What Not To Drink This Week – Jack Daniels and Cola Edition

This drink is some bullshit, right here.

What Not To Drink This Week   Jack Daniels and Cola Edition

This is a Jack Daniel’s and Cola pre-mixed beverage, served in a 330mL (12 oz) can at 6% ABV.  It epitomizes everything that is wrong, evil, wretched and stupid about the pre-mixed cooler industry.  I hate it utterly.  You cannot imagine that this will be, in any way, a positive review.

Before I really launch into it, though, I want to be clear about something:  I am not one of those purists who insists that every drink be hand-mixed, blended with antique methods that hearken back to the days of Jerry Thomas.  I won’t scowl at you if you refrigerate your vodka, I won’t judge you if you DON’T refrigerate your vodka, and I won’t turn up my nose if someone offers me a Bacardi Breezer.  Booze is booze, and sometimes booze that tastes like melted popcicles is exactly what the occasion calls for.

But good God, there are limits.  When Smirnoff Tuscan Lemonade (with Limoncello!) tries to make you believe that chemical lemon-water with a dash of vodka is in any way authentic middle-Italian fare, they are pandering to a trend and lying to you.  It’s dishonest, and as I may have said once in a while on this site before, boy howdy is it a little bit insulting.

In fact, I thought it might very well be the most insulting entry into the already-flooded and long-execrable market of pre-mixed cocktails, but apparently I had no idea.  Apparently, I did not realize how far down we had already sunk, because — apparently — I had never before encountered Jack Daniel’s and Cola prepared beverages.

Jesus, this is… it’s just devastating.

Go on, go and Google the term “Jack and Coke“, and see what you get.  It’s going to be pretty consistent, and it’s going to look a whole lot like this:

  • 2 oz Jack Daniel’s® Tennessee whiskey

  • 10 oz Coca-Cola®

  • Pour Jack Daniels into large glass filled with ice. Pour Coca-Cola into the glass. Stir lightly.

And THAT’S IT.  The only thing missing is the total prep time, which is “thirty seconds or you have SERIOUS PROBLEMS.”  There is nobody out there, in the world, who is holding their hands out helplessly before them and begging anyone who will listen to help them understand what’s in a Jack and Coke.  There is no ambiguity to the recipe, no possible linguistic gap between sign and signifier that could lose even the most novice of drinkers — Christ, even the proportions aren’t that important.  As long as there’s whiskey and cola in the glass, you’ve managed to achieve a Jack and Coke.

It isn’t complicated.  So who, in what possible state of mind, thought that this was a good idea?

What Not To Drink This Week   Jack Daniels and Cola Edition

Oh, why hello there!  I’m Paul Varga, Chairman and CEO of Brown-Forman Corporation, the mega-parent corporation that owns Jack Daniel’s, as well as a whole load of other liquor brands.  It’d probably bother the holy hell out of you to know exactly which ones, so I won’t go into that right now — but dog-gonnit, if there’s one thing I can’t stand it’s an unhappy customer, so I would like to answer any questions you have about our fine, fine products.

(puffs cigarette, blows the smoke at you)

Now, I’ve led a hard life down here in Tennessee, buyin’ up liquor corporations and makin’ billions of dollars and whatnot, so you may say that I’m not tuned into what you call your modern sensibilities.  That’s a hard thing for a man to admit, wearin’ these overalls as I am, but that’s what I’m willin’ to do right here and now — I’m willin’ to say that I don’t understand you god-damned young people.

Why on earth anyone would spend five minutes painfully textin’ out a sentence when they coulda just phoned a body and gotten it over with, I couldn’t tell you.  Why in the holy hootin’ hell compact discs aren’t good enough for anyone, I don’t know — who listens to ten thousand songs anyway?  I can’t say I’ve heard that much music in my long, successful and fulfilling life, let alone what these kids cram on their iPhones and whatnot.

