Review: Artisan Craft Cocktails, Complete Lineup
As a company, Artisan Craft Cocktails is perhaps misnamed: All it makes are dessert cocktails, pre-mixed, bottled, and ready-to drink when poured over ice. These are all unabashedly sweet and uniquely designed for sipping after dinner, not at cocktail hour — and their premium price telegraphs premium ingredients in the mix.
Let’s give the four products in the lineup a try. All are tasted from Batch #1.
Artisan Craft Cocktails The Artisan – A combination of rye whiskey, bitters, vanilla liqueur, and Italian cordial. It’s a sweeter take on the Manhattan, but not at all overbearing, with a coffee- and licorice-scented nose that really plumps up some clear amaro notes in the mix. The palate has a nice balance of whiskey, vanilla, and a rhubarb-heavy bitterness that ends things on a slightly vegetal, herbal note. The sugar is kept in check, fortunately; I’d happily drink this before dinner as well as after. It’s certainly better than a lot of straight Manhattans I’ve had at bars. 72 proof. B+
Artisan Craft Cocktails King Kong – Rye whiskey, vanilla liqueur, banana liqueur, and a touch of Cognac. King Kong like bananas, right? That list of ingredients downplays the banana character that dominates this cocktail, a heady mix of bananas and vanilla that hits the palate like a liquified version of Bananas Foster. It’s a bit one-note and quite sweet, with a marshmallow character and a distinct stickiness that you’ll immediately detect should you spill any on your hands. A lingering cloying character on the finish tends to dull the impact of the drink. 66 proof. B
Artisan Craft Cocktails Huntington Peach – Rye, peach liqueur, triple sec. Lots of fruit here: Sweet peach dominates the nose, and the orange is detectable with a healthy mandarin note. The aroma is strong to the point where it starts to evoke Southern Comfort at times. On the palate, the whiskey character is clearer than expected, which helps to temper some of the effusive fruitiness and, as the finish emerges, some overpowering sugariness. Still, if you like peaches, you’ll love Huntington Peach. 66 proof. B
Artisan Craft Cocktails Cafecito – This is a straight-up coffee liqueur, with a touch of vanilla in it. It’s an upscale rendition of Kahlua, and while I’ve had more impressive and soulful coffee liqueurs in recent years, Cafecito’s sweet operator certainly goes down without much fuss. The vanilla is particularly present in this one, making a lasting impact on the long finish. 60 proof. B+
each $70 / artisancraftcocktails.com
- Review: Songbird Craft Coffee Liqueur
- The Best Banana Liqueur Roundup – Bols, 99 Bananas, Tempus Fugit, & Giffard
- Review: Mr Black Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur
- Review: 1220 Artisan Spirits Canned Cocktails