So far, 2021 has seen the launch of a number of new ready-to-drink packaged cocktails from some of the biggest players in the spirits industry: Tanqueray, Bombay Sapphire, Crown Royal, and others have all looked to grab a share of a surging sector of the drinks industry. The big question that still needs answering is the extent to which these new entrants will crowd out of the existing players in the canned cocktail space.

That’s what Adam Teeter and Zach Geballe discuss on this week’s “VinePair Podcast”: Will consumers stick with their existing brand preferences when it comes to canned cocktails? Will craft producers be able to grow market share with more dynamic and interesting offerings? And which cocktails can be captured the way Campari has captured the Negroni?

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Adam: From Brooklyn, New York, I’m Adam Teeter.

Zach: And in Seattle, Washington, I’m Zach Geballe.

A: And this is the “VinePair Podcast.” And Zach, this is going to feel really weird to you, but because of technical difficulties, I’m running the recording. This means I can mute you know.

Z: I still get to edit these at the end, so, if the audio quality changes, it’s because I’ve had to splice my commentary back in.

A: That’s true. I actually don’t control the editing. … I don’t know how to do that. But what’s been going on, man?

Z: Well, I bought a house. That’s pretty exciting.

A: Congratulations!

Z: Thank you. Yeah, it’s been an adventure. I can’t say that it was all sunshine and lollipops, but given what we were prepared for by friends, family, and our realtor, it actually wasn’t too painful. I should say, I am finding a piece of wood and knocking on it. We have not officially closed yet. Short of that, the offer has been accepted. We have the money, so that’s always a good sign. So that’s been cool.

A: Are you staying in Seattle?

Z: Yeah, we are still in Seattle. We’re a few miles from where we currently live. We are not going to be quite as in the absolute center of the brewing epicenter of Seattle, but still a relatively close drive and actually quite near one of, another favorite brewery of mine, which is kind of cool. It’s a brewery up here that makes all kinds of French-style beers, which is very interesting that I quite like.

A: Can you walk there, or would still have to drive?

Z: Nope, I can walk there.

A: Oh, that’s great, man. I’ve been to Seattle a few times but I mean obviously I still owe the trip where I was going to hang out with you. I have to admit, I don’t know it super, super well, but it’s a city of neighborhoods all over right? It’s a lot of houses.

Z: It’s a city of neighborhoods, and it’s a city where we are finally kind of developing some of the mass transit infrastructure that would link things a little bit. Seattle just geographically and topographically is not like just Manhattan, but even like most of New York City, with the exception of Staten Island, you can just walk a long way before you reach a sort of obstacle that impedes you in terms of a river or a body of salt water. And here we’ve got lakes. We’ve got Puget Sound, obviously, which is the end of the city, and relatively big hills; it’s always been a little more pockets. Of course, as the city has grown, those have grown together more. With a lot of the mass transit improvement that’s happening now, those things will probably be a little less distinct. Definitely, there still are neighborhoods of more than one kind, and all cities have their neighborhoods. I always find it funny in Manhattan when someone would argue about what was the technical definition of the Lower East Side. And it’s kind of it. At the same time, it’s not like the streets look different when you go one block east.

A: So did you drink anything special for the close or for being in contract or do you have something special planned for when you close?

Z: We have a special bottle. We have two bottles, one for when we close, and then one for dinner or the night in the new house.

A: Do share, do share.

Z: Well, the second one I’m going to save, because I’ll leave content for that episode.

A: But remember that half the people who listen to this one won’t listen to that one.

Z: I have unsurprisingly, a bottle of Champagne, which is Egly-Ouriet, which is one of my favorites. Well, I’m not the first person to suggest celebrating with Champagne, I’m pretty sure.

A: One hundred percent, especially when you buy a house.

