It’s time to can everything you thought you knew about ready-to-drink and Tiki cocktails.
“Everything is just f*cking terrible… help is on the way.” Serving up self-care in a can to help you ward off any summer-bummer vibes—it’s time to run—er, rum toward the first ready-to-drink boozy tropical rum bev of its kind, Tikican. An intentionally experiential sip, these locally concocted revolutionary “sunny drinks for shady times” are crafted for “wherever you are, anywhere you’d rather be and—let’s face it—the places you may never go,” so you can just un-can island time any time.
Packed with reverie—plus a pretty hefty ABV (each drink is a double!)— these drinks’ll transport you from the depths of despair to existential paradise by spreading the true spirit of Tiki that could before only be found bellied up to a bar in, say, the Caribbean for a handcrafted umbrella-dotted cocktail.
The brainchild of longtime local besties Dave Burris (the creative), Karl Amelchenko (the lawyer) and Andrew Shetler (who excels at Excel and pharm sales)—aka The Low Spirits—the twisted trio bonded over alcohol (how’s that for good libations?), cynicism and a shared inappropriate sense of humor.
Dreamt up during a pool drinking sesh (natch) riffing on existential crises, these island-inspired concoctions crafted from smooth rum and fresh fruit serve as a liquid antidote to escape everyday misery—think Instagram’s grim appeal as a self-esteem crusher or the agony of heartbreak (cue “call me up again just to break me like a promise…”)—whether grabbing them pantless from the fridge or from under your desk (no judgment). So, whether you’re lounging on a sunny beach, your yacht (yeah, right) or downing a cocktail can outside the local Waffle House amid a mental breakdown on a Tuesday afternoon—too specific?—this baby’s got range to bring brightness to the darkness of the everyday for all life’s highs and lows.
“A daiquiri DeLorean sending you back to a simpler time,” Tikican is more than a cocktail—it’s a “timeshare to your happy place,” says Burris, “a shining beacon of booze in a dark and stormy world… here to cater your pity party, so when sinking feelings flood in, you can just open a small-batch escape hatch.”
The solution to #SadGirlSummer via a jailbreak of chained (or dead inside) emotions to transport to Tiki time, Tikican revolutionizes the RTD market—“because let’s be honest, what currently passes for portable barely passes for potable”—with a recipe of surreality and science. Till now, most wildly popular RTDs serve two-ingredient sippers—think vodka/sodas, G&Ts—instead of a multi-ingredient cocktail. “But we’re realizing why,” says Shetler, “because it’s a pain in the ass and expensive as shit”—and, obv, worth it.
The product of a lot of time and expertise—and thanks to lime juice, nitro dosing, pasteurization (hey, science), Tiki is a unicorn in the form of four authentic flavors: true Tiki OG Mai Tai, French Quarter-fave Hurricane, a squeeze of the Keys Floridita and—“strong enough to raise the dead, or merely the dead inside”—there’s the deadly medley Zombie, aka “a bender without the blender.”
Each a taste of the islands, what’s inside is truly sip science, given Tiki cocktails’ famously complex composition—req. elaborate ingredients, a paragon of patience few possess and PhD-level mixology skills. But these aren’t some White Claw wannabes—and no premade mixers or malt-based imposters. “An open marriage between modern craft and Tiki tradition, each recipe was tested, retested, then tested again because we just really like drinking,” says Amelchenko. “Don’t thank us. Our livers are the real heroes here.”
Ultimately, serving up an uncommon escape in practical packaging, the drinks are “good and strong so you don’t have to be,” says Burris. Now here to tropic like it’s hot, Tikican is pulling the tab first in your fave bars, restaurants and ABC stores this month, followed by a “rapid and ruthless takeover of country and world,” he adds. Hey, if you’re losin’, you might as well be boozin’. tikican.com
Gold rum, lime, grapefruit, falernum, cinnamon, Pernod, grenadine, orange bitters
• Pairs best with “cold pizza, despair, existential angst, walking very slowly, micromanagement”
Gold rum, guava juice, orange liqueur, apple brandy, lime juice
• Pairs best with “Po’boys, lapses in judgment, pretending to understand jazz, actual hurricanes, lingering regret”
Silver rum, lime juice, grapefruit, and maraschino liqueur
• Pairs best with “ceviche, reading Hemingway in a hammock, squandered youth, shame, a parrot on your shoulder”
Gold rum, lime juice, orange liqueur, orgeat, mint
• Pairs best with “peel-and-eat shrimp, steel drum solos, Elvis impersonation, limbo, second marriages”