Product Review: Pocket Cocktails Elderflower Moscow Mule

Pocket CocktailsTM is a line of products designed by Bar Country Cocktails to place a quick, easy-to-prepare cocktail within reach no matter where one may roam. Made with 100% natural flavors, this vegan, gluten-free product was clearly fashioned with a mind toward making something that anyone can enjoy unfettered by dietary concerns. That spirit of inclusion is confirmed again in the wide variety of cocktails in the product line. Flavors range from fun options like Coconut-Lime Margarita to classics like the All-Dressed Bloody Mary and a Cherry-Infused Old-Fashioned. A sample of the Elderflower Moscow Mule was received for the purpose of this review.

Made for easy cocktailing on-the-go, this product is sold in boxes of four 0.7 oz. (21 g) pouches of cocktail crystals. In order to enjoy the beverage, one needs only to add water and their favorite spirit to the crystallized flavoring agent and agitate the mixture inside a cocktail shaker or emptied beverage bottle. As if to make things as easy as possible, the pouch is marked with a “Fill Line” that allows it to be used as a measuring vessel for the water. Each cocktail variety further facilitates impromptu mixology by recommending the alcoholic beverage(s) best-suited to the cocktail being prepared. As one might expect, the Elderflower Moscow Mule recommends that vodka be used, so we did.

Our experience with this product revealed areas where it performed quite well, while some aspects we felt left room for improvement. In four attempts at crafting the cocktail, we found that no amount of shaking seemed sufficient to dissolve all of the crystals. Each pass left granules either inside the cocktail shaker once the drink was poured off, or at the bottom of the capped bottle pulling double duty as a shaker and drinking vessel. While this falls short of being a major issue, it made for a final sip that had some roughness at its edges. We would discover also that the “crystals” within the pouch actually take the form of a finely-milled dust that can (and did) induce sneezing if one repeats this reviewer’s initial mistake of giving it a quick sniff to evaluate its aromatics. As for the mixing process, we found that the recommended amount of water left our initial creation tasting a bit diluted. One would be wise to take the measuring recommendation as a suggestion rather than a law. Subsequent attempts allowed us to account for this by reducing the amount of added water to suit individual tastes.

Having said that, there are positives that should not be discounted. The freshness of the ginger essence impressed us right away. No powdered bar product in our experience has ever tasted more like freshly grated ginger root. That and the simplicity with which we were able to prepare the cocktails are worth praising. As for how the finished article tastes, while ginger is the undisputed star of the traditional Moscow Mule, its flavor potency here is not as bombastic as expected. It takes its time in declaring itself. The elderflower and lime essences lead the way onto the palate, with the former being the more expressive of the two. The peppery spice of ginger rises a few seconds after the fruit and botanical notes, bringing with it an unsubtle heat that smolders long after swallowing. It succeeds perhaps too well in this regard, with the ginger’s fiery afterimages seeming at times to outshine even the added alcohol component of the vodka.

Having this product means never being more than a couple of minutes away from a fully realized cocktail prepared without having to manipulate multiple liquor bottles, measuring vessels, and ingredients. The pouches are small enough to slip conveniently into a backpack, briefcase, purse, or back pocket, allowing the mixology-minded traveler to bring them from the conference room to the campsite with ease, and to bring enough for everyone. All in all, this product presents a fair rendition of a classic cocktail, albeit one that may require drinkers to take some liberties when measuring the liquid components. Pocket CocktailsTM is an excellent concept with potential, despite leaving us wanting in some areas, to show us great things in the future.

Find Bar Country Cocktails and its Pocket CocktailsTM  line at Amazon.com

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