Glenlivet, one of the venerable names in Scotch whisky, experimented with something new this month: a tiny whisky cocktail that comes in a clear, edible packet instead of a glass.
It even came with a hashtag for social media: #noglassrequired. But Twitter users seemed unimpressed, and a little freaked out.
In a video released last week, Glenlivet described the walnut-size pouches as “edible cocktail capsules made from seaweed, meaning no need for a glass, ice or a cocktail stirrer.”
“To enjoy them, pop the capsule in your mouth and take a bite to release the delicious cocktail ingredients,” said the video, which as of Monday had been viewed more than 8.5 million times on Twitter. Three cocktails are available in the pouches, and the recipes were developed by Tayer + Elementary, a bar in London.
The capsules have been compared to Jell-O shots, Gushers, sushi, Tide pods, pizza rolls, Tide pods, Tide pods and Tide pods.
Last year, Tide pods were wrapped up in a notorious “challenge” in which people filmed themselves biting down on brightly coloured laundry detergent packets (of any brand) and spitting out or ingesting the contents. A few teenagers ended up in hospitals.
But whisky capsules are meant to be ingested (by people of legal drinking age). You can swallow the clear pouch, which comes from Notpla, a London startup whose biodegradable packaging products have been used for things like keeping marathon runners hydrated without plastic bottles and paper cups.
The Glenlivet whisky capsules aren’t trying (yet) to be the next big thing. They are available only until Sunday at Tayer + Elementary, as part of London Cocktail Week.
Glenlivet traces its history to a distiller named George Smith, who made whisky illegally in the valley of the River Livet in Scotland until 1824, when he became the first legal distiller in his parish. That earned the ire of his unlicensed peers, so he kept two pistols on hand at all times to protect himself, according to Glenlivet lore.
“Our founder, George Smith, always went against the grain, bucking tradition and doing things differently,” Miriam Eceolaza, the distillery’s director, said in a statement last week. “The Glenlivet Capsule Collection continues his pioneering spirit today.”
In a statement Monday, the brand said it “only promotes responsible drinking, and the capsules are designed to be enjoyed in moderation by adults in a regulated and licensed environment.”
And on Twitter, the company acknowledged the flurry of recent social media attention.
“It seems our cocktail Capsule Collection has caused a bit of a stir,” the brand tweeted. “We wanted to reassure you The Glenlivet is committed to producing safe, responsible & delicious products for adults. Our seaweed capsules are a limited London Cocktail Week release & are not available elsewhere.”
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