Elizabeth Harper Elizabeth Harper | April 29, 2021 | Food & Drink Feature
Much like canned wine, you have to wonder: Is the canned version of my tried-and-true cocktail really better than the refreshing concoction my favorite bartender can whip up? According to Tip Top Proper Cocktails, the answer is an astounding yes. As the brand launches in new markets, including Florida and New York, and releases a fresh batch of yummy cocktails in early May, co-founder Neal Cohen puts the debate to rest. Here’s why Tip Top’s cans are superior.
As music industry vets, Tip Top Proper Cocktails founders Neal Cohen and Yoni Reisman would have had to be blind not to notice the mass appeal of high-quality, high-volume cocktails. “We fantasized about creating a world-class cocktail in an easy-to-serve vessel,” says Cohen. “Our thought was that maybe we could help solve a problem for venues, events, restaurants, bars, airplanes and regular folks at home on the couch.” Enter Miles Macquarrie, a former James Beard finalist for outstanding bar program, and after trail, error and many, many cocktails, the trio perfected the recipe for Tip Top Proper Cocktails. “Macquarrie is our recipe developer and will present the gold standard for a handmade version of the cocktail from his bars [Atlanta’s Kimball House and Watchman’s],” explains Cohen of the cocktail development process. “With the help of beverage development consultants, we then create a formula based on Miles’ recipe that can be scaled-up to large batches, while ensuring consistency, quality and a price point that fits our consumer.” Cue the happy imbibers.
After perfecting its core Stirred offering of Manhattans, Negronis and Old-Fashioneds, Tip Top now expands its reach—it’s available in Georgia, Colorado, South Carolina and Texas, as well as more recent additions of Florida and New York—and releases a Shaken line of new cocktails, which includes a margarita, daiquiri and the Bee’s Knees. “With the Shaken line,” says Cohen, “we have cocktails that are still high-proof but more appropriate daytime, warmer weather refreshments.” Hello, summer weather! The margarita and daiquiri are the purist’s version, which Cohen explains have “three simple, perfectly balanced ingredients: spirit, citrus, sugar.” The Bee’s Knees, meanwhile, looks to bartending’s more quiet past. “The Bee’s Knees is a beloved classic that goes back to 1920s Paris, but has yet to reach its full potential as a household cocktail,” says Cohen. “It’s perfect for spring or summer sipping. The combination of bright gin botanicals with floral honey and tart lemon makes for a magical cocktail experience.”
With the Shaken cocktails undoubtedly in our poolside future, Cohen hints that even more canned drinks will be headed our way “when the timing is right.” But, before he can get back to the test kitchen, he settles the debate once and for all…
1. We’re proper: Our favorite bartender and James Beard Award finalist, Miles Macquarrie, helps us develop authentic, delicious recipes that are always balanced and never too sweet.
2. We’re exemplary: Our design—much like our recipes—is classic, clean and iconic. In a category marred by cheap, sweet products, we opt for quality instead.
3. We’re convenient: Our shelf-stable can is a single-serve size, allowing for a proper experience every time you pour one. And you can pour one just about anywhere.
4. We’re fun: While we care deeply about making the best canned cocktails in the world, we never take ourselves too seriously.
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Photography by: By Mia Yakel