Viraj Sawant and Sameer Mirajkar have done everyone a favour by launching In A Can, the country’s first crafted canned cocktails. It’s just what the millennials ordered
If you are able to reach out for a can of soda or beer as you picnic or lounge by the pool, why not a cocktail? That is what led RM Beverages LLP to launch India’s first canned cocktails—piquantly called In A Can.
For millennials short on time, they do away with the hassle of gathering myriad ingredients because, unlike cocktail premixes which still need to be spiked with gin, vodka or whisky, the alcohol content is already mixed in these cans.
With long experience in the industry, the founders of RM Beverages, Viraj Sawant and Sameer Mirajkar, knew that India was ready for a concept that has already found a lot of takers overseas.
“The idea of In A Can came one evening at a house party when Viraj and I realised that people were bored of the same fizzy mixers, beers and juices. They wanted to have cocktails but either did not have the ingredients or the know-how and equipment,” says Mirajkar. “Immediately we knew there was a need in the market for some quality cocktails and a new drinking experience.”
The five flavours they have launched—Vodka Mule, Gin & Tonic, Rum Latte, LIIT (Long Island Iced Tea) and Whiskey Collins—aim to reach out to a variety of alcohol palates, be it vodka lovers, gin enthusiasts, or those who prefer to stick to their rum and whiskey, albeit with a slight twist.
They narrowed down to these cocktails because they have a wide appeal. “Whiskey with apples and cinnamon is a classic combination, gin & tonic with hints of rosemary is also popular, vodka mule is well-liked, LIIT is a party-goer’s favourite, and lastly rum Latte which is a mix of coffee and rum with vanilla and hazelnut hints,” says Sawant.
They are perfect to carry when you are on the go, heading to the beach or pool or hosting an informal house party. The target market are young adults in the 22-30 age group open to experimentation but with a caveat, that it should be convenient.
It ticks off other boxes for weight-watching millennials—these premixed cocktails use natural ingredients with very little sugar and no preservatives or artificial sweeteners. As a result each can has less than 100 calories.
Launching in the middle of the pandemic posed a challenge and they finally did it in June in Goa where they are based. Priced at Rs 140 each, these 250ml cans are available only in the sunshine state at the moment. They will launch in Uttar Pradesh this month and in Diu Daman by the end of October. When it comes to metro cities, they plan to introduce them in Mumbai, Bengaluru and Pune next year, while Delhi may have to wait a bit.
“Retailers were unsure about future restrictions and lockdowns, so they would refrain from adding new items, but we are navigating through these issues and growing at a steady pace,” says Sawant.
The team behind In A Can is solid. Viraj Sawant, a wine sommelier, has been associated with the wine industry for the past 12 years. He’s worked in London as a head sommelier for various Michelin-star restaurants and was also the brand ambassador for a leading wine importer.
Varun Sudhakar, who heads the product development, is the founder of Bar Bundle and is holder of India’s Best Bartender for 2013-2014 while Sameer Mirajkar has a 17-year-old long career in leading QSR brands in the country.
The company has started experimenting with recipes for the next few cocktails to widen its range but they are not in a rush and plan to launch these only next year. They are also eyeing markets overseas. Mirajkar tells us, “In terms of export markets we will be starting with Africa and Hong Kong by the end of the year.”
With the cocktail scene taking on a life of its own in the country and people cautiously picking up the courage to party and venture out, In A Can is making its appearance at the right time.