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Monday, 16 August 2010

Can The Canned Cocktail?

Trending now, alco-juggernaut Diageo’s ready-to-serve cocktails aim to cash in on cash-strapped lushes' move away from hanging out in bars to tippling at home. New, in Spain and Greece (whose natives could both use a stiff drink since their economies are even more f***ed than our own), is a pre-mixed Manhattan, one of various 'cocktails' in a can. Not yet available here, the Smirnoff's press office sent me over their cosmopolitan and 'vodka mojito' pre-mixes, sold in silver shaker-style bottles, to road test in their absence. Apparently these are already available in UK supermarkets; not something I'd know about as the staff take on Tesco in the trenches on my behalf. It beats me how a product that, by necessity, must have a long shelf life can hope to capture the transience of freshly muddled mint, key to a decent mojito - whose base ingredient ain't, in any case, vodka - let alone the notoriously volatile zing of newly squeezed citrus fruits  essential to other classics. The Smirnoff cosmo was just about bearable in a kind of adult alco-poppy way but their other effort was pure Vomjito, synthetic and horribly reminiscent of the sort of flavoured rinse my dentist would try out on me after root canal work. Still, anything that promotes cocktailing in general has to be a positive. As Hirondelle and Le Piat d’Or were stepping stones that led baby boomers towards more sophisticated vino, perhaps Diageo’s tipples will spawn a generation obsessed with tracking down the perfect Perfect Manhattan. Roll on the day every village boasts its own Callooh Callay, eh?