This ain't yo mama's wine cooler
You may be thinking "why is she trying a wine cooler?" which is totally fair. The thing is, as the ready-to-drink cocktail market heats up you may start to noticed some blurred lines. There are basically 3 styles of "cocktails" in this category. The first is the true cocktail variety where the drink is based on a spirit like vodka or rum. Then there are the malt beverages and the wine coolers. Sometimes when you look at the fine print on the label, what you thought was a vodka cocktail is actually a malt beverage, a Mike's Hard Lemonade for example. Or a strawberry daiquiri that is really a wine cooler like the ones from Seagram's Escapes (which are bomb by the way. You can read my review here.) All of this is just to say, this area is a little gray.
My goal with this blog and all the cocktail reviews is to make it easier to entertain in a way that doesn't require you (or someone else you rope into it) having to play bartender all night. Some people love to serve their guests but personally, I'd rather enjoy my party than work at my own party. Which brings me back to this cocktail vs malt beverage vs wine cooler debate. I will always want a cocktail over beer or wine so for our purposes here, I say if it is a good non-wine/beer beverage, it's in. And sangria, the cocktail of wines, is for sure in. (Does anyone have a good pre-made sangria recommendation? Leave me your ideas in the comments.)
Now back to the task at hand. I have been wanting to try these cans from Bartles & Jaymes for awhile. I am obsessed with their cute packaging and their flavors sound to die for. I hesitated trying them for a long time because it is *technically* a wine cooler but as outlined above, my desire for easy cocktailing overrules the term wine cooler in my book.
So was will the Bartles & James wine cooler be worth all that mental Olympics? Let's fined out.
Here is my official review of Bartles & Jaymes Watermelon & Mint wine cooler:
Winner winner chicken dinner! I'm so mad I wait so long to try these. This is such a good "cocktail." The flavor was not to wine-y for me it. It was much more like a boogie + boozy spa water. The watermelon flavor was really nice - not at all like watermelon candy - with a hint of mint. Add in the bubbles from the carbonation and this was just a delightful little drink. Color me surprised. I certainly didn't expect to give a wine cooler one of my very few 5-shaker reviews.
One shaker = not sweet at all // Five shakers = your teeth may curl
This was not sweet at all. I wasn't sure what to expect since the last wine cooler I had (in the early 2000's probably LOL) would have been a 5-shaker on the sweet scale.
This canned wine cooler is much more civilized. It was only very lightly sweet from the watermelon flavor. It is by no means like the Jolly Rancher sweet drinks you may be thinking of. This is a new era of wine cooler.
One shaker = does this have booze? Five shakers = Four Lokos
Officially this one rings in at 4% ABV so it is pretty light on boozy scale. I would make a wine cooler joke here but in reality a lot of the sparkling cocktails that I've tried are in this same range.
Would I buy this ready to drink cocktail again?
Yes, I think I would. While I'm still not Team Wine, this little can is just plain good so I'm not going to hold it's wine cooler status against it. I can't wait to try these other flavors from Bartles & Jaymes:
- Ginger & Lemon
- Grapefruit & Green Tea
- Cucumber & Lime
Have you tried any of the Bartles & Jaymes canned wine coolers? What did you think? I'd love to hear from you in the comments section. The more opinions the better! Let's "drink together" and share our cocktail stories.
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