-Courtesy of Top Dog Cocktails & Brian Szeker
Feature photo: CFO Of Top Dog Cocktails, Matt Satten with CEO Of Top Dog Cocktails, Joanna Manzo.
With the explosion of ready-to-drink cocktails (RTD), Joanna Manzo and Matt Satten of Philadelphia were approached by a private investment group to combine their 25+ years in the industry to get a “high-end” RTD cocktail in the hands of the people. And from that, Top Dog Cocktails was born. For those who are tired of the never ending lineup of “seltzers,” this is something you’ll want to try. Top Dog Cocktails are the exclusive spirit-based RTD for the Mann Center and private label for Fearless Restaurants and Overbrook Golf Club.
Top Dog Cocktails are the first line of RTD’s developed in PA, and encourages “More paw, less claw,” directly eyeing competition with other popular brands. For CEO Joanna Manzo, it’s all about educating the consumer:
“The RTD market is dominated by low-flavor, malt-based, seltzers that only come in at 4.5-5% ABV. Top Dog Cocktails are spirit-based–NOT malt-based. These are REAL cocktails, just like you get when you’re out, except it’s in a can! And thanks to Act 39, PA producers of alcohol can self-distribute so the consumer can order via a website, just like their wine-of-the-month club. Truly, a first of its kind for canned cocktails,” said Manzo.
Top Dog Cocktails boasts only the FRESHEST of ingredients utilizing the spirits of local distillery, Boardroom Spirits. These puppies (pun intended) pack QUITE the punch, coming in at 12.5% ABV, it’s equivalent to two drinks in one can! Top Dog Cocktails are inspired by timeless craft cocktails, but with their own individual twists.
For PA residents, you can get these delivered straight to your backyard–no trip to the store needed! And for those who are looking to save some $$, they’ll want to join The Cocktail Club.
The Cocktail Club:
The Cocktail Club is an exclusive, first-of-its-kind, subscription-based delivery program! Pick you favorite flavor, or create your own mix-and-match (coming soon). Members of the program receive perks such as: discounted deliveries, the first to try our new flavors, and exclusive invites to Top Dog events!
A 3-month subscription which would normally be $75 becomes roughly $67.50 PER CASE with the 10% cocktail club discount. Customers who subscribe for 6 months will get a 15% discount, making it $63.75 PER CASE. Delivered to your door, every month, on the same day.
“The greatest aspect of RTD cocktails is their convenience. As the pandemic has taught us, if you can get something shipped directly to your door, that’s roughly a million times better than having to put on pants to go to a store.” Satten laughed.
“Our Cocktail Club takes that notion one step further: why order multiple times, when you can simply subscribe once and save even more money in perpetuity? We’re proud to be the first liquor company in PA to offer this subscription model.” Manzo replied.
According to the PLCB’s 2020-2021 Annual Report:“In fiscal year 2020-21, dollar sales of canned RTD wine and spirits increased by 336.3% over the prior year. Unaffected by the impacts of the pandemic, in fiscal year 2020-21 combined dollar sales for canned and non-canned RTD wine and spirits increased 91.3% over the prior year. While RTD wine sold $8 million, an increase of 144% over the prior year, RTD spirits sold $34 million, an increase of 82%”
Although RTD cocktails are still in their infancy, Satten believes it to be very similar to the craft beer business that boomed over a decade ago.
“Once the consumer became better educated about all the advantages of cans–sustainability, portability, price point, and better flavor–the beer companies pivoted, and cans became the new industry standard. The cocktail industry is about to experience a similar sea change. Once drinkers get past the idea that something high-end must come from bottles, they try our RTD cocktails and exclaim, “I can’t believe this came from a f*****g can.” I love hearing that combination of disbelief and excitement.”
Top Dog Cocktails can be purchased directly by ordering at topdogcocktails.com, or by visiting your local state spirits stores (coming soon).