Not exactly new – bottle punches have been selling for a long time – ready-made cocktails took off as a concept at the end of the previous decade. Bar closures and closures oblige, the Covid crisis pushed them forward and the current craze for mixology did the rest. They mainly respond to the need to get at home, very quickly, a well-dosed cocktail in the absence of suitable tools and know-how, but certain companies are also aware of them, not only because they are very practical when you have a bar but no bartender , but also for the professionals because they can be customized and adapted. Here are ten bottles selected from the lush jungle of the ready-made cocktail.
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Chandon Garden Spritz – Chandon
Price: around €19 – 75 cl – 11.5% alc. flight.
The spritz, this neon-orange table lamp that lights up the café terraces at dusk… This elegant champagne-style bottle contains a spritz of a different kind, produced in Argentina. Its profile is resolutely vinous: Argentinian brut from the house of Chandon, created in 1959 in Mendoza by Robert-Jean de Vogüé (then president of Moët et Chandon), plays the traditional role of prosecco. Chardonnay, pinot noir and semillon make up this base wine, mixed with a homemade maceration of dried orange peel, herbs and spices in marc brandy. The result is finely effervescent, moderately bitter and slightly sweet. A slice of orange and it’s ready to be enjoyed very chilled, preferably without ice because of its delicacy, in a large balloon glass, with some seventies-style canapés (olives and slices of hard-boiled egg).
Available from wine merchants and at brut-de-champ.com
Sweet France – The Alchemist
Price: €35 – 50 cl – alc. flight. CN
L’Alchimiste is a mixology training workshop opened in Boulogne-Billancourt by bartender Matthias Giroud, which also offers a range of artisanal cocktails ready to drink, for take away or to order. Matthias designs his cocktails like perfumes for a seductive, even enchanting result, where the fruit exudes a generous proportion. The Douce France, selected from a range of six cocktails (including one without alcohol), is typical of this mixologist’s style: this tribute to the natural sweet wine of our south, made from 100% French products, is composed of Muscat de Rivesaltes , Amber Saint -Raphaël, raspberry liqueur infused with verbena and a touch of clementine essential oil and verjuice. The taste is round, languid and soft, and evokes a quiet and tender aperitif on the Mediterranean coast, rather west of the Rhône. It’s cute, very cute… We didn’t say “cute.” With sardine fillets marinated in salt and drizzled with olive oil, it will go really well.
Available at alchimistelab.com
Maracuja Punch – Longueteau
Price: €36 – 100 cl – 25% alc. flight.
Did you think the ready-to-drink cocktail was born from the last rain? Bottle punch is one of the first manifestations of this, and it is not new. This maracuja punch recipe, which was awarded two gold medals at the general competition, is completely developed at the distillery: the passion fruits are grown and picked on the Longueteau estate, then macerated for two weeks in the house’s agricultural room. Thus, the alcohol captures all the freshness, all the taste and all the aroma of the fruit. Spicy cod acras to accompany it, we can’t see better.
Available from wine merchants and at culinaries.fr
Cosmopolitan – MXO
Price: €24.90 – 50 cl – 17% alc. flight.
Nicolas Michaud, bartender creator of MXO, convinced that the bottled cocktail responded to a real need of the public, carried his project long before the Covid crisis. When he made it happen in September 2020, the market, which until now did not exist in France, was just waiting to take off. Pioneer that he is, Nicolas does not multiply his references and keeps them three in number for the moment, but gives each one a well-defined signature: a negroni without vermouth but with Pineau des Charentes, a porn star Martini (vodka, vanilla), passion fruit, lemon ) and this impressive cosmopolitan, with very little sugar: red pepper, homemade orange liqueur and hibiscus flower. Controlled taste experiences, creativity and at the same time respect for the great classics, MXO gives free rein to its audacity in a refined selection. We imagine this Cosmopolitan with a spicy dish: Basque chicken with Espelette pepper, for example.
Available at mxo-spirit.com and at wine retailers.
Savoia Americano Rosso – Savoia
Price: €24 – 50 cl – 18.6% alc. flight.
In its beautiful art-deco bottle, Savoia is an Americano Rosso whose deep red color evokes the red scarf of Garibaldi, the founder of Italian unity. In the pure tradition of Turin-style vino aperitivo, its bitterness is based on gentian, orange peel and artemisia, assisted by a rich bouquet of spices and Sicilian marsala instead of vermouth. Savoia proves that there is nothing more adaptable than classicism: it is indeed a premix, certainly delicious, clean with ice cubes, but it has more than one string to its bow: for an americano, add some sparkling water and slices of orange. With orange juice you get a garibaldi; with rye whiskey it becomes a Manhattan; with bourbon and three sour cherries, it’s a boulevardier, and you can even make a spritz by adding prosecco. List of suggestions not closed, except you don’t forget the roasted and salted peanuts.
