Head whiskey distilled with tart cherries and highly-fragrant, citrusy bergamot oranges, then blended with a house-made sour mix.
Light amber in color, it is chock full of oak and vanilla whiskey flavors balanced by notes of citrus and dark cherries with a hint of honey, lemon, and bergamot.
You may recognize bergamot as the star flavor of Earl Grey tea, but it's also found in cookies, custards, marmalades, and syrups.
"Our main goal with these ready-to-drink cocktails was to make them 'second-can awesome' and not just 'first-sip awesome,'" says Calagione. "And we intentionally made each of them 7 percent ABV, so each can is equivalent of two shots of full-proof alcohol."
A toast to Dogfish Head, which is ensuring a spring and summer full of flavor and fun.
You can learn more about Dogfish Head's canned cocktails and see where to buy by visiting here.