read and be informed.
Live Wire is a brand of canned craft ready-to-drink cocktails that bartenders design. Aaron Polsky started Live Wired Canned Cocktails believing that bartenders can reach new and existing fans without them having to make a trip to the bar.
Aaron is one of the most influential and most well-known bartenders in the LA bar scene and believes (like many) that a bartender's work comes from a place of creativity. Aaron allows real bartenders to utilize their creative expression when making cocktails for Live Wire.
They get to choose everything from the brand of spirits they use to the artist that designs their can. Each cocktail uses the best spirits, natural juices, and premium extracts.
I recently had the opportunity to sample LiveWire’s catalog of cocktails at an in-store tasting event. I am generally very skeptical about RTDs; I find them to either have a lack of favors or the only flavor you get from the cheap alcohol base. The other thing I have noticed about RTDs is that most of them are sweet and syrupy, which also makes them less enjoyable to drink.
First in the lineup for the sampling event are HeartBreaker and Aaron Polsky's original cocktail. HeartBreaker is Aaron's twist on the classic Moscow Mule. Heartbreaker contains vodka, kumquat, grapefruit juice, jasmine, and ginger.
A lot is going on in this cocktail, and it took my taste buds a minute or two to catch up with everything. However, once my taste buds caught up, I was surprised at how well all flavors worked together. Heart Breaker is a uniquely excellent cocktail.
Golden God, another creation from LiveWire Founder Aaron Polsky, is another unique combo of flavors. Rye and brandy typically aren't two spirits I would think to mix, but the apricot, green tea, and elderflower tie these spirits together. Unfortunately, I picked up on the apricot right away and couldn't get my mind away from it, which pushed me away from enjoying Golden God.
Third on the list is Honeydew Collins by Joey Bernardo – gin, coconut, honeydew, lime leaf, and elderflower. I believe that the unique tartness that the lime leaf delivers to this cocktail brings it all together. The Honeydew Collins is the perfect refresher; it has all of the characteristics of an exotic vacation – I enjoy this one.
Rocket Queen by the beautiful and talented Erin Hayes is a cocktail made of pomelo-infused rum, cinnamon, and pandan (a herbaceous tropical plant from Southeast Asia). Rocket Queen is a tiki-style canned cocktail and is my favorite.
I would suggest that this be served very cold and then over ice. The cinnamon sits underneath the bold flavor of the rum and is equally refreshing as it is dangerous, as it’s easy to overdo it with this one.
Yael can grab the attention of any room anytime she walks into one; she has a mystery about her that I can't quite explain. I've seen her behind the bar a couple of times, and every move she makes is with a purpose. Her Crystal Shiso Mojito combines rum, shochu, shisho, coconut, and Indian lime.
Something in this cocktail didn't jive with my taste buds. I'm not sure if it was the tartness of the lime or if it was the shochu – whatever it is, my palate didn't want anything to do with it. Yael's Crystal Shiso Mojito takes nothing away from her ability as a bartender or how amazing of a bartender she is.
We sampled two of LiveWire’s bottled cocktails – the Alley Cat Old Fashioned and the Holy Tyger tiki-style cocktail. There's a flavor in the Alley Cat that seemed to clash with the other flavors; I feel like the whiskey that was used didn't balance with everything else. However, Holy Tyger is another great twist on tiki-style cocktails.
All of the flavors in the bottle seemed to work well together, and they all meshed flawlessly. Holy Tyger is another cocktail that I suggest serving cold and then pouring over ice.
All in all, my experience with LiveWire canned cocktails is a great one. I may not care for a couple of them, but I am also not the demographic for them. Nevertheless, LiveWire is a great brand that creates tremendous opportunities for bartenders across the world.
There are so many creatively talented bartenders out there, and I hope that Aaron finds every one of them and uses them to build his brand into what he envisions it.
Thank you, Aaron, for having the creative mindset to put your vision into motion.