Review: Tails Cocktails
Let’s face it, as delicious as cocktails are, sometimes we all wish we could skip the careful measuring of the ingredients and move straight onto the fun bit, the drinking! The ready-to-drink market has been booming for exactly this reason for many years but usually these products require little more than opening and pouring into the glass. Convenient, but it hardly has the fun or theatre that goes with making a cocktail from scratch. The new range of cocktails from Tails addresses both these issues, but would they taste any good?
As fun as it is, the shaking of a cocktail is nothing more than a means to achieving dilution and chilling. However, there is no denying that it’s also the fun part of mixing, and a significant part of the reason that many people want to try making their own cocktails at home. This fact is not missed by the creators of Tails Cocktails, who have come up with the rather ingenious packaging that also doubles as a shaker. Available in Cosmpolitan, Mai Tai and Espresso Martini ‘flavours’, the Tails cocktails are clearly looking to appeal to the aspiring home-bartender who wants both convenience and a fun way to serve up their drinks.
I checked out the Espresso Martini version and would be deceiving you if I did not admit to being a little apprehensive. Call me prejudiced, but I have this theory that pre-mix cocktails are never a superior option to what one might be able to fix up at home. However, I must learn that not everyone is as obsessive about their booze collection as I, and perhaps their idea of fun is not spending hours on end mixing up cocktails in the kitchen when they have guests over! So with this in mind I took my sample round to some non-cocktail-geeky friends to see what they made of it.
The cocktail comes in a 500ml ‘shaker’ which struck me as being a little large. Of course I appreciate the idea is to share amongst several people, but by the time you have put 500ml into a container no bigger than your cocktail shaker, there is very little room for ice. The instructions suggest adding 4-5 ice cubes before shaking, and indeed that is the maximum you will fit in before things start to overflow. Herein lies a problem; 4-5 ice cubes in 500ml of room temperature liquid does not result in a chilled drink! Fortunately someone had the foresight to put the shaker in the fridge for a few hours and so things were nice and cool anyway. Even so, the addition of ice, followed by the necessary shaking, utterly pointless, if a bit of fun. My non-cocktail friends rather enjoyed the process, being totally ignorant of how regular cocktails are made, but for anyone with more than a waft of knowledge, it all feels a little daft.
I like to think that the proof is in the pudding and so after the entertainment of the shaking it was on to the tasting. I’m not ashamed to say I was pleasantly surprised! This is a more than respectable drink and, whilst its not up to the very best that a freshly made Espresso Martini can offer, it is more than palatable; indeed I would go so far as to say I rather liked it. There is a decent hit of coffee with not-too-much sweetness and just the right amount of bite from the alcohol. With hints of chocolate it has a bit of complexity too, and we all found it slipping down rather easily.
All in all I find myself thinking fond things of this beverage. Sure, a freshly made espresso martini from a decent bar is a better testing drink, and the whole ice and shaking thing is a bit of a gimmick, but it’s also fun and tasty enough for my friends to conclude that they might like to join me on my next cocktail outing; and that has to be a good thing.
Would I Buy It?: Perhaps not for an average night in, but you could do a lot worse for something to take to a party. This is a respectable RTD cocktail that offers a bit of fun but most importantly is tasty too.
The Tails Cocktail range is available from Ocado, Selfridges, Harvey Nichols, Heal’s, and theonlineofflicence.com