Brighten up: how MOTH has shaken the canned-cocktail industry

Eschewing an extensive list of products, the brand’s focus has been on a curated line of classic cocktails

When they first appeared in February, 2021, a period thick with isolated lockdown drinking, MOTH’s canned cocktails drew attention not just because they removed the bother of creating complex, at-home libations, but mainly for the fact they brought colour and, most importantly, vibrant, bar-quality cocktails, true to serve and strength, to the table. Now, with restrictions seemingly in the rear-view mirror, the drinks brand's design-led, pared-down cans can be enjoyed from park to beach, garden to festival, and any gathering and moment – whether for winding down, casual catch-ups, dinner parties or amping up for a night out – in between. 'Our cocktails can be enjoyed in tuxedos or trackies,' is a notion often toted about by MOTH.

Rob Wallis and Sam Hunt sat enjoying MOTH Aperitivo spritz
Rob Wallis and Sam Hunt sat enjoying MOTH Espresso Martini
Rob Wallis and Sam Hunt

An acronym for ‘Mix of Total Happiness’, and the product of Rob Wallis and Sam Hunt – childhood friends who, instead of going out during their university years, nurtured their love for hospitality when they spent their student loans purchasing ingredients for experimental cocktails they’d make for their friends – MOTH revolves around an ethos to create products that facilitate good company and conversations wherever the destination may be, a notion helped by its cans’ bijou dimensions that are ideal to stow away in tote bags and pockets.“Our goal was to create the most delicious cocktail in a can that could be enjoyed with friends and family, at home or out and about”, says Wallis. “We wanted to share our love of hospitality at an accessible price without compromising on taste or quality.”

MOTH Negroni
MOTH Mojito
MOTH Old Fashioned
MOTH French 75 Pink Gin

“We feel passionately that the quality of the drink inside the can should be reflected on the outside”, Wallis continues, regarding the distinguished look of his products, “so we’ve spent a lot of time making sure that the packaging is something people feel proud to serve at dinner parties or carry whilst on-the-go.”

MOTH cans on a table at a party next to a disco ball
MOTH cans on a table at a party next to a glass on Aperitivo spritz

Eschewing an extensive list of products, the brand’s focus has been on a curated line of classic cocktails (to date, there are eight options – “We really live and die by this value [focusing on do one thing and doing it really, really well], so there is no time limit when it comes to R&D for each cocktail. Some of our drinks have been much quicker to get right than others; it took us a little longer to perfect our Mojito,” says Wallis) that can be as easily appreciated and enjoyed as a beer is. “The taste and quality of our cocktails are just like a cocktail you’d find in your favourite bar,” says Wallis on what differentiates his company from other brands. “We use only award-winning spirits and our ingredients are chosen with care, not compromise. We spend as long as we need perfecting our recipes to ensure people who try our drinks enjoy every sip.”

MOTH Espresso martini
MOTH Margarita
MOTH Pina Colada

Of particular note at Gentleman’s Journal is the Piña Colada, a concoction that revolves around the drink’s usual trinity of coconut, rum and pineapple, but differs from convention with less focus on its heavy, frothy quality and more emphasis on a light, silky-sweet mouthfeel that owes largely to its use of a white rum blend tailor-made for MOTH by The Duppy Share.

For something a bit fresher and sharper, we look to the Margarita – ideal to serve in a salt-rimmed martini glass when wanting to dress things up – which makes use of a smooth tequila, courtesy of Tequila Enemigo, that dovetails beautifully with a classic triple sec and a subtle slap of zesty lime.

Then, with the colder months approaching, and as many will be seeking out a little boost of energy as the days become darker and seemingly more moody, consider the Espresso Martini – Wood Brothers Vodka, coffee liqueur and cold brew – whose bitter, chocolatey and smooth profile pairs well with nights-in with friends and a bit of soft vinyl in the background. The secret to serving this one is to shake, pour and squeeze the can to create a perfectly frothy foam.

Thanks to such well-curated offerings, Rob, Sam and the 17-person team have elevated the canned-drinks category (MOTH is now the UK’s fastest growing premium read-to-drink brand), offering products with a quality that shines through the considered partnerships they take on, the final liquid that’s consumed, and the sharp, graphic-heavy packaging that not only reflects the premium approach to it all, but is also something that consumers will happily showcase on shelves, tables and in hand.

  • MOTH’s cocktails can be found in supermarkets across the UK, in venues such as The Hoxton Hotel, and even onboard airlines including British Airways and Iceland Air
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