Atlanta-based Tip Top Proper Cocktails launches a new line, takes flight

Tip Top Proper Cocktails' new Shaken line includes ready-to-drink canned margarita, daiquiri and bee's knees cocktails. Courtesy of Mia Yakel
Caption
Tip Top Proper Cocktails' new Shaken line includes ready-to-drink canned margarita, daiquiri and bee's knees cocktails. Courtesy of Mia Yakel

Credit: Mia Yakel

Credit: Mia Yakel

Local beverage company offers canned classics, shaken and stirred

With its debut in late 2019, Atlanta-based Tip Top Proper Cocktails showed that there is nothing inferior about a canned cocktail. Their Stirred collection — Manhattans, Old-Fashioneds and Negronis in condensed 100-milliliter cans — packs a high-alcohol punch, with all the complexities of a bartender’s stir. A new Shaken line starts shipping at the end of the month, and a couple of the cans are being stocked on airline beverage carts.

Co-founders Neal Cohen and Yoni Reisman aren’t on a mission to replace bartenders. In fact, a cocktail at a bar is one of their favorite experiences. The music industry veterans sought to fill a gap at music venues and festivals, where an elevated cocktail simply is not possible. A margarita was an early choice, but they wanted to build credibility before adding it to their lineup. Now, the margarita joins a daiquiri and bee’s knees in the Shaken line, and those little margarita cans will be on Delta’s cocktail carts as of April 14, when drinks and snacks return to flights.

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Reisman said the three new ready-to-drink cocktails were chosen fairly quickly. “We did some thinking about what drinks were popular, and thought about spirits we currently use, and what we don’t,” he said.

Then, they chatted with Miles Macquarrie, their recipe developer and the seven-time James Beard Award-nominated beverage director for Kimball House and Watchman’s. He makes his ideal version of a cocktail, and they shoot it off to a lab that creates the recipe on a production scale. Iterations are made, until it is spot-on.

“Miles always knows exactly what is missing or if there is too much of something, and fine-tunes it,” Cohen said.

Tip Top's canned margarita now is available on Delta flights, joining the company's old fashioned. Courtesy of Mia Yakel
Caption
Tip Top's canned margarita now is available on Delta flights, joining the company's old fashioned. Courtesy of Mia Yakel

Credit: Mia Yakel

Credit: Mia Yakel

“We want to make sure you are not compromising,” Cohen said. “It should be a margarita, not a representation of one.”

Tip Top’s margarita sports a simple mix of tequila, lime juice and orange liqueur at 52 proof.

“When it comes to a daiquiri, most people think of the frozen version,” Reisman said. Tip Top’s daiquiri transports the drinker to the Caribbean, with a blend of silver, Jamaican and aged rums, mixed with lime and cane sugar.

Their classic Prohibition-era bee’s knees mixes dry gin, lemon and honey.

A lot of thought goes into a can of Tip Top. Using — ahem — tiptop ingredients, Cohen and Reisman aim for a cocktail that is classic, familiar and easy.

“There was a stigma to the category: canned drinks were sweet, cheap, a quick buzz,” Cohen said. “This is different. Tip Top is for a discerning consumer.”

The compact, tin-plated steel can is adorable. “People love small things, and just want to hold it. (It) fits in a jacket, pocket, purse, fanny pack,” Cohen said.

“And, it stacks nicely in an airplane cart,” Reisman added.

Tip Top Proper Cocktails' lineup now includes a Shaken line, along with the original Stirred line. Courtesy of Mia Yakel
Caption
Tip Top Proper Cocktails' lineup now includes a Shaken line, along with the original Stirred line. Courtesy of Mia Yakel

Credit: Mia Yakel

Credit: Mia Yakel

Part of the goal for Tip Top is to demystify the cocktail. “Even introducing the vocabulary of ‘shaken’ and ‘stirred’ is important,” Cohen said. “Giving the consumer foundational knowledge for when they go into a bar is all part of the mission of making the authentic cocktail experience more accessible.”

Sipping while on an airplane provides the perfect opportunity. Already switching to small soft drink cans, Delta found a really good reason to make the change to tiny canned cocktails, the pair said. Careful preparation is what stands in the way of a perfect mixed drink. “Airlines are a perfect fit for us, and it cannot be understated how monumental this is,” Cohen said. “We’re just getting started.”

Shaken cocktail eight-packs can be purchased online at tiptopcocktails.com for $34.99, and will ship April 30. Individual cans of the new margarita will be available in select stores throughout Georgia in May. To find the nearest store, visit the Tip Top website.

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