Z: And then my wife and I have a bottle of wine, actually a bottle of sparkling wine, but from a domestic producer, Argyle Oregon, which is the first winery that she and I went to together when we started dating. And so that would be probably what we have the first night in the new house is the tentative plan. Obviously, circumstances could change, but most exciting, well, many exciting things, the new house will also have space for an actual legitimate podcast studio. I have a little utility closet that will become the cave I go into to record these. You guys will notice, probably, an improvement in sound quality.

A: Nice, nice.

Z: How about you? What have you been drinking?

A: Oh gosh, man, so I’ve been doing this thing I love which I think we talked about much, but I don’t drink Monday through Wednesdays, which I’ve kept up with, which is great. So last weekend, I hung out with Keith on Saturday night. We went out to dinner outside, obviously, with Naomi and Gina (Keith’s wife is Gina), and we had, gosh, we had some delicious orange wine. I can’t remember the producer, but we went to this place, Lorina Pasta Visio, which is incredible in Fort Greene, just really sick pasta. And they have a really amazing wine list. And so that was a really delicious bottle. But again, I don’t like to take pictures of bottles when I go out to dinner for some reason and I like to be in the moment. So I actually feel bad that I don’t remember the producer, but it was a really delicious bottle of orange wine that Keith had selected.

A: And then on Sunday night, I did something I had never done before, and I was actually pretty impressed with myself. I think I talked about before. Naomi’s been a vegetarian since she was 5. Her parents are not vegetarians. It wasn’t like they subjected her to their own dietary restrictions. She decided you want to be a vegetarian based on the animals and things like that. She’s always been that way, but usually, when I want to have a burger night, I’ll make a burger for myself. I’ll make something else for her, like grilled cheese, or I’ll do a veggie burger. And you know what, screw it. I’m going to buy the Impossible Burger meat and I’m going to make smash burgers. I made smash burgers with it, I followed the instructions that I read on the L.A. Times, which were very helpful, like I weighed each patty out to 3 ounces. I made four 3-ounce patties. I got a nonstick pan super, super hot. Then I added a little bit of oil. There’s smoke, obviously, but I seared them on both sides. They get crusty like a smash burger, and then I added cheese. The second you sear one side that is super hot, then when it’s like a minute and a half and it’s really crispy, you flip it, and you immediately add the cheese and sear for another minute to minute and a half. It really has that sort of like Shake Shack, In-N-Out crust around texture. And then I added some caramelized onions, lettuce, tomato. I also bought this new sauce they’re selling at Trader Joe’s called Magnifisauce, which basically tastes like Shack Sauce or In-N-Out sauce. And then I paired it with (this would be weird because I talk about them on another podcast) but Mayacamas Chardonnay. And I was like, oh, it’s a veggie burger actually. I can make a white wine and it will stand up. And it was delicious. The Mayacamas Chardonnay was awesome. But the thing that was really dope, to be very fair, was this burger. I was really impressed. I think I will do it more often. I don’t know why I haven’t been doing these plant-based burgers more.

Z: Was this the first time you had tried the Impossible Burger?

A: I had had it in tacos and things like that where I had seasonings. And I had it once at like a food truck. I remember like two or three years ago and was like, meh. Honestly, I think maybe they didn’t do it well. I guess it was the first time I had made it for myself, and I was blown away. I was like, look, it’s not a burger. I think if you are this person who’s like this better replace my cheeseburger. It doesn’t do that, it doesn’t taste like beef, but it tastes really good, if that makes sense. I don’t know how to explain to people, but if you’re going in being like this better taste like beef. No, It doesn’t taste like beef. It’s not made out of beef, but it tastes really good and better than any veggie burger I’ve ever had. It has that quality of it being meat. You know, veggie burgers get crumbly, they’re dry, they fall apart. It was really, really good.

Z: Cool. I’ve never made them at home. I’ve had them out a couple of times pre-pandemic and I’ve always found my thinking on it has been that when I make burgers, especially at home, I tend to kind of go almost the opposite direction from you. I go with very minimal ingredients — basically just ground meat and cheese. But I also do stuff like ground, ground mayo meat, and usually Kaitlyn makes buns.

