Delivered in a box that is slim enough to fit through your letterbox, Nio cocktails are an innovative convenience product, which come in the form of pre-mixed drinks that only require ice. Jenny Southan reports
It’s costly to stock a home bar. For a simple Negroni, for example, you need a bottle of gin, sweet vermouth and Campari, which could easily cost £50. Plus it’s not always easy to master the perfect Margarita.
For city-dwellers well-versed in the on-demand economy where almost anything can be delivered to your door, Nio is an innovative new provider of high-end pre-mixed cocktails that are far superior to the cans you might find in the supermarket.
Founded in 2019 by Luca Quagliano and Alessandro Palmarin, Nio cocktails have been developed under the guidance of professional mixologist Patrick Pistolesi, founder of Drink Kong, one of the World’s Best 50 Bars.
Ideal for a dinner party or date night at home, these ready-to-drink cocktails are presented in slim, square packs that allow you to pour the liquid straight into a glass. “When it’s time to enjoy, simply shake the sleeve, pinch and tear off the corner,” says Nio.
No mixers are required – just ice. What’s more, they are made in Italy, which suggests they are crafted with finesse.
There are more than cocktails to choose from – and it’s worth noting that they are all the strong variety. No fizzy or fruit-juice heavy drinks here. Just pure alcohol (well, about 20-25%) with the occasional splash of citrus or cranberry, for example.
What’s on the menu?
With a focus on the classics, there is a Cosmopolitan, Daquiri, Margarita, Negroni, Espresso Martini, Gimlet, Old Fashioned and Manhattan. There is also a couple of alcohol-free options such as the Virgin Bitters, which is similar to a Negroni.
How much do they cost?
There are three options to choose from – a box of three (£19.50 plus £3.50 delivery), six (£39 – free delivery) and nine (£58 – free delivery). This means the average price for one drink is £6.50, which is much cheaper than at a bar.
I was really impressed with the quality of the cokcktails and although the liquid wasn’t served from a bottle, the stylish packaging didn’t undermine the experience. (Somehow a canned cocktail just doesn’t seem fresh or classy.) A great concept – and top marks for ensuring the product fits through a letterbox.
In the future, Globetrender expects to see Nio cocktails featuring regularly in hotel minibars. We noticed that Nio has sold limited edition travel-themed packs such as Postcards from Venice and Portofino.
Wouldn’t it be great to be able to help yourself to the perfect destination-themed cocktail in your hotel room in New York, for example? A Manhattan in Manhattan… With bespoke packaging to match. Globetrender thinks they would be a bestseller. At 100ml each, they could even be packed in hand-luggage when travelling or slotted into a picnic basket. Personally, I would like to have a whole shelf of them at home – a kind of “cocktail library” for easy entertaining when friends come over.