In an effort to appeal to the Tide Pod generation, The Glenlivet has released their “Capsule Collection,” which consists of small portions of alcohol enrobed in edible seaweed packaging. You do not need ice, a stirrer, or a glass to consume the capsules, but it’s not like those things were difficult to come by.
This is a terrible way to enjoy a cocktail. I appreciate alternative, biodegradable packaging, and can see the pouches being used by marathon runners who don’t want to wear dorky water belts, but cocktails are made to be sipped, not shot, and these are nothing but disrupted Jell-O shots.
Based on the promotional video — and what I’ve read about Notpla (the edible membrane) — consuming these pods seems unpleasant.
You place the pod in your mouth and pop the membrane with your teeth. Your mouth is then flooded with booze, which makes its journey through your esophagus and into your belly, leaving you with a tasteless, kinda stretchy, kinda chewy seaweed membrane hanging out in your mouth. You then have to decide if you’re going to spit or swallow, a dilemma I do not wish to be faced with at the bar.
Luckily, the naughty Gushers won’t be available in my country any time soon, as they were created for London’s cocktail week, which ends on Sunday. These whiskey pods are not a hack, and in fact emblematic of the worst kind of “hack” — the kind that nobody asked for. These pods seek to solve a non-existent problem, to elevate something that was already esteemed, and fix that which wasn’t broken. In short, it is wack.
Could seaweed packaging be used for good, useful things? Yes. This type of delivery system would probably be appreciated by people with limited mobility in their hands, and moving away from plastic packaging is, in most cases, a positive thing. But limited-time, small-portion, pre-stirred cocktails that leave a literal film in your mouth is not it, no matter how meme-able they are.
Rather than co-opting millennials’ nihilistic sense of humour and repackaging it as a lukewarm, lazy marketing ploy, The Glenlivet should try making a more affordable scotch for the avocado toast eaters. We don’t actually want to eat Tide Pods, but we do like to drink, and we deserve to drink out of a glass.