Article by Jason Rogers
It’s no secret that people here love a nice beer in a can or bottle. Often you can find one table with 10-20 at a time. And I’m sure we are all familiar with the sweet bottled Rio drinks lining the fridges of Everydays all over the city. But I foresee something new on the horizon. Because why should you only put beer in a can or bottle; why not a refreshing chardonnay or a Manhattan cocktail? Yeah, we are officially in the future.
This isn’t a super new idea of course. Canned drinks have actually been around for quite some time, as early as the late 1800’s. During the 1980’s ads for everything from Rum & Coke to Whiskey Sours in a can could be found. But most of the stuff in those cans was pretty artificial and incredibly sweet. So the trend of putting things in a glass died out during the 2000’s. But in recent years there has been a rise in new quality tasting canned drinks.
One new trend that’s catching on is canned wine. Let me paint a picture for you. It’s a hot summer day. You and your friends are in the mood for a little trip to the mountains to escape the heat. You have your cooler and of course you have some beers for the trip, but not everyone loves cheap beer (let’s be honest it gets dull after a while). You don’t feel like carrying around some heavy 750ml bottles of wine and some people like red, some like white, some rose. It’s a lot of options and a lot of work and money. But, what if right next to your can of Budweiser was a nice can of Cabernet or Moscato? You can get 1-2 glasses worth of wine but in a nice cool can; no bottle opener or broken cork problems. Not to mention, you can have a variety of wines for the cost of one bottle. Canned wine is also more environmentally friendly, so you can pat yourself on the back while sipping a can of Chardonnay in your Ray-Bans (wow, that was a really hipster sentence). But back to the wine, it gives you a lot of freedom, bring a wine six pack to a party, keep some in your fridge for when you have company, you’ve got options. And for what kinds of wine you can have I’ve seen everything from red/white blends to Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling. You should be able to find something to suit your taste.
Maybe wine or beer isn’t your thing. I consider myself a bit of a cocktail specialist, but, that being said, I get lazy after a long day and sometimes I want a drink, but I don’t want to make it. A lot of times I head to the bar but even I have my days where I want to stay in, its times like that where a bottled or canned cocktail is super nice. Now I’m not talking the high fructose, grain liquor stuff you might be used to. We now live in a time where you can get craft cocktails pre-made in a bottle. Companies making these new age ready-to-drink (RTD) cocktails with quality in mind. Fresh ingredients, quality liquor, and balanced flavors. You can expect to see classics like a Negroni or Old-fashioned. If the classics don’t interest you, there are original drinks too like “In Love With Rosemary”, which is a mix of gin, strawberry, orange liqueur, and rosemary. Me personally, I consider gin and rosemary a power couple so any cocktail featuring the two is always a hit for me. So the next big question people will be asking is, where can I find these Jason? And that is a very good question.
Currently, the canned and bottled wave is big in the west but is still somewhat new in China. So, our options are a little more limited but options we do have. For the cocktail enthusiast, a company to look for is Laiba. Based in Shanghai, the company is currently making a range of classic and original cocktails in single serving bottles. They have a mini program that you can search for and they ship throughout Mainland China, and you can expect a bottle to run around 45rmb. Then there is the canned wine. Currently, there are only a few available brands and most of the foreign ones aren’t here yet, but after doing some digging on Taobao, I found a couple worth trying. Wimo is a brand based here in China that sells canned wine at a reasonable price. They say 3 cans of their wine is roughly a bottle so a six pack is two bottles in a nice little package. Currently they have three varietals, red blend, white blend and rose. They have one wine type or mixed 6 packs starting at 88rmb and you can find them on Taobao. Another brand I’ve found is Leitz Out, which is a canned Riesling that’s on the drier side, at 11% it’s definitely enough for a good time and 2 cans run around 69rmb. Right now these brands are really putting craft and convenience together and I expect to see more brands popping up here soon, maybe even one from our very own backyard of Xian. If you are looking for a new way to enjoy an old thing or a wine option for the person who doesn’t feel comfortable drinking wine from a fancy glass, give these a try. I know I will. As always thanks for reading and cheers.
About The Author:
Jason Rogers, a former bartender and liquor sales consultant from the US. His passion for creativity and hospitality are perfectly matched with cocktails. By working both in craft cocktail bars and with major liquor brands he has built a wealth of knowledge on all things tipsy.
When he’s not dreaming up delectable drinks, he is committed to his other passions, like singing, comedy and creative writing. Jason currently works as an English teacher by day and moonlights as a key figure in many of Xi’an’s popular events. He’s always willing to have a drink and share a conversation.