Bar Talk: Canned cocktail venture aims for Aspen |

Bar Talk: Canned cocktail venture aims for Aspen

Post Meridiem Cocktails.

What started as two friends craving a mai tai at a concert morphed into a more in-depth conversation about why aren’t well-made cocktails available when you want it wherever you want it and has now resulted in a new canned cocktail infiltrating the Colorado market.

Welcome to Colorado, Post Meridiem Spirit Co.

The transition from a thirsty concert idea to Aspen liquor shelves did not happen quickly, of course. It took a lot of dedication, ingenuity and trial and error, said co-founder Andrew Rodbell.

“The commitment we had to doing it right and the authenticity that we demanded of ourselves … it was like if we’re not going to do this right, we won’t do it at all,” Rodbell said.

“It took a lot of really deliberate decisions and hard thinking and frankly creativity to get to where we are today. Everything from sourcing the right ingredients to building our own can line because there was no manufacturer of our size can in the U.S. All of that shows that we were driven because of the love of the cocktail and we wanted to do it right.”

The result is 100-milliliter cans of recognizable, ready-to-drink cocktails made with real, minimal ingredients.

“We’re the only ones that use absolutely all real ingredients with zero compromises,” Rodbell said. “Simply said, real ingredients taste better, and no one is as committed to real ingredients as us.”

While seeing his company grow beyond its Atlanta-based production facility has been exciting for Rodbell, there was one state, and one zip code in particular, that he had his sights set on reaching: Colorado and the 81611.

In addition to growing up vacationing in Colorado, Rodbell’s parents are part-time residents of Aspen, having purchased their home here when he was in college. Now with a family of his own, he spends a lot of time in Aspen teaching his kids to ski and enjoying the outdoor-centric, play hard and celebrate it lifestyle.

“I’m excited to be in Colorado,” he said. “It is a great fit, it’s a great market, there are great people there, and it is literally my second home.”

The canned format, along with Post Meridiem’s small, perfect for a ski jacket pocket or hiking pack, size makes them an ideal companion to cheers with after any outdoor adventure.

“(Post Meridiem is) providing something that we know Coloradans appreciate, which is authenticity in their drink, plus the accessibility of taking it anywhere,” Rodbell said. “Coloradans can now have a drink that is bar ready without have to go to the bar.”

Canned cocktails are currently the fastest growing category in the alcohol industry. With new options consistently popping up on liquor store shelves, what makes Post Meridiem the cans worth grabbing?

According to Rodbell, “I think what people appreciate about (Post Meridiem) compared to the other (canned cocktail brands) that are already out there is getting back to the authenticity and the real taste. You know we’ll be able to deliver that without having to compromise anything else.”

The lineup of Post Meridiem offerings is varied enough to attract different spirit fanatics but purposefully stays within the realm of recognizable, tried and true cocktails. There are eight options: Southside, Vodka Gimlet, Cosmopolitan, Daiquiri, Mai Tai, Espresso Martini, Margarita and Old Fashioned, ranging from 45 proof to 74 proof.

While strength varies (the espresso martini seemed to have an especially strong kick), what is consistent throughout each cocktail is the clean, freshly mixed taste.

When creating the mix and sourcing ingredients for each canned cocktail, the Post Meridiem team worked with Atlanta-based mixologists to make sure each drink was balanced and thoughtfully crafted. They also worked with packaging engineers and food scientists to make sure that no matter where one of their cans ended up, the drink experience would be the same across different temperature and altitude zones.

The result is a drink that tastes true to the cocktails origins and satisfies cravings for a real, enjoyable cocktail in the wild.

And as excited as Rodbell is to have his product readily available to Coloradans and Aspenites, it seems people here are as thrilled to consume what Post Meridiem is offering.

In only two weeks, nearly 400 cocktails were sold between two Aspen-based liquor stores, Grog Shop and Aspen Wine & Spirits.

“I’ve been a customer of Aspen Grog and Wine & Spirits for decades, but to go in there as a supplier for the first time this year, it’s just all kinds of fun.”

Where to buy…

Post Meridiem can be found in the valley at Aspen Grog Shop, Aspen Wine & Spirits, Four Dogs, El Jebeverage, Sopris Liquor & Wine, Rhino Liquors, Grand Ave Liquors, and Mountain Market.

Note for consumption:
It may be tempting to chill, crack open a can and start sipping, but these canned cocktails are best when served over ice. “Think of them as when you go to a bar and your bartender pours the ingredients into the shaker. That’s what we provide. (Bartenders) add the ice, shake it up and pour it into a glass and that makes the perfect experience,” Rodbell said.

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