Catch This Drift: RTD Health-Conscious Canned Cocktails

New beverage dedicated to real ingredients and sustainability
Drift Cocktails
Photograph courtesy of Drift Cocktails

CHARLESTON, S.C. — New ready-to-drink (RTD) canned cocktails from Drift feature health-conscious ingredients, 85 calories, no gluten and no artificial additives.

The collection of four flavors contains organic spirits, real fruit (not juice) and carbonated mineral water. The beverages offer the lowest calorie and highest ABV (7%) canned cocktail options available, said the company, which aims for authentic taste with quality ingredients.

Charleston, S.C.-based Drift was founded on the basis that a healthy lifestyle should not interfere with a great cocktail, and founder and expert distiller Doug Mulford had been mulling the idea of a convenient, well-made quality cocktail for 20 years. While hiking the Appalachian Trail, his idea transformed into a passion project and Drift was born.

“Drift is so much more than refreshing cocktails,” Mulford said. “I couldn’t be more proud of our dedication to creating a brand that celebrates the ingredients that go into them. I’ve been rooted in the beverage world for a long time and have always been fascinated by how ingredients react with one another; that mindset combined with our emphasis on health, quality and process is what really sets Drift apart.”

The industry has seen a rapid rise in the RTD cocktail over the years, Drift said, and its goal was to pioneer the evolution of an overlooked portion of the market: the demand for a canned cocktail mixed with higher alcohol and lower calories that doesn’t skimp on flavor.

Natural ingredients include corn sourced from North Carolina farms, sugarcane and blackstrap molasses imported from the Virgin Islands and Jamaica, tequila from Mexico, and fruit sourced from a local North Carolina purveyor with a ratified standard of quality for organic produce.

The brand’s four flavors:

  • Blood Orange: Organic smooth vodka mixed with the citrus burst of high oxidant blood oranges, creating a subtly sweet, refreshing flavor.
  • Passion Fruit Rum: Virgin Islands white rum, natural passion fruit and guava. Passion fruit offers endless health benefits and creates a burst of flavor that pairs perfectly with artisan rum.
  • Tequila Lime: Blue agave tequila blanco is paired with natural lime.
  • Meyer Lemon: A cocktail of organic vodka with natural meyer lemon make this a zesty cocktail.

Drift runs the zest and pulp from real whole fruit through the distillation process with its spirits, allowing flavors to shine while keeping calories low.

Drift also is dedicated to the environment by upholding the highest sustainability standards. With plans to be 100% recyclable, the brand currently uses eco-friendly packaging and is making moves to reduce plastic waste with the goal to be fully carbon neutral in the future.

Drift is currently in stores in South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. The brand plans to expand through 2022, with the goal to be nationwide by 2024.

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