(puffs cigarette again, languidly spits on the ground, very close to your foot)

But while you can bet your last dollar on the fact that I’ll never figure out you weird damn kids, there is one thing I know I can count on:  laziness.  It is down right inspirin’ to know just how much a man’s fortune can be made off of the raw, cavortin’ slothfulness of his fellow man.  The product developin’ folks laughed at me when I said we oughta mass produce Jack ‘n’ Cokes, because there’d be enough chubby fraternity boys out there who’d run out of breath tryin’ to mix their own.

Ain’t got no vision, those folks.  No sense of what’s important to our customers, that’s what I figure.  ‘Cause while I sure as shit can’t see the appeal of screamin’ at retarded strangers over the Xbox or whatever, I know that a man who won’t get out of his chair out of fear of losin’ a video game is also a man who doesn’t have time to mix his own drinks.  And he’s willin’ to pay a premium for it!

(flicks cigarette over his shoulder, stares very intently right into your eyes)

‘Course, since someone of that kinda industry — a fella for whom pourin’ both liquor and coke into a glass is more effort than he can bear — ain’t likely to know what Jack and Coke tastes like, we gotta educate him.  So that’s why we did our best to downplay the “Cola” and really juice up the “Jack”, if you follow my reasonin’.

Sure!  That can may say 6% alcohol, but that don’t mean it can’t be 110% flavor!  The burning, acrid, charred caramel flavor of Jack Daniel’s through and through!  The kind of Jack Flavor that helps lazy, brand-obsessed males with just enough disposable income to know what they’re drinkin’, with every sip and swallow.

Why, it’s less Jack and Cola and more just pre-diluted Jack in sweetened water — ’cause if you wanted to taste the Coke, why, you’d get up off your fat ass and make your own, wouldn’t you?

Yes indeed, they would.

Jack Daniel’s and Cola pre-mixed beverages have actually been around for a staggering amount of time, but only recently did I actually encounter them in quantity.  It’s possible to forgive true devotees of the brand — as legion and vocally critical of this site as they are — but how on earth can we explain why anyone else would buy this?

To review:

  1. It is expensive.  Each can of this costs more than roughly three of the comparable cocktails.
  2. It is breathtakingly lazy.  This isn’t pre-mixed margaritas or daiquiris, which at least save you the time of squeezing citrus or mashing up fruit — this is a pre-mix of exactly TWO ingredients, which could only save the time of pouring them into a glass.  If your time is that short, you probably shouldn’t be drinking at all… or should be doing it straight from the bottle.
  3. It is really, truly awful.  Proper Jack and Cokes don’t taste like an oil slick of Jack Daniel’s floating on day-old cola; they taste like a mix of sweet and bitter caramels, with an offset of sour soda to balance the drink.  These taste like flavor science gone terribly wrong, in a can.

But most importantly, it is produced on the pure assumption that you can absolutely do no better — and you CAN.  Indeed, you must, or even more insulting pre-mixed drinks will await us in the future.  It is against dreadful concepts like this one that we must circle our wagons, or face the inevitable pre-mixed rum-and-Sprite drinks to come.

We can do better.

Verdict:  PASS

What Not To Drink This Week   Jack Daniels and Cola Edition
  • Chas

    Jim Beam tried this in the early 90s. I don’t know how widely available it was, I was in Thunder Bay at a Johnny Cash show and out of morbid curiousity (whiskey in a can!) I had to give it a try. Even for a young male who has literally found whiskey at a dump and still consumed it, I couldn’t abide it. Horrible:

    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3075/3121332555_7702fab4ff.jpg

    • http://www.choosy-beggars.com Mike

      “Even for a young male who has literally found whiskey at a dump and still consumed it, I couldn’t abide it.”

      Contender for Comment of the Year, 2010.

    • Rachel of Cyberia

      They still have the cans of Beam & Cola and Beam & Ginger Ale. I work in a liquor store, and they sell pretty well.

      • http://www.choosy-beggars.com Mike

        That is crushingly depressing.

  • http://www.aperfectversionofmyself.wordpress.com Tara

    I’ve also see Canadian Club and ginger ale premixed at the liquor store but never been tempted. How lazy do you have to be to refuse to mix rye and ginger ale?

