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The Modern Bar Cart Podcast

Apr 25, 2024

In this RTD redux with Keli Rivers, David T. Smith, and Joe Barber, some of the topics we discuss include:

  • Emerging trends in the post-pandemic RTD (ready to drink) and RTS (ready to serve) cocktail space, including more bottled RTS SKUS, continued innovation by small producers, and marked improvements across the board in stability and flavor.

  • Thoughts on the very real limitations of launching an RTD, such as flavor drift, limited off-premise shelf space, and market saturation.

  • Increased adoption of RTDs by event venues and airlines, including a stunning demo of flight attendant choreography by David.

  • A breezy romp through some of the more “populist” categories of RTDs, including boozy iced teas and vibrantly colored mermaid lemonades.

  • And some discussion about the pros and cons of using a malt alcohol (i.e. fermented) base, versus employing distilled spirits in RTDs and RTSs.

  • Along the way, we explore the use cases for “urinal cake” as a tasting note, the color “bleen” (coming to a crayon box near you), a spicy debate about sidecars and dividends, and much, much more.

This is a light-hearted departure from our normal, buttoned up interview format, but don’t let our casual rapport and bubbling excitement fool you: there’s a ton of great insights here for anyone who’s interested in producing or enjoying RTDs in the year 2024 and beyond.