Review: Dashfire Canned Cocktails – Complete Lineup
Dashfire is best known as a purveyor of bitters, with the self-proclaimed largest selection of bitters in the world. Recently the company expanded its offerings to include a selection of six premade cocktails, each available in the cutest single-serve can you’ve ever seen — 100ml each. (750ml bottles are also available.)
The cocktails are all spins on classics (spoiler: you’re getting into a lot of sherry here), and of course they’re made with Dashfire’s own bitters (sometimes multiple types of bitters), which provide many of the secondary flavor elements you’ll find noted on the back of the can.
We tasted the full lineup. Thoughts follow.
Dashfire Elderflower Martinez – Gin, sherry, elderflower liqueur, and bitters. “A hint of pear” is specified on the reverse. Nutty, winey sherry notes are strong here, overpowering the fragrant, spicy gin and the healthy amount of bitters in the mix. The elderflower never quite makes it through the haze, though I do get a touch of pair and some chocolate on the finish. Otherwise it’s rather austere and extremely old school. Best with some ice melt in the mix. 38% abv. B
Dashfire Pomegranate El Presidente – Rum, “liqueur,” vermouth, and grenadine. “Hints of pomegranate and orange.” Heavy on the vermouth, again quite chocolaty at times, with just a light hint of orange peel. I don’t catch pomegranate in the mix, though elsewhere Dashfire says it contains pure pomegranate juice. That wine-heavy, bitter-herbal vermouth note hangs around on the finish for quite some time. 38% abv. B
Dashfire Lemon & Lavender Martini – Vodka, sherry, and bitters. “Hints of lemon and lavender,” obviously. Purists may cringe at all the non-martini stuff here, and sure enough, this tastes a lot like sherry with vodka in it. Give it a minute and the lavender explodes from the glass, all perfume and fresh laundry — though it remains focused primarily on the nose, less so on the sherry-overblown palate. 38% abv. C+
Dashfire Bourbon Old Fashioned – Bourbon and bitters. “Hints of orange and cherry.” If you’re going to drink one Dashfire cocktail, make it this one. This is a perfectly credible old fashioned, not too sweet and full of fruit flavor — cherry and orange, yes — as well as lots of chocolate. The whiskey is soothing and well-integrated with the sweeter components, and the entire drink feels quite fresh and lively — in part because there’s no damn sherry in the recipe. It’s the only can I finished entirely and one which I’d gladly stock up on for either emergencies or — pro tip — flights. 38% abv. A
Dashfire Fig & Cascara Manhattan – Rye, sherry, and bitters. “Hints of fig and cascara.” (Cascara is a tea made from coffee fruit skins.) It’s the fig that initially dominates here, followed (again) by the sherry character. Both are intense, with a cinnamon-like character that is fun but quickly becomes overwhelming. The lack of sweet vermouth in the recipe makes for an unfortunate and quite noticeable minus. 38% abv. B
Dashfire Chai White Russian – The big outlier here, made with vodka, cream, and chai bitters. “Hints of ginger and cardamom.” This is a fun beverage that feels like a real craft experience, the chai tea character evident from the start, and the layers of spice on top elevating what could otherwise be a somewhat dull cocktail. The cream gets a bit thick and gooey on the palate after a few sips — I wouldn’t want more than one of these in a sitting — but let the ice melt a bit and you’ll find a better balance on the body. Fun stuff. 17% abv. A-
each $30 per 750ml bottle or $7 per 100ml can / dashfirebitters.com