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Elyse Blechman introduces the relaunched Absolut Vodka Ready to Drink Cans – vodka sodas and canned cocktails to us in one of our latest IG Lives. Learn more about how Absolut got started in the RTD category, why their RTD tagline is ‘All Fizz and No Fuss’ and what makes these cans truly special in our Q&A. The extended version is on our IGTV channel on Instagram at @empiredistributorsincga and also on our YouTube channel!
What made Absolut decide to get into this Ready to Drink category?
“We know as consumers and also as folks that work behind the curtain of magic what a growing category RTD beverages have become, and I think that central to that excitement and that wave of intrigue is this desire from a consumer to have both quality and convenience at the same time. When we think about Absolut as a brand, you know we’ve been distilling the same type of vodka by the same formula and philosophy for 100 years now, and central to our ethos is consistency and quality, so it was a shoe in for us. We thought, ‘we kill it in the cocktail game, we make an incredible premium spirit for the global community and we’re looking at a category here where we don’t necessarily, when scanning the aisles, see those trusted figures. For me as a consumer or as a bartender, being able to grab-and-go a trusted and refined product like Absolut in this category was a gamechanger for us.”
We love that every single can shows that it’s made from Absolut Vodka. In the Vodka sodas you’re still getting what you want which is that no carbs, no sugar, 97 calories! And it tastes delicious.
“It gives us that first opportunity outside of our core flavor ranges. We generally focus on one super ripe, delicious fruity moment or citrus moment or spiced moment for our flavor range of vodkas, so this is a really fun opportunity for us to take flavor combinations – think of things we use at home, stock in our pantries, those affinities we love to find in our food and in our cocktails and really just elevating that super simple syrup, the Absolut vodka soda to this almost swanky, high-brow, but still casual moment. It’s like the elevated, the glown-up vodsod!
Can you walk through the Vodka Sodas?
“We have my favorite – I know I shouldn’t have a favorite – is grapefruit rosemary for me. It speaks to a seasonality for me. We also have a cucumber and lime, which is a banger. That’s a jam! Then we have our raspberry and lemongrass. Lemongrass being this high, exotic, almost floral fruit noted paired with this really great flavor we also get to see in our spirit range. Just like you mentioned, there’s no added sugar, there’s no carbs, which is pretty crazy. There’s fewer than 97 calories. So when we think about it from a competitive standpoint, not only do we have that quality piece with the brand itself, we also get the same conversation, the love, the care, concern – developing the drink around the vodka itself.
Where’s the best place to enjoy Absolut RTDs?
“I’ve packed a few in my bag to hit a trail. I’ve brought – I call it my cooler contribution, what am I going to contribute to my friends’ parties? I’m always bringing a 4-pack in, that is the way they’re packaged as well. They’re perfect to grab and go. They’re perfect to share. Also, if you’re at home and reaching for a can and you want a little bit of a fancy moment, just crack the can, pour it right over some ice in your favorite cocktail glass and garnish as you please. It couldn’t be more simple.”
Let’s go through the cocktail range too! There’s lots of calls for palomas now, mules are huge and a vodkarita – who doesn’t love that? What went into choosing the flavors for those and what do you love most about them?
“Let’s start with the flavors and canned cocktails that we have created with large success in my humble opinion. We have the mango mule – so this is going to be a play on our classic vodka cocktail, the mule – which is our ginger beer, lime juice and Absolut Vodka. We have added some mango in here. We’ve got some really nice tropical notes. You mentioned the grapefruit paloma – I love all of our grapefruit products! The paloma is incredibly trendy. It’s the number one cocktail in the tequila category, but also through the US. The last and third one is our Berry Vodkarita – it’s exactly what you think it is. We just sort of played Mr, Potato head with a classic vodkarita – we pulled out that tequila and put in some Absolut. We’re having this really rich berry flavor. Lots of balance in citrus and berry flavor.
*Subject to market availability & pricing.