Photos by Enormous Creative
The beloved brewer and its new Current Spirits Distillery are hoping to upend your summer drinking game with natural flavors, real liquor, and a couple unique delivery methods.
Westchester’s love affair with canned liquor products has really taken off. While just two years ago a canned cocktail was something of a novelty, nowadays you’d be hard pressed to find a neighborhood tap house that doesn’t also stock a few cans of White Claw. But Current Spirits, the newly opened distillery from the minds beyond Captain Lawrence Brewing Co., is hoping to completely change the game with its latest release: canned cocktails made with real flavors and real booze.
Most hard soda beverages are made with malt liquor — meaning they typically contain added sugars, corn, or other ingredients which raise alcohol content over 5% ABV and is technically classified as a strong lager or an ale. Technically, they’re beers and this is why you can purchase them in BDs, corner shops, and the beer aisle at your local grocery store.
Current Spirits’ new line is made using the brand’s own house-distilled vodka and New York State bourbon which means, in addition to providing a more natural taste without added sugars, you’ll be able to find these new cans in your local liquor stores right next to their namesake potables. Current Spirits will of course also be selling four-packs at the distillery, as will Captain Lawrence next door. (Pro Tip: If you order yours through Captain Lawrence you can take advantage of their local home delivery!)
So how do the new cans stack up against their meltier competitors? Whiskey Soda Lemonade is made with local bourbon and clocks in at an impressive 7.5% ABV with a firm tartness that leans heavily into the lemonade vibe and is utterly delicious, with a light lemon finish.
Vodka Soda Grapefruit is ever so lightly effervescent, with only the slightest hint of its natural flavor, but bursting with a rich floral bouquet like the leaves off a freshly picked grapefruit. At only 5.5% ABV it’s an easy-drinking beverage, perfect after some physical activity or just lazily floating in the pool. It’s also great for those with dietary restrictions as it has zero carbs and no added sugar.
“These are the first of what will hopefully be a long list of innovative flavors that we can bring to highly drinkable canned cocktails,” says Head Distiller Kyran Thompkins. “They’re great either served over ice, or ready-to-drink straight from the can when you’re going to the beach or barbecuing in the back yard.”
Current Spirits and Captain Lawrence Owner Scott Vaccaro says he’s fascinated by and eager to play in the new canned craft cocktail space. “I’ve been a Westchester-based brewer for almost fifteen years now, and watched the brewery world become more and more dynamic, with novel and experimental beers growing in variety and popularity,” he says. “We can be experimental and fun, and we can mix up cocktails without waiting for the time it takes for beer to brew.”
After a brief tease this week on Instagram, the new line is available at Current Spirits starting today, July 31, and will be available from Captain Lawrence starting Saturday, August 1, just in time for the weekend. Both cocktails will be available to start, with new flavors — think blueberry lemonade and elderflower lemonade — on the horizon.