A: Oh, when I do real burgers, that’s what I do. That’s sort of like when I read up on the L.A. Times, they were like basically go crazy with the condiments and do them super thin for these. And it did deliver that fat.

Z: Exactly.

A: But higher-end for me. When I do my own “burger burger,” I do sous vide and I’m like let’s just add a little gruyere or something and maybe some sautéed balsamic onions. I 100 percent agree with you, but that’s what was kind of fun about this. I’d never made a burger like this at home before.

Z: You’re right, it isn’t exactly beef but it fits super well into that sort of ecosystem of all the accouterment that you get with like a fast-food burger or even just like a burger out where you’re getting a little more elaborate. To me, the point is a little bit less about the patty itself and more about everything working together. So, yeah, I’m with you there.

A: It was delicious. So let’s jump into today’s today’s topic, which is, obviously we’ve talked a lot about RTD’s and RTS’s. So, ready-to-drinks, ready-to-serves. Over the past few months, a lot of those conversations we’ve had both on this podcast as well as in “Next Rounds” has been with indie producers who’ve been leading the way in terms of creating, you know, boxed Negronis, canned gin and tonics, etc. We’ve had really great conversations with a bunch of different people who are doing this. So too many to name on the podcast. But you should go back to listen to some of these “Next Rounds.” But obviously, as always happens, the big brands have realized that this is a space they should now get involved in. And they’re jumping in. I got a release today that Bombay Sapphire is releasing their canned gin and tonic. Any moment now, the big brand that’s known for spritzes is probably going to release a canned spritz. Crown Royal is coming out with their “Crown and Cokes” and “Peach Whiskey and Tea” etc. Zach, you posed this to me. We talked about everything about the topic for this week, so what does this mean? Are we going to see the same sort of influence and sort of sales muscle we have seen that the big brands have had in other places in this space? I think it’s a really interesting question, and I think it’s yes and no. What I mean by that is, I think the place we need to look at to determine whether there’s going to be the same success is seltzer. And so if you look at hard seltzer, you have two brands that never existed before who are No. 1 and No. 2. You have White Claw being the big behemoth in the hard seltzer space. And then you have Truly who’s behind it — not far behind, but far enough behind that they are very clearly No. 2. But then No. 3 and No. 4, very recently, are Bud Light and Corona. Brands that have brand recognition. I think it’s still early to say and look, maybe it hasn’t been as long for the category to develop, meaning that I don’t know if these craft brands have been in the market as long as White Claw and Truly were before the big people came in. I think there is going to be a lot of these craft brands that are going to now sort of be SOL, because these big boys are coming in. But what do you think?

Z: Well, so I think it’s really fascinating because in some ways, to me, it almost depends on what you’re as a consumer, what your thought process behind buying an RTD or RTS cocktail is? If your thought process is that what appeals to you about it is having a cocktail experience that is somewhat equivalent to the kind of experience that you can have at a bar, at a cocktail bar — maybe not an absolutely elaborate cocktail, because that’s just never really going to work, probably, in the RTD or RTS category, but you want to have a drink that’s a really nice Old Fashioned or a really nice Negroni. I think this is an area where the smaller brands can really compete because in the end, I think what you’re already seeing and I think we’ll continue to see, is that if you are the big spirits brands, you’re Tanqueray, you’re Crown Royal, etc., your approach to putting an RTD or RTS cocktail together is what are our absolute most popular formulations. Crown and cola, peach whiskey and tea, gin and tonic. That is going to be what you are going to put out there. And inherently you’re going to kind of have to appeal to a very large cross-section of drinkers, which means that not the quality will be poor. That’s not at all what I’m trying to say. But merely that you will not be able to offer, I don’t think, as many kinds of variation and differentiation and where these craft brands have already seen it. I think we will continue to see it is, “OK, great. You can make a gin and tonic in a can, but I can make a Last Word in a can, or I can make a Lion’s Tail in a can or something that people who want an experience that is closer to a craft cocktail bar and maybe further away from what you might find in any bar setting on the planet, are going to look at craft brands. But of course, the thing that’s different and I think where the big brands will dominate and where there is, I think, a difference between even hard seltzer and this category is that Bud Light Seltzer and Corona Seltzer have nothing to do with Bud Light or Corona, other than the branding. There’s no flavor similarity, whereas if you are a dedicated drinker and you know even better than I do, Adam, it has always been remarkable to me how dedicated a huge swath of Bombay Sapphire drinkers or Tanqueray drinkers or Crown Royal drinkers or whatever are to their specific brand. I’ve tried, and I’ve been in this experience because sometimes in a bar, you run out of the brand that someone wants or it’s not in stock or you don’t carry it. For those people, the vast majority…

