Part of the fun of ordering a cocktail sometimes is the glassware—that’s one of the reasons Tiki never really goes out of style. Beverage directors and bartenders are getting ever more creative when it comes to unique and unexpected vessels for serving drinks. We loved the instant canned and boxed cocktails highlighted last year. Here are a few of our recent favorites.
The Chinese Takeout box.
Anthem in Austin, TX, offers a Kegged Mai Tai served in a Chinese takeout container. The cocktail, made with Clement Select Barrel Vieux Agricole rum, Plantation original dark rum, lime, dry Curaçao and orgeat, looks fun, but it packs a punch. The menu even notes how strong the cocktail is, advising drinkers to sip and savor the beverage.
Intersect By Lexus in New York offered a number of Instagrammable cocktails this summer. Described as “a unique, permanent space in select global cities where people can experience the ethos of the Lexus lifestyle without getting behind the steering wheel of one of our cars,” the luxury venue offered several cocktails in glassware shaped like fish and birds. The Condor Collins, made with Beefeater gin, tzatziki, lemon juice, simple syrup and soda, was served in a broken-egg-shaped cup with crushed ice.
Trash Can Cup.
Quaker Steak & Lube, a gas-station-themed, casual-dining chain, this past spring offered three cocktails packaged in branded “trash can” cups: The Rummy Worm (Blue Chair banana rum, Finest Call Strawberry puree, peach schnapps, Finest Call lemon sour mix, grenadine syrup, ElecticiTea (Absolut Citron vodka, Crown Royal Apple whisky, Tanqueray gin, Blue Curaçcao, Sierra Mist); and BullDozer (Cruzan rum, Absolut vodka, Tanqueray gin, triple sec, peach schnapps, Blue Curaçcao, Finest Call lemon sour mix). The cocktails were priced at about $10; guests could keep the can cup.
Honey Bear Squeeze Bottle.
Second Best Detroit believes that how a drink is served is just as important as what’s inside, which is why The Gummi Bear comes in a honey bear bottle. Inspired by the dive bar-era shot, the Gummi Bear is updated as a cocktail with house-made raspberry vodka, peach schnapps, house-made sour mix, 7 Up, and pebble ice. It tastes and smells like gummy bears, according to the bar, hence the honey bear vessel.
Capri Sun-style drink bags.
A number of mixologists have been playing with cocktails in bags or pouches like the Capri Sun juice drinks. The Arcadia Gateway location of brunch concept Hash Kitchen in Phoenix, part of The Maggiore Group, this summer offered Hash Capri Suns. The bagged cocktail concept (shown atop) comes in two flavors: Tropical Breeze with rum, passion fruit, mango and lime and Coco Cooler, a mix of vodka, blue curacao, pineapple, coconut and lime.
Christopher Hyman, bar manager of The Light Horse in Old Town Alexandria, VA, created The Capri Fun take on the Pacific Cooler Capri Sun juice pouch. Made with Tullamore D.E.W. Irish whiskey, 99 Bananas schnapps, strawberry shrub, orange bitters and peach-raspberry lemonade, is served in a pouch with a straw. You can opt to make this libation as virgin beverage, but here’s the recipe for the real deal.
1 ½ oz. Tullamore Dew Irish whiskey
½ oz. 99 Bananas liqueur
4 dashes Orange bitters
2 oz. Strawberry shrub
4 oz. Peach-raspberry lemonade
Combine ingredients and pour into a food-grade, trapezoid pouch. Serve with a straw.