Although it might seem counterintuitive, any cook appreciates that mastering a simple recipe is far more difficult than the overly complicated dish. While a slight mis-step can be covered up with a dash of seasoning or a sprinkling of herbs, the plate with only a handful of items is a testament to appreciating balance and flavor. With the new Social Hour Bourbon Smash featuring Dickel Bourbon, the ready to drink cocktail pours a sophisticated flavor which lets its attention to detail shine.
When the ready to drink cocktail market started to take off, many drinkers cheered. The idea that a convenient, portable beverage could be enjoyed away from that barstool had appeal. Unfortunately, not all RTDs are the same. As many people learned on the first sip, that can did not hold the same enjoyment as the beverage in the glass.
For some people, a cocktail is more than just a refreshing gulp that is forgotten as soon as the glass is empty. Over the years, the art of mixology has been refined. Although some people can expertly discuss fat washes, smoke bubbles and a plethora of other trends, the reality is that a great cocktail comes with careful consideration. From the ingredients used to even the ice in the glass, it is the total experience that enhances the enjoyment.
While there is a time and a place to sit in that dimly lit speakeasy or boisterous bar, some people can prefer the couch for cocktail hour. Although some home bars are well stocked, others might not have mastered the art of the shake. It is more than having a favorite bourbon at the ready. Putting all those ingredients together in the best way leads to the most flavorful cocktail.
Previously, Social Hour partnered with Dickel on the Harvest Whiskey Sour. A lovely option for fall, the ready to drink cocktail was praised by many. While the whiskey never lost its character, it was the well-balanced flavors that brought the elevated cocktail bar experience to the can.
For its second offering, the Social Hour Bourbon Smash made with Dickel Bourbon was a bold collaborative choice. While a smash cocktail is often a popular choice for warmer weather, mint can be a divisive flavor note in ready to drink cocktails.
During a recent conversation with Tom Macy, Co-Founder and CEO at Social Hour Cocktails, and Nicole Austin, General Manager and Distiller at Cascade Hollow Distilling Co., the pair explained why this new offering will appeal to both the cocktail connoisseur and the person who thirsts for cocktail convenience.
When deciding on the next collaborative offering, Tom mentioned that he wanted this idea to be the next offering. He said, “It is a simple drink on paper, especially if you’re making it from scratch. I mean, it’s a whiskey sour with mint and made and muddled lemon wedges as opposed to just lemon juice.” While that combination is easy enough for a master mixologist, it does not simply translate to the ready to drink space.
For Tom, he wanted to ensure that the RTD offers the “same level of quality” that he would shake behind the bar. From the best ingredients to the balanced flavor, the craft and care is poured into ever can. It is one of the reasons why people go back time and again to Social Hour offerings. It might have been a “flex” to launch this cocktail option, but the result proves the boisterous description.
Nicole explained by using the 8-year aged Dickel, cocktail drinkers will appreciate the “richness and the roundness that the bourbon whiskey offers.” Since that this bourbon is delicate, balanced, it works well with the aromatic notes from the lemon and mint. The subtly invites the drinker into the conversation and asks them to stay a while longer.
Given that the Social Hour Bourbon Smash leans into summertime drinking preferences, some people might be wondering what food and beverages pairings would be highlight the cocktail. While there is always room for some cheese crisps, Nicole had a Southern inspired suggestion for everyone.
She recommended her recent pairing, a rack of ribs. The smoky barbecue flavors and the richness of the meat plays off the bright, acidic notes in the cocktail. It makes for a wonderful contrast. Or, even Tom’s suggestion of a great burger would be a nice option, too.
Leaning into that food and beverage pairing, it goes back to some serving suggestions for the Social Hour Bourbon Smash. Unlike other RTDs, Social Hour is meant to be poured into a glass. From the visuals on the can to the serving suggestions, the idea is to bring a taste of the cocktail bar experience to any occasion.
While it is easy to pour this option with some fresh mint or a lemon peel, a piece of peach, or even grilled peach, as a garnish is wonderful. That peach note adds some juiciness and screams summertime. For a little extra lemon burst, consider freezing lemon peels in ice which can add a nice visual as well.
Although the Social Hour Bourbon Smash might be the second collaboration with Dickel, it will hopefully not be the last. After conquering summer and fall, it might be time for a holiday offering that everyone will gladly sip around the fire.
The Social Hour Bourbon Smash can be purchased in New York City and online. The 4-pack of 250mL cans has a suggested retail price of $28. Each can is three servings.