A: They are not happy.

Z: Yeah, they either sometimes just leave or they are grumbling like, “OK, fine, I will take a different gin or whatever.” For that group, that group this is going to be a slam dunk. This is the thing I wanted to ask you about. What I wonder is, how are these products going to compete for space with just the bottled spirit itself? I think that where a lot of these RTDs and RTSs are going to have a ton of success, and we’ve talked about this, like you get on an airplane in a year, they’re not going to open a can of tonic water and give you a little airline bottle of gin. They’re just going to give you a can of Tanqueray gin and tonic. All these areas where the process of mixing a drink is onerous, sporting events, other kinds of venues like that, which will one day be open again if they’re not already in some places, that’s where this is going to be. That’s a place where I don’t know if the craft brands would have ever competed. I don’t know. That was a lot of things, but that’s what’s been on my mind.

A: Yeah. I think a lot of what you’re saying makes a ton of sense. I think on the craft side, there are going to be people. It’s the same like, look, you’re going to always have the consumer. Is it going to be mass? No. But you’re always going to have the consumer who loves a craft cocktail bar and loved that the bartender behind the bar was pouring some bespoke spirit into the can. Now, what I will say, though, is what this is going to demand on these craft producers is they’re going to have to start putting what the f*cking spirit is in the can. Right now, where they are losing and where I think they are going to be in a lot of trouble going forward, a lot of them are not saying what is in the can. They’re saying this is a gin and tonic so there are very few brands that I have seen recently that exist that are making spritzes, that are saying we’re using this bespoke spirit from this place. Some are like Social Hour that we interviewed. Like Julie Reiner, she’s saying that all the spirits are coming from a distillery in Brooklyn. I forget the name now but in Williamsburg. She’s saying that’s what the spirits are coming from. Others are not. I think Crafthouse, they say two of their drinks, they say, are Plantation 3 Stars, but they don’t say what any other spirit is. If I am now a craft consumer and I care, I want to know is that Daiquiri made with Ten to One? Is that Daiquiri made with Kasama? Whatever the rum, is tell me. Because that’s why I also like going to these craft cocktail bars.

Z: Exactly.

