Kotaku’s Snacktaku has ventured into a lot of weird territory over the years, which is customary considering all the bizarre, almost unholy foods and drinks that get sold in the United States. In Australia, our options tend to be a lot nicer — and that’s especially true for fans of local spirits.
The idea of bottled cocktails aren’t something that people usually gravitate towards. Usually, you’ll either buy a bottle of something or gravitate towards beers, ciders, maybe hard spritzes. Premade cocktails have often been too sweet, too bitter, or just not good enough value. Naturally, Archie Rose has found a way to crack the code.
Archie Rose is most famous here and abroad for their gin distillery, although they’ve since branched out into a variety of single malt whiskies, vodkas, and even rye. With that comes an opportunity to expand into a whole range of things for different tastes, which is the general principle behind their Future Classics Range.
There’s four bottles in the range, one of them being the $89 Tempest. Using white rye as a base, the Tempest is best described as a slightly tarter, more citrus-forward version of a dark and stormy, but one where the ginger beer is replaced by passionfruit and pink grapefruit.
There’s more in the drink than the two fruits, of course:
This powerful vortex blends Archie Rose White Rye, pineapple, passionfruit, pink grapefruit, spiced lime, pomegranate and falernum.
Where it can get a little tricky is working out how to best drink the Tempest. The label on the bottle says it’s ready-to-pour and can be enjoyed as-is over ice or topped up with soda, sparkling wine, CAPI ginger beer. I found mineral water works astonishingly well though, and my partner and I preferred that to enjoying the Tempest neat or on ice.
It doesn’t mention this on the official bottle, but the website says you should get 7 drinks out of one Tempest bottle (that’s 100mL of liquid per drink). Funnily enough, my own experience yielded a very similar measurement, although I came about it from a very different way.
With 8.3 drinks in a standard bottle, I divided that by 700mL, which worked out to be just under 3 standard shots (90mL). Topping up a glass with mineral or soda after 3 shots resulted in a slightly sweet, slightly tart but refreshing drink. My partner enjoyed an even lighter version with 60mL of the Tempest, which would be less than one standard drink for per serve.
And if you do it that way, you’re getting pretty decent value. The Tempest is the equal-most expensive of the Archie Rose bottled cocktails, with the Cloud Century at $69 being a good option if you’re a fan of yuzu.
But if you were buying these cocktails normally, you’d probably pay $17 or $18 in most places per drink. And if you were assembling each of the ingredients individually to recreate The Tempest at home, you’d also spend well over $89:
- There’s the Archie Rose white rye ($99)
- Pink grapefruit (several bucks for the good stuff)
- Spiced lime (around $2 per kilo, or $1 per lime, although you also have to factor in the cost of cumin and cardamom pods that are typically found in ‘spiced’ drinks, plus the sugar and time to make that into a mixable syrup)
- A pomegranate (about $4 to $4.50, plus the massive pain in the arse of deseeding it, crushing to extract the juice etc.)
- Falernum syrup (usually around $30)
- Buying a pineapple, or pineapple chunks, and then dealing with said pineapple
Now you could work out alternatives of doing this, maybe cutting corners by using juice or concentrate rather than fresh ingredients. But even then at that price the cost-per-drink ratio is still getting pretty high, and scale can be an issue; what do you use all the ingredients for, will you actually use a bottle of falernum syrup on the regular, and so on.
So generally, you’ll get around 7 drinks from The Tempest for your $89, which is about $12.71 per drink. Using my method brings the cost down to about $11.44 a glass, and if you do a couple of two-shot pours instead, you’ll be hovering around the $11 mark. That’s about the same territory per drink as some specialist beers and sours, depending on where you’re shopping.
The whole package is cheap enough that if you were thinking of hosting a house or a dinner party — either soon or once lockdown is no longer a thing — then a bottled Archie Rose cocktail like the Tempest can be a nice treat. And if you’re a fan of a cocktails, and no stranger to getting two or three on a night out, then the value of having a Tempest stored away can work out quite nicely. Just remember to check the label — thanks to all the ingredients inside, bottled cocktails won’t have quite as long a shelf life as, say, a straight spirit.