Available at www.whisky.fr and wine merchants.
Price: €30 – 70 cl – 18% alc. flight.
If the cocktail called bramble – gin, lemon, blackberry cream and crushed ice – is popular in the United Kingdom, it is still little known in France, and Julien Maingraud, the creator of the Balbine series, had the good idea to put it in. value. Through his methods of preparation and research of basic products, exclusively French, Julien wants to popularize classic craft cocktails prepared with meticulous care and a style focused on bitterness. He spends a lot of time on macerations and trials, giving each recipe time to reach its optimum. Its catalog includes, among others, a very dry negroni, a very fresh mojito, a spicy Moscow mule, and therefore this blackberry with blackberry juice, which delighted us with its finesse and fruitiness. Julian’s goal “give my cocktails a taste of coming back”, applies admirably to this one. To drink over crushed ice and to accompany refined tapas.
Available in late 2022, sign up at balbinespirits.com to stay informed.
Mai tai – The Bartel
Price: €9.90 – 50 cl – 27% alc. flight.
It is true that the number 1 arcana of the Tarot de Marseille, Le Bateleur, looks like a bartender in full action. It was enough for the two creators, Nicolas Varnier and Philippe Di Méo, to draw inspiration from it. Their method hardly differs from that of other brands – bringing a personal twist to recognized classics – and the range includes four cocktails: negroni, manhattan, hanky panky and mai tai, recently available in Baby Barteleur, small 10cl bottles that you can hide in your garter like Marilyn Monroe in Some Like It Hot. Mai tai, from the glorious era of Tiki bars, is a skillful balance of white rum from Martinique, amber rum from Barbados, sweet orange, bitter almond and verjuice, enhanced by the freshness of yuzu and kumquat. An excellent recipe to sip neat on ice or diluted with tonic water (two-thirds for one-third mai tai). A couple of corn chips and a good guacamole (with all the jalapeño peppers) will pay tribute to him.
Available at lebarteleur.com and at wine retailers.
Orchard Keeper – Traveling cocktails
Price: €32.50 – 50 cl – 23% alc. flight.
Travelers Cocktails is the result of a partnership between La Maison du Whiskey and the Experimental Group, a network of innovative bartenders. The names of the three drinks – Paris, Venezia and New York City – refer to the cities where the Experimental Group has opened hotels. In Paris it is attributed to the Orchard Keeper, in Venice to the negroni, and manhattan, of course, in New York. Let’s take a look at this Orchard Keeper, which is a true celebration of fruit: Christian Drouin calvados, bianco vermouth, honey and orange bitters. Bitter orange offers on the nose, while apple dominates on the palate with a balance between honey and acidity. The finish still evokes apple, very persistent. What better advice would you give than an ice cube or two in a highball or claret glass and a gravlaks salmon accompanied by a fresh apple and celeriac salad?
Available at www.whisky.fr
Rubi-Rhea – Maison Alphonse
Price: €29.50 – 50 cl – 19% alc. flight.
You must have noticed that all our bottled cocktails openly play the made in France card. This is also the case with Maison Alphonse, whose creations are made from spirits distilled and aged in France. Unlike most other brands, its recipes claim originality and refer only very, very far to classic cocktails. They are also characterized by their diversity: nine references to poetic names and dreamy compositions. We could have chosen any one, for example Le Chant du Chêne (single malt, shiitake, truffle and miso), but we chose the charming Rubi-Rhea, made from white farmhouse rum, soaked rhubarb and Alain Milliat rhubarb juice, accompanied by a infusion of raspberry and nettle jam. A tart, fruity and aromatic cocktail to drink over ice with an almond cream and red fruit tart. Or maybe with duck breast with rhubarb sauce.
Available at wine merchants and at gourmet.galerieslafayette.com
Kit Negroni – The cocktail list
Subscription: €60 – Formulas 1 month (€60), 3 months (€169) and 6 months (€329).
Not quite in the vein of this article, but answering the primary function of the pre-made cocktail: Cocktailist is a kit cocktail company that is sold by subscription for one, three or six months with delivery included and the option of a gift card. You subscribe to the site and every month you receive a box of perfectly selected ingredients to make the cocktail of your dreams in the privacy of your home. It is possible to choose individual kits without a subscription, as well as all the necessary equipment for the bartender, from the shaker to the bag of popcorn. With more than 80 cocktail sets, from the classic Manhattan to the boucané ti’punch via Penicillin (single malt whiskey, lemon juice, honey syrup, Iranian black lemon), the choice is yours. The attention to the quality of the products is extreme: the negroni set contains Italian vermouth Punt e Mes, Campari Bitter and Porter’s gin, plus a few slices of orange. In the bar, we couldn’t be better.
Subscriptions and sets at thecocktailist.fr
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