Coca-Cola, Brown-Forman Corp announce plans to launch Jack Daniel's and Coke ready-to-drink cocktails

Cans of new Coca-Cola and Jack Daniel's RTDs
The new collab cuts out the bartender, meaning it's easier than ever to enjoy classic cocktails at home. Photo credit: Getty Images / Coca-Cola

Look, it's cold, it's windy, it's wet, and to be honest, I don't really want to battle the elements (or battle Auckland's drivers that actually get worse in bad weather) just to go to a bar and order a drink I could've made in the comfort of my own home. 

It may go without saying, but it doesn't exactly take a rocket scientist to whip up a gin and tonic, a Cape Cod or a Jack and Coke - you probably have the ingredients for a number of classic cocktails already in your kitchen.

But if you're rained in and feeling particularly uninspired, this brand-new collaboration could be just the ticket. Coca-Cola and Jack Daniel's are cutting out the middleman (or in this case, the bartender) to make the classic American cocktail even more easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy to create - all you need to do is crack open the can.

The Coca-Cola Company and Brown-Forman Corporation, the maker of Jack Daniel's Tennessee whiskey, announced on Monday (local time) that they are teaming up to launch premixed, ready-to-drink cocktails - yup, Jack and Coke in a can.

The premixed Jack and Cokes will be sold internationally following its initial launch in Mexico late this year. A zero-sugar version will also be available, the companies said.

"This relationship brings together two classic American icons to deliver consumers a taste experience they love in a way that is consistent, convenient, and portable," Brown-Forman president and CEO, Lawson Whiting, said in a statement issued to local media.

The move to simplify the humble Jack and Coke even further comes amid strong global sales of ready-to-drink (RTD) alcoholic beverages, such as hard seltzers and premixed cocktails. International consumption of RTDs increased by 26 percent in 2020 - I'm sure we can all figure out why - and 14 percent last year, according to IWSR Drinks Market Analysis, an alcohol market research firm. 

For comparison, the global consumption of all alcohols was up 3 percent, as reported by the Associated Press.

The Brown-Forman Corporation has been mixing and muddling ready-to-drink cocktails since 1994, when it launched spiked lemonade, cola and apple juice in Australia.

By contrast, Coca-Cola has been slower to introduce alcoholic drinks to its repertoire of 200 brands ever since it sold off a California winery it owned in the early 1980s. Coke launched Lemon-Dou, its first ready-to-drink alcoholic beverage, in 2018 in Japan. More recently, it launched Topo Chico Hard Seltzer, Simply Spiked Lemonade and Fresca Mixed, the Associated Press reports.

"We are strategically experimenting and learning in alcohol," said Khalil Younes, Coke's president of emerging categories. "We are excited about the opportunities, but we also know it will require effort and patience."

The new product comes shortly after Coca-Cola announced that its no-sugar options, Coke Zero and Coke No Sugar, would be scrapped from the lineup and replaced with a brand-new addition, Coke Zero Sugar.

Coca-Cola has promised the new beverage tastes "as close as possible" to its classic, full-sugar counterpart.