It's easy to understand why popular San Diego-based Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits sold to industry giant Constellation Brands: A billion dollar offer is hard to refuse. But the "spirits" side of the venture wasn't part of the deal and under the rebranded Cutwater Spirits, many of those who made Ballast Point such a success are devoting their time and energy to producing premium liquor and mixers. Cutwater cocktails-in-a-can, which are a step above the usual premixed drinks, have just arrived in the Treasure Valley. Here are three with more to come:
Spicy Bloody Mary, $3.49-$3.99
A blend of Fugu Vodka (named for the sushi delicacy made with poisonous pufferfish) and hand-crafted bloody mary mix, this one lives up to its name. Expect to start sweating about two sips in. Barring any masochistic tendencies, try a celery garnish to cool things down because despite the heat, you may go back for more.
Gin & Tonic, $3.49-$3.99
Old Grove gin meets an atypical tonic of grapefruit and cucumber for a unique take on this classic. Slightly sweet, the citrus is well integrated with the quinine, and there's a nice hint of cucumber. This G&T is refreshing and at just six percent alcohol, it's also easy drinking.
Vodka Mule, $3.49-$3.99
House-made ginger ale, lime and Fugu vodka come together in a cocktail that's just too easy to guzzle. The touch of lime balances the sweetness of the mixer and with its fresh and natural tasting flavors, this is one of the best ginger brews around. It is a little on the light side, so if you're a traditionalist, add a little extra vodka.