A: Instead, the brands I like are telling me Tanqueray is in here, because it is a Tanqueray gin and tonic. I think that’s one place where the craft brands are going to have to get smart. Second, I think you’re going to see a huge fight between all the big brands that are all going after the same cocktail. There’s going to be this sort of push for territory between Tanqueray and Bombay, etc., and flavor will win there. Also, the brand that is just the top-selling mass-market brand will win. I think Tanqueray right now is the No. 1 premium gin in America. I would assume Tanqueray gin and tonic sells better than Bombay Sapphire gin and tonic. We’ll see but that would just be my assumption. Unless Bombay Sapphire gin and tonic delivers a better flavor experience. If you start seeing a lot of press saying that it outperforms by far how delicious it is compared to a Tanqueray gin and tonic. Whoever gets closest to the flavor of a true gin and tonic that you made fresh is going to win there. Now, the true brands, though, that are going to just absolutely crush, are going to be the big-market brands that have done the work prior to this to truly own a cocktail. Obviously, there are two that you can immediately think of. The Aperol Spritz and the Negroni, the Campari Negroni. There’s a lot of consumers out there that think a spritz tastes like a spritz or a spritz they like without Aperol in it. And they do not think that it is a Negroni without Campari. And it’s funny, I was having a conversation with a friend recently who’s tried a bunch of these new boxed Negronis that are made by other companies and they’re using their form of bitter. You can call it whatever you want but they’re not using Campari, either, because I’m sure they can’t. Probably because Campari is going to come out with their own Negroni. They’re like, “It just doesn’t taste like a Negroni. I like it, it’s tasty, but it’s not a Negroni.” They like that Campari flavor. I think when Campari comes out with its RTD, which I think has already been announced, I think they already have one in a full bottle, but they’re going to come out more RTSs is I guess is what you would technically call them, it’s going to continue to do well because they own the space. And I will really be curious to see if more spirits brands decide, “OK, huh. I wonder if this is a way in and I wonder if we try to own the cocktail first as just a traditional spirit that we circle around like maybe we are a rye brand that decides that we should circle around the Sazerac or the Manhattan. Then we see if we gain traction and we do well and then we come out with our own RTD/RTS around that same drink.” I know that Maker’s Mark has already an RTS mint julep. It’ll be really interesting to see if, like Woodford, which is really known as being synonymous with the durability response to the Derby for however many years now, decades, comes out with their own sort of Mint Julep because they really are the bourbon that’s pushed in your face as the bourbon for a Mint Julep. If that does well for them, you know that could be in discussions now. Those are the spirits that I think will just really kill because of their connection to certain cocktails and everyone else. It would be, just as you said, if that’s already your call, then that’s going to be your call here, too. Then, it’s going to be really hard for some other people to catch. If you already drink Crown and Coke, and you now see the Crown and Coke RTS, of course, you buy it. Of course you’re buying it, and the only reason you wouldn’t enjoy it is that maybe you make your own Crown and Coke, weaker or stronger or with a different cola because there’s a lot of colas out there, but I’m a Coke guy.

Z: Really?

A: Yeah man, I am from the South.

Z: I know, I’m well aware.

A: We call all soda Coke.

Z: I know it’s throwing me off before.

A: It’s so weird, “I’ll have Coke.” The Sprite?

Z: I think the other piece of this that’s really interesting to me, too, you kind of touched on this a little bit about how with certain spirits, they’ve been able to own a cocktail more. I think it also creates this very interesting thought exercise, which is: What element of any given cocktail is the thing that is most important? That is, I think, something that is also going to get sorted out in all this. One thing I’m curious about is like, again, the gin and tonic is a perfect example. Are some of these big brands going to collaborate with tonic producers? I mean, obviously, some of them are already kind of in the same broader portfolio. I wonder if some of the more highly thought of maybe slightly smaller — still big production — but your specialty tonics like Fever Tree are going to put out their own version of a gin and tonic. Again, the question kind of comes back to the consumer. The individual consumer will have to judge what is the thing that is most important to me in this drink? Is it the base spirit? Is it the additional flavor, the bittering agent in this case of, as you said, the Negroni or the Aperol Spritz? Or is it the mixer in the case of gin and tonic? I think you can make a pretty compelling argument for that. For some people, maybe even myself included, in a lot of gin and tonics, the tonic is at least as important to me as the gin.

A: Exactly.

Z: Even though I might prefer, you know, Bombay Sapphire to Tanqueray, what I really care about is what is the quality of the tonic that’s being used? If it’s the cheapest tonic out there, I might avoid that whole thing and instead either continue to make my own at home or if I’m looking for a canned alternative, I might look for a canned alternative that offers a higher quality tonic, and maybe at a slightly higher price point.

A: But you’re a craft consumer.

Z: Of course, of course.

