Tasting Notes – Spirits Edition: Lemon Drop from Costa Brava Cocktails

For this special Spirits Edition of Tasting Notes, we comfortably ease into the second half of the workweek with the help of a few cans of Lemon Drop from Costa Brava Cocktails (Los Angeles, California).

Founded by Matthew Kaplan and Ethan Lazar – lifelong friends and LA natives – and inspired by their time studying abroad in Spain, Costa Brava Cocktails is a new lineup of craft cocktails packaged in “vibrant 12 fluid ounce [cans] that [capture] the spirit of Los Angeles’s sun, surf and sand lifestyle.” Crafted to be “a unique twist on a classic cocktail,” Lemon Drop is a delightful mix of premium vodka and “a light lemon kick” that comes in at just “6.7% ABV, [contains] only 130 calories, and [is] gluten-free, without sacrificing the great taste.”

Costa Brava Cocktails is currently self-distributing Lemon Drop in Los Angeles, California. You can expect to find this new offering available in 4-packs of 12 oz. cans at “select West Los Angeles liquor stores and on-premise locations.” Costa Brava Cocktails are also available for direct purchase (in states where legal) from the company’s online store.

Alright . . . now that we are all a little more familiar with the background info on Costa Brava Cocktails and Lemon Drop, let’s pop the top on a can and get into some Tasting Notes!

Tasting Notes for Lemon Drop from Costa Brava Cocktails

Appearance: A gentle pour from a slim 12 oz. can into a tall highball glass produces a pristine, colorless Lemon Drop that is completely devoid of any foam or froth on top. When held to direct light, nothing changes in the color department and the presentation remains the same. The liquid is perfectly clear and filled with large, fast-moving carbonation bubbles. If we had to sum up the look in a few words, it basically looks like a super clean sparkling water.

Aroma: The aromatics are a muted, but a note of fresh lemon and a bit of lemon-lime soda fill the nose with each inhale. A slight amount of vodka booziness settles into the background, but it is very reserved. All of the expected notes are accounted for.

Taste: The first thing to hit the palate is a gentle pop of high-quality vodka. Seriously, it is like straight-up, real deal vodka. This is mellowed out quickly as bright lemon notes bloom alongside a touch of sweetness to create an incredibly satisfying lemon soda-like quality. The experience closes with a refreshing wash of sparkling mineral water.

Mouthfeel: Extremely light in body with a wonderfully bright carbonation presence, this cocktail is exceedingly refreshing and easy-drinking. Crisp and clean, there is nothing aggressive, overwhelming or overly sweet about this offering. The 6.7% ABV is expertly tucked away and provides zero warmth or indication that this is an alcoholic beverage (well, other than the vodka presence in the flavor). Aftertaste is just a bit of lemon soda.

Final Thoughts: The most striking thing about Lemon Drop from Costa Brava Cocktails is the very real presence of vodka in both aroma and flavor. All too often when it comes to canned cocktails, they tend to taste like watered down offerings with no real hint of the advertised booze contained within. That is not at all the case here. Premium vodka is quick to make itself known in each sip and that really drives home an actual cocktail experience.

Combine that with Lemon Drop’s ridiculously refreshing citrus notes and high level of drinkability, and you have the perfect canned cocktail option for drinking around the pool, at the beach, on the back porch during a barbecue or gathering, or just when you want a quick cocktail without the hassle of having to mix something up on the fly. If you have been on the hunt for something different to add to the fridge or cooler, Lemon Drop and Costa Brava Cocktails really need to be on your radar. Prost!


Ghost Train Brewing Co. Releases OhEmGee Portable Craft Cocktail

Ghost Train Brewing Company (Birmingham, Alabama) has officially announced that it will release OhEmGee, Alabama’s first and only portable craft cocktail, in late July 2020.

Not to be mistaken for a hard seltzer, OhEmGee is a legit craft cocktail that combines Ghost Train’s award-winning Proven Spirits Vodka with an infusion of lemon and lime. Coming in at just 7% ABV, 90 calories and 2 grams of carbs, OhEmGee is a “bubbly beauty . . . rocking the crisp, light mouthfeel you would expect from a vodka & soda, with a hint of fresh lemon and lime to keep things interesting.”

OhEmGee officially debuted in the Tasting Room at Ghost Train Brewing Company on Monday, July 20 with availability in 6-packs of 12 oz. cans. OhEmGee is currently only available at the brewery and there is no word at this time as to when or if it will hit distribution. Prost!

