Review: Tip Top Proper Cocktails
Covers Products: Manhattan, Negroni, Old Fashioned
Tip Top Proper Cocktails is a line of ready-to-drink/ready-to-pour cocktails focused on recreating classic familiar recipes. The brand’s first three SKUs -- Manhattan, Old Fashioned, and Negroni -- do just that.
The 3.3 ounce (100ml) cans are between 26% and 37% ABV and have a squat retro style shape. As you can probably tell from the rather high alcohol levels, these are spirit based rather than malt based products.
What’s really nice about these is that they aren’t just attempts to recreate the flavor of the originals with alternative ingredients. Instead, they are the originals, with the exact same ingredients used for making these at home or in a bar. The Old Fashioned is made with whiskey, sugar and bitters. The Negroni is made with dry gin, vermouth and red bitter liqueur. The Manhattan is made with rye, vermouth and bitters.
This really shows in the flavor of these cocktails. If you dilute these with ice, you have a product that is truly what you’d get if you made these front scratch. They taste high quality and balanced and we doubt that most people will be able to tell that these products came from a can rather than being freshly made.
You can obviously also drink these directly from the can, but there’s a reason that these are diluted rather than simply served chilled: they are just too strong and not as smooth. This isn’t a knock on Tip Top, but rather some advice that consumers should take the time to pour and stir these drinks.
On the outside, Tip Top has done a great job creating a beautiful and premium looking design. There’s a really well-executed retro look, which starts with the Tip Top logo (a giraffe wearing a top hat and a monocle) and continues with the thoughtfully arranged text elements. There’s a mix of a typewriter style font and cursive script, which definitely feels like a throwback. And for using a small package format, they’ve done a great job of giving everything space.
Otherwise, the can does a really good job of communicating both what it is and the key attributes. The front displays the cocktail name along the bottom and callouts for “never too sweet” and “always balanced,” both of which are good product descriptors. On the back, you’ll find the three ingredients used in each drink. There’s a callout on the side for the drink’s proof and copy along the top of the can that says “enjoy over ice or straight from the can.” This doesn’t seem like a product where there will be much room for confusion.