A: You’re going to be a consumer that appreciates that whereas most consumers are used to like a gin and tonic that I don’t want to say is truly off the gun, but is something like that, right, they may be much happier. I think what this conversation really brings up, which is what we’ve had before, but it is always worth reiterating in the world of alcohol is: marketing matters. I mean, there are people that just spend a lot of marketing, and some of these brands will and that’s where you either have to be in the spirit space especially, you’d have to be the first in the game, quick and just take advantage of the press you get, etc. Or you’ve got to have a ton of cash. It’s not a game for people without money. It’s just not. I think what’s really interesting actually is to think about an acquisition that happened this week in the RTD space. That is this Ranch Water brand out of Texas that we’ve written about before on VinePair. They only launched it last April, and they’ve only grown in Texas. Already so far, they’re at the top. They’re in the top five hard seltzer brands that are craft, and they are owning the Ranch Water space. They’re saying that they’re sweetened with 100 percent blue agave, whether or not I think, though, they’re actually not tequila-based, they’re still a malt-based RTD. Yet, they’re owning the Ranch Water space. Diageo sees that as a very quickly growing cocktail, so they bought it.

Z: The cocktail that doesn’t have a specific brand attached to it.

A: Exactly, so they bought it. I think that is how you win in this space. The problem is everyone running into the spritz space, like the spritz space is amazing. Everyone loves spritzes. What’s your call for a spritz? It’s an Aperol Spritz. Yes, we in the trade know there are lots of spritzes, like the consumer knows its an Aperol Spritz. I think that those brands will suffer more. They think it’s a generic category but actually, for the majority of consumers, it’s an Aperol category. Then somebody says, you know what, “I see Ranch Water trending. Many tequila brands are around right now. No tequila brand really came into the space. I’m just going to create Ranch Water, and I’m going to grow really quickly.” Then you exit. I don’t think I’ve seen Diageo buy a brand outright that fast in a long time. That’s really incredible. Something to think about, especially if you’re someone listening to this podcast as an entrepreneur as like, you know, what is the cocktail out there that you’re seeing kind of bubble up? People are talking about what people are interested in, but it doesn’t really seem to have a brand around it right now. Can you kind of create that and own it and just be there first? Ranch Water is a phenomenon. It only exists right now in Texas. I know Erica talked about it a lot when she was on the podcast last summer, but it still really is very much a Texan and Southern thing that’s starting to expand. But what is some regional or where you live or some other cocktail that you know nationally, is starting to grow? Can you think of ones?

Z: It’s so complicated because the last year has not so completely stifled innovation, but it’s really stifling to what drinks are spreading because everyone has become so localized for the most part. I think there you will see again a real proliferation of this kind of cross-pollination of ideas. More than anything else, I mean that we know this, that the cocktail there’s a vast cocktail literature that could be mined for these kinds of things that could translate well to the can and that don’t have a well-known spirit attached to them. And of course, there’s also, you always create cocktails that not every good possibility has been attempted, although generally speaking, simple things seem to translate well into this medium. Most of those have been figured out.

A: If you were to create one right now, like, OK, so, and this is caveat, right? Everyone has said, and I think they’re right, that no one ever really knows one yet. I think you should omit this from your ideas, and has figured out citrus in the way that citrus is actually delicious in fresh cocktails. No one’s really figured that out. You can’t really give me a Daiquiri. You can’t really give me a Margarita because they don’t work to the level I think they need to work in a canned cocktail. If it was anything else, what would you do right now?

Z: Well, a thing that I’ve been intrigued by just as a general cocktail profile — and it may be a little bit the citrus element to this might be tricky to figure out, but I actually think it’s a cocktail where the citrus component is a little bit where you can find a way to do it that doesn’t involve fresh juice, even though the cocktail kind of generally calls for it — is the Bramble. To me, that’s a perfect cocktail where you have a fruit profile that blackberries, I think, tend to do really well in cocktails. We talked a bunch about it last year. You can, again, you don’t need fresh blackberry juice. You can use a blackberry liqueur, which is typically how it’s done. And it’s a gin-based cocktail. The gin is important, but I think it’s just a cocktail that I think is going to become more popular. To me, that’s one. Even if it isn’t as sort of cut and dry, you can’t own it the way you can potentially Ranch Water because the spirit is so central to the drink. I don’t know, with my 30 seconds of notice, that’s what I came up with. Do you have an idea?