    • honeydijonay

      Ah CC&G! I went to the launch party for that one and scored a free coupon for a 4-pack…the one and only time I was ever so lazy! LOL

  • http://laurenrjacobs.blogspot.com Lauren

    I saw two empty boxes of these in the parking lot at Finch station, and I wondered who would buy that??? The sad part is, people pay for this garbage. They are probably lightweights that like to/think its cool to answer “Jack and Coke” or “Rye and ginger” when someone asks what they are drinking.

  • Jason

    Good Bourbon is relatively cheap compared to Scotch or Tequila. When you’re buying a brand that has to be mixed to make it palatable in the first case, either pre or post can, then just walk on bye and get something real. Pretty soon, you find yourself enjoying really good whiskey all by it’s lonesome, you’re friends start looking at you with those ‘judgement’ eyes, and your next physical indicates your liver isn’t what it used to be. There’s a reason why movie alcoholics are always portrayed drinking straight whiskey.

  • Axl Rose, Bret Michaels, Vince Neil

    As washed up 80′s metal gods, we fully endorse this fine product. Jack Daniels in all it’s forms serve as the lifeblood to those who survived the glory that was the mullet inspired 80′s. In fact Vince just had a full blood to JD transfusion last week that saved his life. We salute this ingenius easy-to-serve and easy-to-smuggle-backstage-at-Casinorama form factor.

    • http://www.choosy-beggars.com Mike

      \m/

  • Glenn

    Next thing I want in a pre mix is Wild Turkey & Wild Turkey, would that sell…. Charge 3x the price of the same amount in the bottle. It’s golden.

    • Rrre

      In oz we have wild turkey n cola, jack and cola jim beam and cola, canadian club and cola, black doulgas and cola johnnie walker and cola, you name it. plus our smirnoff ice has vodka in it ! our RTD market is literally overflowing, its a great place to live

      • Aussie chick

        It’s totally awesome!!

  • http://food.lizsteinberg.com Liz@Cafe Liz

    And yet, despite it all, I can almost think of a good reason for a product like this to exist — imagine you live somewhere where drinking in public is permissible, and you only want one drink to sip as you walk down the street, and the store doesn’t carry shot-sized whiskey bottles. This would save you from buying a whole bottle of whiskey in order to mix one drink.

    That said, if it doesn’t even taste good, then it serves no use at all.

  • Brian

    “It is against dreadful concepts like this one that we must circle our wagons, or face the inevitable pre-mixed rum-and-Sprite drinks to come.”

    I take it, that you have not heard of “Bacardi Breezer”);O)

    Seriously, this is arguably a prudent move by JD into the *Alcopop market, that I remember taking off in the UK in the mid 90’s and seems to still be growing world-wide. When these drinks started to appear some of the media were outraged at what they saw as the targeting of young drinkers, with the sweet flavors that teenagers found appealing. With the benefit of hindsight and the amount of underage drinking in the UK……..it’s a moot point!

    Oh BTW, I just received an e-mail from when I registered with JD in the UK and it seems they will be releasing JD and Ginger this month in the UK…. Have you tried it yet?
    *Translation…..“Alco” = Alcoholic & “pop” = The English term for soda.

  • Anne

    I am a jack and coke girl – meaning that I buy them and mix them myself, and I will always prefer that method.
    However, I actually like the taste of these (pretty darn close to what my own might taste like), and I have found a use for them! As I still attend parties were you might find drink moochers, or people so drunk they just start drinking whatever they find in the kitchen, I always hate to take a big bottle of jack (which is usually all that I have on hand at home), since the more that I bring, the more that I will lose in a given evening. So, I can go buy a smaller bottle on the way to the party, but then I need to go get a bottle of coke too (in Ontario, these usually aren’t sold in the same building!). And even then, people sometimes take your coke, thinking you have enough to share…. well, you can see why taking a set of prepackaged drinks may cut down on some of this loss at this stupid parties that I need to stop attending!

