Drake’s Organic Spirits recently announced that its Drake’s Organic Spiked Ice freeze-and-eat adult pops are outselling established national vodka and tequila brands in California, according to sales numbers from Southern Glazer Wine & Spirits, the largest wine and spirits distributor in the United States.
Drake’s Organic Spiked Ice are handheld ice pops that feature 15% ABV and only 80 calories each. Spiked Ice is available in four flavors: Mango Rum Punch, Vodka Lemonade, Watermelon Martini and Classic Mojito. Award-winning all-organic, ultra-premium vodka and white rum makes up Drake’s Organic Spirits. As a result, they contain no artificial colors or flavors and freeze with twice the ABV as other brands.
“We know consumers care about the ingredients that go into the products they’re eating and drinking.” No state is as committed to organic products and sustainability than California. In California, 90% of households buy organic on a regular basis. Drake’s Organic Spirits commits to producing spirits made with the highest quality organic, non-GMO ingredients. These are better for the body and planet,” said Drake’s Founder and CEO Mark Anderson.
Drake’s Organic Spirits is the first and only spirit line in the world to be certified USDA organic, non-GMO Project Verified, gluten-free, vegan and kosher. As a result, the five certifications ensure a cleaner drinking option that comes only from the highest quality organic ingredients.
Drake’s Organic Premium Vodka was awarded Double Gold and Drake’s Organic White Rum received Gold at the most recent Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) Convention & Exposition in Orlando, FL. The judges are industry experts who blind taste-test each spirit. Therefore, the most prestigious in the industry recognizes and respects Drake’s Organic White Rum.
Drake’s Organic Spiked Ice, Organic Vodka, Organic White Rum, Organic Spiced Rum and Organic Mixes are available at hundreds of locations throughout California including select Ralphs, Save Mart, Lucky, FoodMaxx, Albertsons, Vons and Target stores. However, if you would like a complete list of locations offering Drake’s products, click HERE.
About Drake’s Organic Spirits
In 2017 Minneapolis-based Drake’s Organic Spirits launched. Drake’s sources the highest quality USDA organic and non-GMO Project Verified ingredients to create a line of ultra-premium spirits and mixers. The Drake’s spirit line currently consists of Drake’s Organic Vodka, Drake’s Organic White Rum and Drake’s Organic Spiced Rum. Organic cane sugar, rather than grain, which produces a smooth, clean aftertaste, makes up Drake’s Organic Spirits. Drake’s Spirits are all 12-times distilled, creating an ultra-premium hand-crafted spirit at a price that beats the leading premium brands. Drake’s recently began producing bulk sanitizer to meet the need for cleaner, safer environments.
Follow Drake’s Organic Sprits
Reintroducing Santa Monica’s Premier Cocktail Bar and Mexican Restaurant
Open in Time for One-Year Anniversary
Following the Official County of Los Angeles Department of Health guidelines, Lanea is proud to reopen its doors in time for their one-year anniversary with a new cruise-up take-out option featuring convenient cocktails and tacos for pick-up, expanded outdoor dining, and meal packages, all of which will make it easier and more affordable to safely eat outdoors as well as order takeout and/or delivery. To celebrate their return and one-year anniversary, this beachy Santa Monica cocktail bar and restaurant is launching an all-day “Taco & Tequila Happy Hour” with $2 tacos and $9 cocktails daily throughout the Summer, additional specials for National Tequila Day, and a variety of to-go fiesta meal packs including their Picnic Package, perfect for a day at the park or beach.
Located two blocks from the beach, Lanea is a spirit-driven cocktail bar and restaurant with an extensive variety of over 400 hand-selected Mezcals and tequilas. Their authentic Mexican cuisine is prepared by Petra Zavaleta, who hails from Tepeaca, Puebla, and rose to foodie fame with her underground barbacoa pop-ups, and later opened their eatery Barbakush in East L.A. Praised as one of the best Mexican eateries on the Westside, Petra and her family source their lamb locally from Chino Hills and prepare their barbacoa in an earthen pit, cooking it slowly over an open fire. Offering five different styles of classic tacos on their handmade-to-order corn tortillas, as well as chips and guacamole, they are the perfect complement to Lanea’s unique cocktail menu.
“It’s been a difficult and stressful year for Santa Monica’s small businesses, and I know we will collectively band together to weather all the hurdles 2020 has brought us. Petra and I, who are both immigrants, alongside our other partners, are really thankful and humbled by the local support as we continue to offer a safe, affordable outlet for the local community,” say owner Peter Trinh. “Come by and check out our new to-go small batched cocktails, canned in-house or our handmade gluten-free tacos, as we’d love to have you as our guest again.”
Upon reopening, Lanea has revamped their landscape and dining experience to safely accommodate customers, implementing the necessary protocols, to enhance the safety of patrons with regards to COVID-19. Lanea has added outdoor dining while abiding by the six-foot social distancing mandatory safety guidelines. Additional safety protocols include administering temperature checks to employees and diners, UV-light sanitizing, all staff must wear masks and gloves, hand sanitizer is readily available, and contactless ordering and payment has been implemented.
Lanea will be celebrating their one-year anniversary all Summer long with the launch of their new, all-day “Taco & Tequila Happy Hour,” featuring $2 tacos (of your choice), $9 canned cocktails (regularly $13), and frozen cocktails. Happy hour specials include $6 Chips & Guacamole and $4 Consome, which is bone broth with chipotle chickpeas, onion, and cilantro. Check Instagram for other anniversary specials and National Tequila Day celebrations on July 24th.
