Matt Sanger, Managing Director of Curatif, saw the rise of canned cocktails coming a long way off. “I was working at a bar in the early 2000s and we were serving beer, bourbon and shots,” he says. “Someone ordered a Cosmopolitan and I didn’t know what it was.” Fast forward 10 years and the MasterChef effect was in full flight. “People were concerned about the provenance of their ingredients and that spread to drinks,” Matt says. “In 10 years we went from nobody ordering cocktails to people making them at home in high volumes.”
By 2019, Matt had done an MBA and sold a couple of mates – Jez Spencer and Sam Lane – on his vision: premium cocktails in a can that tasted as good as what you get in a bar. What came next was a wild ride of innovation, testing and tight deadlines, before Curatif launched its first canned cocktails: a negroni and an espresso martini.
Aussies embraced Curatif as soon as the beautifully packaged products hit shelves, but the team knew that to keep winning over customers, they had to be focused on quality. “Perfectionism probably isn’t the word,” Matt laughs. “We’re obsessed with doing things the best way that we possibly can.” That includes sourcing the best ingredients and creating partnerships with the best brands.
Take the Curatif Archie Rose Espresso Martini. “We love working with local brand partners but it wasn’t so much that Archie Rose is Australian,” Matt says of forming the partnership. “It was more that their vodka is just so good.” The coffee in the espresso is also fully considered. “Our coffee comes from two little farms in Brazil,” Matt says. “That particular bean has the bold roast tobacco and dark chocolate flavours you want in an espresso martini.”
Each cocktail in the range has a similar origin story, and these days the sky’s the limit for the brand. Curatif Margaritas are being served on Qantas business-class flights and next, the team is tackling the American market. However large they grow and scale, Matt says the Curatif promise will remain true to its roots: delivering great-quality, fun drinks.
Explore the full range of Curatif canned cocktails available at Vintage Cellars now.
Curatif Amaretto Sour “Our Amaretto Sour is super delicious,” Matt says. “It’s got that beautiful creamy, foamy texture that you’d get from egg white but we developed a fully organic, vegan egg white replacement for our mix.”
Curatif Savile Row Cosmopolitan Exclusive to Vintage Cellars, the Curatif Cosmo uses Grainshaker Vodka made with native Australian botanicals. “We blend that with Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao for these light floral sherbet notes,” Matt says.
Curatif Sunshine State Gimlet When the team tasted the 78 Degrees Sunshine State Gin they knew it had to go in a cocktail, which was how the Curatif Sunshine State Gimlet, now exclusive to Vintage Cellars, was born. “We didn’t want to bury this gin where you can’t find it,” Matt says. “Our Gimlet has beautiful tropical elements.”
Curatif Tequila Tromba Margarita “The tequila in this margarita has a beautiful grassiness, while there’s a bright acidity from the fresh lime juice,” Matt says. “You get a lovely sweetness that isn’t over the top.”
Curatif Never Never Distilling Negroni “The reason we make our Negroni with Never Never Distilling Co is because they just make really great gin, and they’re around the corner in McLaren Vale,” Matt says. It has aromas of red berries and notes of juniper and bitter orange.
Products featured are available from 15/11/23 to 26/12/23, while stocks last. Some products or varieties featured may not be available in all stores.