    • http://www.choosy-beggars.com Mike

      Hey, and like I said, I don’t object at all to the concept of pre-mixed drinks. I understand that liquor must come in many packages, and I actually indulge in some of the most abominable examples of open-and-pour that exist.

      But at least most easy-serve mixers pretend that they’re cutting down on more than one step for you. Jesus, even the Jack and Iced Tea at least takes care of the process of brewing your mix, even if the result is horrid and impossible to expunge from your taste buds in less than twenty-four hours.

      That said, I am all-too-sensitive to your woes about bringing liquor and mix to parties. It is a conundrum that calls for a canny mix of strategy and brazen confrontation, and is now the topic of a future article.

      YOU ARE MY MUSE!

  • Procrastination_Xtravaganza

    Reviewer, clearly the only places you drink liquor is in your home or at a bar. Why else would you think there’s “NO reason” to make prepackaged drinks. It’s not that “I’m sitting at home and too lazy to mix my bottle of jack with coke,” It’s more like, “I’m on the street and public consumption is allowed in my town, but I can’t walk around with glassware” or like commenter Anne said “I don’t wanna bring a whole bottle of drink and mixer to a party just to have clowns scarf it down,” or “I’m going to the beach and these are much easy to carry and keep cold than a glass bottle of jack, and a 2liter of coke plus ice and cups.” These are just a few of many situations where this works fabulously.

    The taste? Well that’s subjective, I agree that the jack and “cola” is blah,..but the Jack and Ginger(ale)? Delicious!

  • Nize

    Hi,
    Do you know the major distributors or wholesaler of this Jack Daniels & Cola in the united kingdom

    Regards
    Nize.

  • JoshKF

    I’ll admit, I drink the shit out of these down here in Australia. Convenient as hell.

    Of course if the option to hand mix is available I’ll take the hand mixed one, but the difference isn’t really that big. Especially if you’re just drinking socially with mates and not really concentrating on the subtleties of your drink…

  • Israel

    What about when your tubing down the river. I had a few and I love them. No mess, just ice, glass, and the can. Easy.

  • Mel

    My question is…Did Mr. Chairman and CEO actually try it?? You can’t be a Critic without first trying the product!! That would be like a movie critic rambling on about how much they hated a movie that they Never even watched!!
    Point is…IT’S JACK AND COKE BABY!! I don’t care whether I make it,a friend makes it,a bartender makes it or if it comes premixed in a damn can!! Jack and Coke is Jack and Coke!!
    I do plan on trying this product BEFORE I pass judgement on it!!
    To Be Continued…………………………………………………………………………
    BTW,I’m NOT lazy by any means. I work,take care of my household and 3 children,and help to run two websites dedicated to the preservation of our environment.
    So spit on that Sir!!!!

    • Jake

      Holy shit you are a hypocritical dick hole! God damn you must be the stupidest fuck alive. You run a website devoted to the preservation of the environment and you are advocating single serving containers? Maybe not lazy but definitely mentally challenged.

  • Ben

    I think it is a great idea….I am a bartender and though being premixed it is not the same as a jack and coke but sometimes you can’t have a bottle of liquor by your side. My dad lives in a dry county so all a restaurant can sell is beer…Im not a fan of beer, never have been. Because this product is bottled and sold and not mixed they are allowed to sell it. So when I visit my father (one county away) and go to eat and want a drink I don’t have to settle for a beer, I can settle for a Jack and Cola.

  • http://Www.premixBourbonandwhiskey.com JD and coke pre mixed in a can

    FUCK YOU !!!! Maybe I want to just grab a can out of the fridge, sit on the couch , crack it open and drink it , why do u hate it so much …. FUCK YOU ARE ARE LOSER !!! arghhhhh you make me furious

    • choosybeggarmike

      Sorry, I just wanted to weigh in here and say that this is one of my favorite comments ever.  The raw fury combined with the username makes it seem like Jack And Coke In A Can itself is actually raging against my opinion.

      AAA+++, would read again.

    • Jake

      You are a fucking retard and most likely Australian. You also have zero standards of taste and are, as the man says, a lazy dick.

