Tired of ordering the same cocktails all the time? Try a craft cocktail instead. This cocktail trend is the perfect way to mix things up and treat yourself to something a little more artisanal in the comfort of your own home.
Craft Cocktails Explained
A craft cocktail is an upscale version of a classic cocktail that takes more skill, or craft, to make. These drinks feature curated ingredients, go the extra mile with garnishes, and take a few extra minutes to prepare compared to a standard cocktail.
They take the art of mixology to a whole new level.
Craft cocktails tend to use the most premium ingredients available. Using top-shelf liquors, along with the added time and skill needed to make the drinks, can push up the price of a craft cocktail into luxury drink territory.
The History of Craft Cocktails
The first cocktail is one we still enjoy today — spiked punch. Early punch cocktails consisted of brandy combined with citrus fruits, sugars, and a variety of spices. The idea of mixed drinks spread along trade routes, inspiring new recipes using local ingredients.
Cocktail mixology took off with the introduction of bitters. Bitters are an infusion of primarily bitter ingredients, usually derived from botanicals like herbs, fruits, or seeds. Bitters created a whole new genre of cocktails that became hugely popular in the United States a la Mad Men style.
These new cocktails continued to flourish, but the Prohibition era made alcohol sales illegal while, if not halting the cocktail trend, at least keeping it more hush-hush. Luckily, once Prohibition ended, bartenders openly experimented with cocktails, leading to the classic recipes we know today.
Craft Cocktails Put a Unique Spin on the Classics
Craft cocktails emerged as a way to reinvent traditional cocktail recipes. This is achieved by innovating and elevating the usual recipes, such as swapping ingredients, experimenting with mixers, combining different flavors, and carefully curating each element of a drink. The result is a high-quality, artisanal drink that takes your taste buds on a culinary adventure.
If you’re looking for a ready-to-drink spin on a classic cocktail, sip on an Orange Passion Mimosa Hard Kombucha. Its crisp, effervescent mouthfeel is reminiscent of the iconic mimosa — without any of the sugar and carbs.
Craft Cocktails Are About Presentation
Looks are, while not quite everything, a big factor in craft cocktails. They should look as wonderful as they taste. Presentation is key with these drinks, which is why mixologists will spend extra time on little details, like colors and garnishes.
Everything from the glass selection to the number of ice cubes is up for thoughtful consideration, which easily distinguishes a craft cocktail from an average humdrum drink.
Making Craft Cocktails Takes Skill
Because of all the details, making a craft cocktail is no easy feat. They require a lot of knowledge and skill from mixologists, such as the order in which to pour each ingredient. The increased level of detail is one of the reasons why these drinks are considered more upscale.
While these drinks are more advanced, with enough research and practice, it’s totally possible to make your own homemade version of craft drinks.
Our Favorite Craft Cocktails
Any traditional cocktail can be made into a craft one, but here are a few of our favorites.
The Gin and Tonic
Take a classic gin and tonic and play up the flavors for a crafty twist. Start with the usual mix of gin and tonic water. Then, complement the flavor of gin by infusing juniper leaves. Finish off with a black lime bitter for a tart punch. Throw a lime slice on the rim or leave a few juniper leaves in the mixture for a little extra eye appeal.
If you’re skipping the liquor, try our Black Lime Juniper Hard Seltzer from our Botanicals & Bitters Collection. Inspired by a classic G&T, this delicious hard seltzer has the same bright, floral notes as gin in an overall lighter package.
The ingredient combination of vodka, triple sec, cranberry juice, and lime juice has cemented its identity in the cocktail world. You know it as the cosmopolitan.
To elevate this classic to craft cocktail status, grab your favorite martini glass, fill up a shaker with the traditional ingredients, add some raspberry bitters for an extra fruity punch, and garnish with a raspberry on the rim.
You could also choose to swap out the triple sec for our Orange Passion Mimosa hard kombucha. You’ll be simultaneously cutting down on the sugar content and adding even more flavor to this mixture. Another fantastic pick is our Cranberry Raspberry Hard Seltzer, a drink directly inspired by the Cosmo.
The Moscow Mule
Known for being served in its signature copper mug, a Moscow mule is a combination of vodka, ginger beer, and lime.
To transform it into a craft cocktail, swap out ginger beer for some Ginger hard kombucha. The tangy taste of kombucha complements the lime, while the underlying hints of turmeric, oak, and lemon add another layer of complexity. Finish it off with a lime slice wedge for garnish.
A classic greyhound is made from two simple ingredients: vodka and grapefruit juice.
Take this easy recipe up a notch by swapping out grapefruit juice for Grapefruit Thyme hard kombucha. The hard booch adds another layer of tangy taste to complement the tartness of grapefruit perfectly. Subtle notes of refreshing thyme complete the drink with a crisp, herbal finish.
You can’t go wrong with a delicious margarita. The traditional ingredient combo is tequila, triple sec, and lime juice, but it’s not uncommon to see other fruit-flavored margs, like strawberry or mango.
Spice up your flavors by using some Pineapple Chili hard kombucha in your next margarita. The summery, juicy pineapple flavor serves as a perfect backdrop for the heat of chili to create a snappy twist on a classic marg.
The Orange Passion Mimosa
If you’re craving a craft cocktail but aren’t interested in all the prep, look no further than our Orange Passion Mimosa hard kombucha. No need for fancy glasses or bar equipment — this drink is ready to go right out of the can.
Inspired by a classic mimosa, this refreshing beverage starts off with a juicy burst of orange, followed by notes of passionfruit and guava for an added tropical twist. All the goodness is wrapped up in a bright sunset-orange can, so like all craft cocktails, there’s no skimping on the presentation.
Want a Ready-To-Drink Craft Beverage? Grab a Can of Botanical Booch or Seltzer
If you want to try craft drinks but don’t want to deal with the cost, time, or effort, keep things easy with a can of our hard kombucha or hard seltzer.
Each flavor is thoughtfully crafted with a blend of premium, organic ingredients. Instead of loading up our drinks with added sugar or artificial ingredients, we use whole plant botanicals, superfruits, and adaptogens. Everything that goes into our drinks is USDA certified organic to ensure they’re sourced with top-notch quality.
Our hard kombuchas can be enjoyed straight out of the can or mixed into a cocktail if you want to try your hand at a little mixology. No matter how you enjoy them, expect full flavor and subtle sweetness in a kaleidoscope of color.
If the typical cocktails leave you feeling bored, step up your cocktail game with a craft version of the classics. What are you waiting for? Break out your fancy glassware, swap some ingredients for hard kombucha, and garnish your way to a deluxe drink.