A: I think it’s a good idea. I love a Bramble. So for me, I’m very torn here. So I thought a lot about the cocktails that I find delicious, and all of them have citrus in them. I don’t know what to do. Then, I actually do think the Ranch Water is f****** brilliant. OK, well, I can’t do that because that already exists so “OK, well, so what would I do?” I’m kind of torn and I think what I would probably do is, and I know this is crazy because it is Campari, but I think I do Boulevardier.

Z: OK.

A: And I think it’s not as well known as being a Campari drink. I think people know Campari leaned in ding so much to the Negroni that I think I would do a Boulevardier or I would do a White Negroni. Again, no one really knows it as being Campari. No one’s expecting it to be Campari, but they are popular. And you would draft off the name, but it would be its own thing. Those would be my two.

Z: I could see those working, for sure. I think you would also kind of have to decide. Well, I think there’s a lot of possibility for both of those we’ll have to discuss down the road. I have one quick question for you about this category, too. Picture a year from now, and you’re going out and you’re traveling for work, and you’re staying in a hotel. But the hotel you’re staying in just has a generic hotel bar. And you order a Negroni.

A: Uh-huh.

Z: What are the odds that Negroni is something that they open a can or open a bottle and pour into a glass for you and that it’s not mixed in any way?

A: How many years?

Z: One year.

A: At the bar, or in the minibar?

Z: At the minibar, the answer is yes.

A: In the minibar, it is 100 percent.

Z: Yes, they’re already there.

A: At the bar, depending on if it is a national chain hotel. I think it’s 50-50. If it’s a boutique hotel, I still think it’s maybe 20 percent, they’ll to be one of these places that want to trade on the fact that they’re, you know, they have a high-end bar in the hotel. If it is a national chain, if I’m at a Hyatt, if I’m at a Hilton, a Westin, a Marriott, it is 50-50, if not 60-40, that it is a very good canned cocktail.

Z: I want to be clear, I posed the question not because I think that is any kind of judgment-based answer. I just was curious about your thoughts, because I agree. I think as this whole industry kind of reboots post-Covid, I think that’s going to be one area that you’re just going to see, a lot of the cocktails that you have in a lot of places that are not really focused on cocktail creation and assembly, they’re going to lean into this category because it’s just it makes a ton of sense from an operator standpoint.

A: Absolutely agree. Well, Zach, this has been super interesting, as always. Would love to listen to what everyone who listens to the podcast thinks. Shoot us an email at [email protected]. Give us your thoughts. Let us know if you think that there’s a future in the world of our RTDs and what the big brands are going to do. Also, let us know how many of you agree with us that you think it’s 50-50 with the hotel bars, if it’s even higher, where you see this category going as well. We always love to know what people think. And any other questions you have as well. Thanks for listening. And as always, Zach, I will talk to you next week.

Z: Sounds great.

Thanks so much for listening to the “VinePair Podcast.” If you love this show as much as we love making it, please give us a rating on review on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, or whatever it is you get on your podcast. It really helps everyone else discover the show. Now for the credits. VinePair is produced and recorded in New York City and Seattle, Wash., by myself and Zach Geballe. He does all the editing and loves to get the credit.

Also, I would love to give a special shout-out to my VinePair co-founder, Josh Malin, for helping make all this possible and also to Keith Beavers, VinePair’s tasting director, who is additionally a producer on the show. I also want to, of course, thank every other member of the VinePair team who are instrumental in all of the ideas that go into making the show every week. Thanks so much for listening and we’ll see you again.

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