Calgary cocktail bar Proof may be famous for their variety of high-end cocktails to order, but on June 7 they broke the mold and threw their hat in the ready-to-drink canned beverage ring, launching their new Gin Citrus Punch.
Widely considered one of the city’s best cocktail bars, having won the Best of Calgary’s best cocktail bar three years running, from 2017 to 2019, Proof had to adjust their business slightly in the wake of COVID-19.
“We wanted to make something that was like a really high-level cocktail style beverage, but something that you could have at home in your fridge,” says Erin Miller, Proof’s general manager.
The first batch was made using 1,820 lemons and 600 limes to offer up a total of 2,400 cans.
Miller says they’ve been having internal discussions about creating a canned drink for about a year but had never really taken it very seriously until the pandemic changed the way they do business in a major way.
“We initially started offering, from our space, these cocktail boxes. The idea was that you had all the ingredients in this box to make some cocktails,” she says.
Despite the boxes getting what Miller calls a fantastic response, they didn’t really meet Proof’s goal of making cocktailing easy at home.
“It’s really great for expanding your own knowledge and practices, but once you’ve had a couple you don’t really feel like making a couple more when you’re making cocktails at home.”
As a result, they decided to look into what it would take to put a cocktail in a can, using gin from Confluence Distilling and their own specially made syrup.
From there, within the span of six weeks, Proof was able to fine-tune the recipe, work with the AGLC, design labels, get it canned and release it to the public.
“It’s very light, sparkling, refreshing but it’s definitely a cocktail beverage rather than your classic RTD,” says Miller.
The Gin Citrus Punch can be purchased through their website and they are offering both curbside pickup and local next-day delivery. For those who prefer to drink at the bar though, Miller says they are hoping to open back up in the last week of June.
- By Nicholas Montpetit-Skuba