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Friday 17 November 2023

Uber-cool canned cocktails are world leaders

A small Melbourne company that only launched four years ago has emerged as a global leader in the fast-growing premium cocktail-in-can space.

You'll find Curatif cocktails being served on Qantas flights, and exports are about to begin to both the US and UK following the company's second straight win as top RTD producer at the the International Wine and Spirits Competition in London.

Curatif's success is built on three core pillars: quality, convenience and sustainability, says brand founder Matt Sanger in an interview with GoTR.

I enjoyed chatting to Matt, who has boundless enthusiasm and a focus on "quality, convenience and sustainability".

Curatif boomed during the Covid era, when drinkers wanted to consume quality beverages at home, rather than in cocktail bars, and has benefitted from what Sanger describes as "the MasterChef effect" - with people looking to enjoy gourmet dishes and premium beverages at home.

"A lot of people stopped drinking vodka and Red Bull and turned instead to Espresso Martinis," Sanger says. "They discovered cocktail bar-quality drinks - using amazing ingredients - can come in a can.

"Mindful consumption is a very big trend around the globe - and many folk are looking to drink less, but higher quality."

I must admit I was a little sceptical about the quality of cocktails in a can, but I am working my way though several in the range and have really enjoyed both the fresh, vibrant and refreshing Curatif Cosmopolitan and the tangy and seriously chilli-flavoured Curatif Spicy Margarita.

It seems that sparkling alcoholic seltzers and cocktails in a can are very much on the upswing: and so easy for social gatherings.

Curatif has aligned with well-known Australian distillers like Archie Rose and Never Never Distilling Co., as well as with premium Australian imported brands like Appleton Estate Rum, and bars like Savile Row, to produce its bespoke cocktails in a can.

Sanger says: “The broader RTD category is an animal that is capable of staggering growth - look at what happened with seltzers. 

"More importantly, RTD is a pillar of the broader alcobev segment…the most incredible cocktails of the world’s best bars are now only as far away as opening the fridge door, and as portable as the cans we send them out in.

“The ready-to-drink category has changed a lot," Sanger adds. “What I’m loving is this movement away from bag-in-a-box flavour components and into both natural and native ingredients.”

The IWSC judges were impressed by Curatif’s Bar Bambi Amaretto Sour, Black Pearl Toreador, Jacoby's Trader Vic's Mai Tai, Never Never Distilling Co Negroni, Plantation Hurricane, Ron Colón Corn & Oil, Rum Old Fashioned and Spicy Margarita.

They were particularly high on the gold-medal-winning Archie Rose Espresso Martini.

“If the IWSC is our industry’s version of the Oscars, then brands like Curatif, Four Pillars and Grainshaker are Australia’s own Hemsworth, Kidman and Jackman," says go-getter Sanger, who is planning an expansion of his Port Melbourne distillery to cope with growing demand.

He points out that cans are more easily recyclable than other containers, and are also lighter in weight. There is a lot of science, too, in making sure the contents of each can has a long lifespan.

"We are committed to being the best corporate citizen we can be," Sanger says. "And by using only the finest spirits and liqueurs from the world, we are ensuring our drinks are made with integrity.

"We are a brand that provides customers with the highest quality ingredients, blended to perfection without preservatives."

Curatif ready-to-serve can cocktails can be purchased at major retailers and independent liquor stores nationally for an RRP of $49.00 for a four pack. Seasonal drinks are on the way, including a Pina Colada for summer.

For full details visit, where discounts are available to subscribers.

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