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In Pictures: A new category of 'mixology' cocktails

Toronto brothers bring ready-to-drink culinary cocktails to market, but are they on the right shelf?

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Last year, Toronto brothers Bruno and Davide Codispoti, above, teamed up with well-known “mixologist” Frankie Solarik to create a ready-to-drink culinary cocktail.

Jennifer Roberts/The Globe and Mail

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Their first effort was Blood Orange Rosemary & Maple Punch, made from real juices and other all-natural ingredients. They priced it at $18.95 for a one-litre bottle.

Wayne Williams

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As a bonus, the “rimmer” – think salt for a margarita glass – was attached in a small bag. Ontario’s LCBO stores stocked the cocktail right away, and at an in-store tasting it proved popular with patrons.

Jennifer Roberts/The Globe and Mail

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Marketing ideas at the Crazy Uncle office in Toronto.

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The Codispoti brothers followed up with two more ready-to-drink cocktails this past summer: a Basil Honey and Lime Daiquiri and a Spiced Cola Bitters and Mint Julep. But they languished on the shelf, the brothers say, primarily because of where they were shelved at the LCBO: with wine coolers and other premixed one-pour cocktails. But Crazy Uncle is not a cooler. “We are not Kool-Aid with vodka,” Davide asserts. “We are a culinary cocktail. But there isn’t a category for us yet, which tends to be confusing for consumers.”

Jennifer Roberts/The Globe and Mail

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The brand has no real say in where they are shelved at the LCBO: Davide and Bruno say they didn’t even bother asking the retailer to change the shelf location because they knew they would have been told no. Crazy Uncle is working on at least three new flavours, but will customers know where to find them?

Jennifer Roberts/The Globe and Mail

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