Cannery Row Spirits Vol. 26 No. 02

Canned Drinks Find an Unusual Partner: Sake

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Anyone who hasn’t been living under a rock for the past few years, COVID quarantine excluded, has seen the explosion of canned alcohol beverages, particularly with younger consumers. Be they hard seltzers, canned wines, or canned cocktails – the latter often referred to in the industry as Ready to Drink or RTDs – there seems to be a canned option to fit everyone’s fancy.

Hard seltzers are the most mainstream, offering simple taste profiles that tend to not require too much thought. Canned wines are definitely worth a look for their fresh flavor profiles, no-waste single-serve presentation, and growing availability in the market. Then there are the RTDs, offering both classic cocktails and unique creations to accommodate just about any want. Spirits tend to rule the roost in the RTD sector, with whisky, vodka, and gin being the most utilized across the spectrum, and rum and tequila close behind in popularity.  

With so many canned beverages in the marketplace these days, it’s a daunting task just to navigate the aisle and find one that stands out from the crowd.

Not sure what to buy and feeling like something different? Enter Sake. That’s right, canned Sake and Sake cocktails are a thing. These uniquely flavored drinks made from brewed rice tend to be light & refreshing, made for drinking anywhere – or anytime – one wants a fun libation that won’t bog you down.

This month, I found two delicious sake products that had me saying Gochisousama deshita (that was delicious)!

The First: TOYO

Billed as the perfect drink for the sake-curious or session drinker, this refreshing cocktail in a can is the brainchild of Los Angeles-based Vervet Cocktails http://www.drinkvervet.com and makes a full line of canned craft cocktails from all-natural ingredients, all of which are intriguing and delicious.

TOYO is a sparkling cocktail made with aromatic Junmai Ginjo sake, Vervet’s own tonic syrup, yuzu, kumquat, and holy basil and is bittered with Cascade hops. Delicately sweet, crisp, fruity, and herbal, this 4% ABV cocktail is a joy to sip. All Vervet cocktails are available through their website and on drizly.com. $22.00/4-pack.

The Second: WESAKE

Made in partnership with a 280-year-old Japanese brewer. WESAKE is a Junmai Ginjo-style brew made from four simple ingredients: rice, water, yeast, and koji – a Japanese fermentation starter. This product helps make sake, often seen as an on-premise-only beverage to be consumed in Japanese restaurants, approachable.  As a sake aficionado, my only comment is “what took so long?”

WESAKE is non-GMO, vegan-friendly, gluten-free, and presents fruit-forward aromas and flavors. Best served chilled, it is 13%ABV and available at Premium Sake In A Can – WESAKE (https://wesake.co). $18.99/4-pack

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