      • Aussie chick

        Jake, What’s with the hating on Australians?? There is no need to be racist, it’s only a drink mate.

        • Jake

          Because Australians love premixed drinks even though they taste like crap and are expensive. I’ve also never experienced more ant-Americanism as I have in Oz. Its not racist, its critique of a culture.

        • Jake

          Also I was responding to JD’s hate speech, not, as you may have assumed, the author.

      • Jaydoxx

        Your a fucking wanker here in Australia our pre mixed cans of jack Daniels are bigger here 375ml per can and 6.5% alcohol volume you get watered down premixed drinks in USA where your most likely from you dickhead

        • Jake

          You’re a fucking cock sucking Aussie fuck. In the US you get 2 fucking massive shots for $6 asshole. I’ve never had a watered down drink in my life, just cheap, big drinks because we can handle them unlike you wombat fucking retards.

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  • Guestoids Gangaman

    ur a fckin idiot
    i just bought a single can cause i sure as hell didnt want a whole bottles worth

    • Anonymous

      You bought a single can, then went on the internet, Googled what you just bought, and began defending your purchase to anyone you could find? Sounds like you might’ve needed the whole bottle more, dude.

      • Sneakygats

        How could you have known? Haha, I just discovered Jack & Cola in a bottle and decided to google, thus, finding this site. 

  • jason

    Im drinking a can of jack and coke and it tastes just the same as if it were hand mixed, except the alcohol content is 5%

  • Staggasuras

    They make those for bars that only have a beer and wine license and cannot have a bottle of jack behind the bar.

  • http://profiles.google.com/braincell Joe Blow

    This guy never had the sloppy drunken buffoon type friends that I have had. I think these are a godsend actually.

    Pre made – No sloppy drunk spillin his pop and shit over your counter to make a drink
    Cold cans = No ice needed to make that drink since Vodka and Coke aren’t always cooled.
    Cleanup = No sink full of dishes, or garbage can full of red cups. Just some aluminum recyclables.

    Now granted its a lot cheaper.. but its also super convenient at tailgates and parties. Usually for a tailgate I will take beer because making a mixed drink, then taking home the bottle and cups and mixers and ice.. thats a lot of shit there trust me.

    There is also the fact that some of my friends will drink my whole bottle dry. They see a big bottle of jack and they are staying for the weekend. But if I give them one or two of these, after a while they kind of feel bad and wanna chip in on another 4 pack.

    • choosybeggarmike

      Joe Blow, may I thank and commend you for such a thoughtful response. I am not qualified to speak to the logistics of tailgating, as I am Canadian and our outdoor drinking is mainly at camps, cottages our lake houses — but I AM the sloppy drunken buffoon friend, and fully appreciate that these could be a very easy way to manage my free-drinking ass.

  • Jack n’ Coke Afficionado

    I came for the article, but stayed for the comments – my favorites being choosybeggarmike’s responses. You, sir, are a genius :)

    • choosybeggarmike

      I can only work with what I’m given, but thank you!  I could never have anticipated the level of passion, emotion and raw hate that could surround such a truly mediocre product.

  • Ganjii

    Well your probably going to hate me for this, but this is one of my favorite drinks. They don’t sell it where I live but when I come here to Mexico City to visit friends I always buy this. Being as how here Jack Daniels is imported so buying the bottle can be very expensive. So I love this can. They have Mineral Water, Ginger, and of course the Cola flavor.

  • LKid

    I am never going to buy a bottle of Jack Daniels. That is truth. I am, however, going to keep buying Jack Daniels and Coke in a Can because I can drink it on the beach and everyone thinks it’s a Coke Zero can from a couple of feet.

    Let’s face it, if you’re drinking Jack Daniels its not like you’ve got service or booze standards. It tastes like underage drinking and some bad fucking life choices.

    • choosybeggarmike

      Holy shit, this is comment of the year. Thank you, thank you so much.

    • Sweet63

      clearly, it’s for drinking on a road trip..can’t find it anymore so I guess I’ll grab the Mike’s Harder malt liquor instead.

