Loverboy Just Launched One of the First Canned Espresso Martinis—Here’s How It Tastes
Canned boozy beverages are nothing new. Beer is the O.G., but there are a ton of drinks to choose from nowadays, whether your libation of choice is hard seltzer, wine or spirits. One cocktail you *won’t* commonly find in a can? Espresso martinis, which are traditionally made from a mix of vodka, espresso, coffee liqueur and simple syrup. Luckily, that’s about to change, thanks to Loverboy’s new canned Espresso Martini Kissed with Vanilla. We got to crack one open before its launch, so read on for our honest review.
- Value: 18/20
- Functionality: 20/20
- Quality: 19/20
- Aesthetics: 20/20
- Taste: 16/20
Loverboy is already famous for its hard teas and spritzes, which are both made without added sugar and clock in at about 100 calories or less per can. Better yet, they come in fruity, exciting flavors like Hibiscus Pom, Blueberry Lemon and Passionfruit Guava. The Espresso Martini Kissed with Vanilla follows suit, as it’s dairy-free, gluten-free and contains zero added sugar.
It was important to founder Kyle Cooke (you may recognize him from Bravo’s reality series Summer House) to put a healthy spin on the iconic cocktail. “We wanted to create a premium, better-for-you alternative to making a sophisticated cocktail at home,” says Cooke. “After doing more in-depth research on the average espresso martini, we learned that [a] typical one can have 200 to 300 calories per cocktail with 25 grams of sugar, and the canned versions had a laundry list of ingredients you probably have never heard of before.”
It took months of taste testing (and a whopping 26 iterations) to nail the cocktail, which is apparent at first sip. It’s made with ingredients like MCT oil, which is known to burn fat and kickstart the metabolism, maple water for sweetening and espresso coffee extract for flavor (and just a lil’ bit of caffeine). These make it possible for the Loverboy Martini to have only 7 grams of sugar per can. Most interesting to us was the choice of alcohol: Instead of traditional vodka, Loverboy substituted orange wine.
“Orange wine creates a vodka-like base [that] allows us to ship our spritzes and martinis direct-to-consumer,” explains Cooke. “[It’s] made from orange peels that have gone through a process of filtration and proprietary treatment to have a neutral taste profile, just like vodka. With that said, it tastes nothing like wine (or oranges for that matter). In fact, it doesn’t have much taste at all, but it provides a smooth, high-quality alcohol in place of a spirit.”
Despite its lean numbers and unique ingredients, the drink tastes like a legit cocktail. You’ll notice the scent of coffee the moment you crack the can; the aroma has a distinct sweetness to it, too. Even though the drink has a modest 12 percent ABV, its booziness is undeniable. We were impressed by its creamy mouthfeel, especially since it’s free of dairy. While it’s not identical to an espresso martini (if you’re all about the flavor or heat of high-end vodka and real espresso, you might miss it with this substitute), its sweetness, booziness and coffee flavor are expertly balanced. Even if you’re a sucker for the original, this alternative is tasty with about a third of the sugar and a fraction of the calories, so it’s well worth a shot for anyone who refuses to let their healthy-ish diet ruin happy hour.
Like Loverboy’s other beverages, the espresso martini is best served shaken and chilled. You can serve it over ice in a glass or go all-out by shaking it with ice in a cocktail shaker—this will give the drink a foamy head when strained into a martini glass. Of course, you can always sip it straight from the can when you’re in the mood—that’s the beauty of canned cocktails that don’t require any prep or glassware, after all.
The Loverboy Martini is available exclusively online in 44 states in eight-packs priced at $49 each. It may seem expensive at first, but that comes out to about six bucks per cocktail, which is certainly cheaper than ordering an espresso martini from your favorite bar.
Your morning latte is jealous already.
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