Vital Information for OhEmGee from Ghost Train Brewing Company

Release – Launching July 20, 2020
Style – Canned Craft Cocktail
Featured Spirit – Proven Spirits Vodka
ABV – 7%
Calories – 90
Carbs – 2 grams
Availability – 6-packs of 12 oz. cans
Distribution – None. Brewery only for now

Costa Brava Cocktails Launches with Two Zero Sugar, Zero Carb Offerings

Costa Brava Cocktails (Los Angeles, California), a new line of sugar-free, zero carb premium vodka canned cocktails from LazKap Beverages Inc., has officially launched in Southern California with the release of two flavors: Lemon Drop and Vodka Cranberry.

Founded by Matthew Kaplan and Ethan Lazar – lifelong friends and LA natives – and inspired by their time studying abroad in Spain, Costa Brava Cocktails is a new lineup of craft cocktails packaged in “vibrant 12 fluid ounce [cans] that [capture] the spirit of Los Angeles’s sun, surf and sand lifestyle.” Lemon Drop and Vodka Cranberry, the brands’s first two releases, both come in at just “6.7% ABV, contain only 130 calories, and are gluten-free, without sacrificing the great taste.”

“We have been best friends since we were 9 years old. Our junior year of college, we were lucky enough to spend a semester studying abroad in Barcelona. One of the last days of our trip was spent at a beach in the Costa Brava of Spain. Embarrassingly, we had put on so much weight abroad that neither of us wanted to go shirtless. When we returned home to Los Angeles for the summer before our senior year at UMASS Amherst, we knew we had to make a change. Even though we cut sugar and carbs from our diets and began working out every day, one thing held us back: we enjoy socializing, which sometimes includes having a few drinks with friends. We soon realized that there were no SUGAR FREE AND CARB FREE alcoholic beverages on the market that lived up to our standards of quality and taste. There was a gaping opportunity in the alcohol market, so we got straight to work. Through a tremendous amount of trial and error, we developed Costa Brava Cocktails, a great tasting line of premium canned cocktails that contain ZERO SUGAR and ZERO CARBS.”

Matthew Kaplan, Co-founder of Costa Brava Cocktails

Costa Brava Cocktails is currently self-distributing Lemon Drop and Vodka Cranberry in Los Angeles, California. You can expect to find both of these new offerings available in 4-packs of 12 oz. cans at “select West Los Angeles liquor stores and on-premise locations.” LazKap Beverages Inc. plans to expand its the distribution footprint for Costa Brava Cocktails in the coming months with a “full Southern California rollout, which will be a runway for national expansion.” Prost!

Field Trip: VIP Night at Noble Crust – Wesley Chapel

1SignOutdoor_editedOn Saturday, July 15, the Noble Crust hosted a VIP Night and Preview Party for their new location in Wesley Chapel, and we were fortunate enough to receive an invitation to cover the festivities.  Here’s your first look at this fantastic new restaurant taking up residence at the Shops at Wiregrass.

Serving as a benefit for The Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel Foundation, this VIP Night event acted as the perfect platform to introduce the community to Noble Crust and its philosophy that is clearly built on generosity and hospitality.  From the hostess at the door to the proud ownership mingling with the crowd, the entire crew at Noble Crust does absolutely everything they can to make you feel at ease and at home when you visit their restaurant.

And what a beautiful restaurant it is.  Before you enter the restaurant proper, you easily glide through a cozy patio space that has been designed with the ability to tame the Florida heat with breezy fans and a gentle misting system.  As you walk through the front door, your eyes feast on a gorgeous space that includes comfy social dining areas, an immaculate open kitchen, clever lighting that provides a warm ambiance, and one of the most stunning bars in the area.

Take a seat and your attention suddenly shifts to the alluring aromas wafting from the kitchen.  With a menu comprised of seasonal Italian dishes that retain a Southern soul, your options are many.  You can nosh on tasty appetizers such as Deviled Crab Arancini and Ricotta Gnocchi before selecting a main course that could range from one of several of Noble Crust’s incredibly balanced and delicious pizzas to Rigatoni & Short Rib Ragu or some Southern Fried Chicken.  After polishing off your first two courses, be sure to look over the dessert menu because you are definitely going to want to finish off your meal with a slice of Lemon-Buttermilk Pie or a jar of Warm Chocolate Budino.  Finally, and this goes for your entire meal, your Noble Crust experience is not complete unless you pair these delectable dishes with something from the bar.  It could be a of glass wine, a tasty brew from their carefully curated beer list, or one of their many ambrosial house cocktails.  Just find the flavor that best suits you, settle in, sip away and fully savor the complete dining experience that Noble Crust provides.

We could go on and on about our time at Noble Crust, but it is probably best to let our photos do the talking from here on out.  Check out the photos below and, most importantly, be sure to check out Noble Crust – Wesley Chapel as soon as possible.  The restaurant opens to the public this week, and their staff is polished and ready to go.  Make it happen and enjoy what may just be the finest dining option now available in Wesley Chapel.  Prost!


**Click any photo below to enlarge, read descriptions, and/or view the gallery as a slideshow**