In a collaboration that has taken entirely too long to bring to fruition, Jack Daniel’s has at last partnered with Coca-Cola to produce a canned, ready-to-drink rendition of one of the most classic American cocktails. As a Southern-born American man of the 1970s, I hold a special place in my heart for the sweet caramel and vanilla flavors of Jack and Coke, so I jumped at the chance to crack open a can of this classic formulation.
Over a decade ago we reviewed Jack Daniel’s ready-to-drink cocktails and found the relatively low 5% alcohol content objectionable, though the flavors of the actual drinks were certainly within expected parameters. Our only notable disappointment was with the 5% abv, which any self-respecting Jack Daniel’s lover will find woefully inadequate.
Besides using actual Coca-Cola, where the previous version used some generic cola, this new formulation comes in at a slightly more defensible 7% abv, which still doesn’t come close to what I’d pour for myself or anyone else I like. Nevertheless, relative to its predecessor, this new canned mixture comes not only more authentic Coca-Cola flavor, but a little more Jack flavor to boot.
The warm vanilla nose of the Old No. 7 comes through nicely with this cocktail, comfortingly complemented by the sizzling effervescence and rich caramel of the Coca-Cola, which is conveniently caffeine free for evening consumption with no chance of keeping you up through the night.
Now, if I’m going for a Jack and Coke, which I often am, I’m pouring it stiffer than this premix, which raises the question of whether it makes sense to buy a ready-to-drink version that’s so light on the booze. Ultimately, though, for tailgating and backyard parties, the proportions are probably about right, making it easy to enjoy a couple without getting tanked. And you could always top it off with a shot if you want to get serious about it.
A- / $11 per four-pack of 12 oz cans / jackdaniels.com