  • Sad

    I bought it cause the liquor store had it on for 2.00 a can and I had some friends over and wasn’t sure who liked what but after trying it myself I found it to be just sad, demeaning to the name that I use to seek out of my parents liquor cabinet . Would never buy again.

  • Metal2Metal

    Mixed drinks in a can appeal to the same crowd that buys bottled water.

  • Metal2Metal

    Mixed drinks in a can appeal to the same crowd that buys bottled water.

  • Turnpike

    I like the bottle version, to me it tastes like a fairly well-mixed Jack and Coke, in fact better than most of the Jack n’Cokes I’ve had at most bars I’ve been to. Expensive? You must be buying Jack at lower prices than I can find, seems cheap to me. I like having a few in the fridge, hits the spot sometimes. Yeah, and I also have a bottle of Silver Select Single Barrel jack in a cupboard over the fridge, tastes way better on its own. But on a hot day, when I feel like a Coke with a kick, Jack Cola does me just fine.

    Just saying, to me it doesn’t taste best. Way better than Bacardi Breezer. But everyone’s got an opinion. Enjoyed reading yours!

    • Turnpike

      Aargh, meant ;Just saying, to me it doesn’t taste bad’. But it doesn’t taste best either … still … compared to Bacardi Breezer?

  • Kat

    I can’t believe that you have a problem with this. Why not complain about the economy, the politicians, the national debt. This you have a problem with. I can understand if your ranting because the company is supporting alcoholism. I can understand if your ranting because of the health issue of people drinking so much soda. But the fact that an age old company has come up with a way that people who love their product can now take it any where, including the beach, and relax with their favorite mixed drink? You need to get a life and get a grip. There are soooo many more problems in the word. You have just inspired me to buy all the ingredients to have my own favorite mixed drink this weekend and on the Christmas holiday weekend. You guessed it, I LOVE Jack & Coke, and I will always support the company, no matter what. It’s not the companies that make alcoholics, it’s the lazy people who have no self discipline and need something to whine about to get attention.

    • choosybeggarmike

      If I’ve convinced you to buy your own ingredients, with which to craft your own Jack & Cokes, then you have played directly into my hands, notwithstanding the ability of the aforementioned hands to understand how their complaints rank on the national stage.

      Furthermore, if lazy whining is what spurs alcoholism, then the internet will truly be the end of us all.

  • tyler

    People may love and people may hate but jack and coke will always mate

  • KissMyGrits

    Easy way to make it more tolerable: get shit faced! then it all tastes the same! ;-)

    • http://www.choosy-beggars.com Mike

      This is honourable and wise advice. I thank you.

  • Mojoh4nd1

    Mike’s reviews is dead on….I had a real one once though in a can…but it was made in New Zealand and imported into China…go figure…

  • gerry

    This review is full of shit. I am reading this because I was searching for a way to buy MORE Jack and Cola in cans. Don’t get me wrong, I would buy a bottle if I had the inclination but the cans taste just as good as any I’ve had in a bar. If you want to get puritanical about a fucking drink, try something that isn’t diluted poison you moron.

  • Jake

    Thank you deeply for this spot-on analysis of a truly horrible phenomenon. Unfortunately this pre-mix thing is rampant in Australia and I couldn’t agree more with the laziness assessment.

    • Aussie chick

      Well maybe for some of us (in Australia by the way) are having so much fun, that we don’t have time to stop and mix our own drinks. I’m sorry you aren’t one of them.
      p.s If you are actually out having fun, rather than sitting at home alone, mixing your own ‘perfect drinks’ it is much easier and safer to have a can instead of a glass.

      • Jake

        I’m not home alone, and pre-mix is gross. I’ll still take the time to mix a drink and avoid the alco-pops tax. Also Aussies are some of the laziest people I’ve ever encountered.

  • moomoo

    For me I enjoy the JD and coke. I’m not a professional drinker, I might drink once every 3 years, so the premade little bottles are perfect for me. Some have said buy JD (the bottle) and mix your own, to some that’s just way to much liqueur.