Patrons can enjoy a variety of $2 taco offerings including Barbacoa Tacos, wrapped in banana leaves and are pit-roasted underground, served with guacamole; Asada Tacos, grilled steak seasoned with Petra’s seasoning, served with guacamole; Pollo Tacos, grilled chicken seasoned with Petra’s seasonings, served with guacamole, cilantro and onions; Vegetarian Tacos, with mushrooms and spinach; Sopes Tacos, with beans and asada topped with Mexican cream, served with guacamole, cilantro and onions; Pescado Tacos, tilapia served with lettuce and garlic seasoning; and lastly Pescado con Mango Taco, tilapia served with mango, jalapeno, green & red pepper, and avocado. All tacos are handmade-to-order on 100% gluten-free corn tortillas, with the option to make any of the tacos into quesadillas for $2 more. Brunch tacos and quesadillas are available daily until 4pm.
Patrons can choose from a variety of items by viewing Lanea’s full menu here. Guests can also enjoy the “Fiesta Meal-Packs” such as the Picnic Pack which comes with six tacos of your choice, chips and pico de gallo, two handmade cocktails, and a Mexican-themed blanket, all for just $45. Or choose the Chill in the Sun Pack which contains four tacos of your choice, chips and pico de gallo, and two handmade frozen cocktails. Picnic Pack ($45) Lanea’s hand-crafted cocktails are also available to-go. Summer menu additions include the Third Street Sling made with Hibiscus Patron Tequila, fresh lemon, passionfruit, pineapple, or the Jungle Bird Scooter with Vida Mezcal, fresh lemon, ginger, Campari. For $9, they can sip on a variety of signature canned cocktails such as the Paloma made with The Chainsmokers’ JAJA Tequila containing grapefruit tonic and Aperol, or the Margarita with Cazadores tequila, fresh lime, demerara, orange liqueur. Lanea is also offering to-go bottles and flasks of a limited edition, rotating selection of craft beverages with bottle art created by local artist, Ryan Gilden.
Lanea is located at 217 Broadway, Santa Monica, CA, and hours of operation are daily from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. Delivery of food and alcohol is available through UberEats, Grubhub, Postmates, and Toast. Pickup is available by calling the restaurant directly at 424-265-PIER (7437). Alcoholic beverages are available to-go with food on all platforms except UberEats (currently not an option via Uber). Order online here.
With Summer upon us, there is nothing better than soaking up the sun with a drink in hand. That’s why JAJA Tequila, co-owned by The Chainsmokers, developed four easy AND delicious cocktail recipes for you to enjoy whether you’re barbequing or hanging poolside.
Adapted from the classic Sasha Petraske cocktail by Liquor Lab NY
1.5 oz JAJA Blanco
.75 oz Lemon Juice
1 bar spoonful Raspberry Jam
Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake until chilled, about 15 seconds. Strain into coupe glass. Garnish with an orange.
Cucumber Basil Margarita
By Liquor Lab NY
1.5 oz JAJA Blanco
.5 oz Lime
.5 oz Cucumber Juice
.75 oz Opal Basil syrup
Shake JAJA Blanco with Lime Juice, Cucumber Juice (or muddled cucumber) with ice to chill. Pour over ice or serve neat.
Grapefruit Tequila Spritzer
1.5 oz JAJA Reposado Tequila
1.5 oz Grapefruit Juice
Top with lime soda
Cucumber slices and rosemary to garnish
1.5 oz JAJA Añejo
.75 oz Lime Juice
.25 oz Simple Syrup
Top with Ginger Beer
Serve over ice. Garnish with candied ginger and lime!
The St-Germain Moment Du Jour – an Instagram-based initiative aimed towards helping people differentiate weekdays from weekends during social distancing. For the series, St-Germain is teaming up with global artisans and bartenders to share creative tips and tricks for elevating weekend rituals. In advance of Mother’s Day weekend, we wanted to share a few specially curated tips for celebrating mom – with elegant cocktails to pair.
Vegas pop art artist Koa Paden @koapaden will share a tip on how to pamper your mom with a well-deserved escape beyond your four walls by painting your dream vacation destination, while sipping on the tropical and refreshing Paint Your Escape cocktail created by Brooklyn Bartender Brian Evans. Made with St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur, lime juice, and coconut sorbet (among other delicious ingredients), it’s the perfect staycation drink for a special Sunday toast to Mom.
As the second tip in advance of Mother’s Day weekend, New York-based food blogger Ewa Ko @nom_life will share a tip on how to make an ordinary evening special for your significant other or your mom by making a new cocktail to enjoy at home and getting all dressed up, even if there’s nowhere to go. Throw on an outfit you were excited to wear, break out the fancy glassware and mix up the Madame in Rouge cocktail created by Miami’s own Danilo Dacha Bozovc, a swanky mixture of pomegranate, lemon, and St-Germain. Voila! You’ve got yourself a special Moment Du Jour.
The St-Germain Moment Du Jour #5 (Scheduled To Go Live On Thursday, May 7)
Paint Your Escape
Created by Brooklyn Mixologist Brian Evans
¾ parts / 20mL ST-GERMAIN® Elderflower Liqueur
¾ parts / 20mL Bombay Sapphire® Dry Gin
1 part / 30mL Pineapple Juice
4 parts / 15mL Lime Juice
3 scoops of coconut sorbet or gelato
Top with sparkling wine
Lime wheel and lime zest for garnish
The St-Germain Moment Du Jour #6 (Scheduled To Go Live On Friday, May 8)
Madame in Rouge
Created by Miami Mixologist Danilo Dacha Bozovc
1 part /30 mL BACARDÍ® Ocho
3/4 part / 20 mL ST-GERMAIN® Elderflower Liqueur
1/2 part /15 mL Pomegranate Juice
½ part / 15 mL Fresh Lemon Juice
¼ parts / 7 mL Simple syrup (1.5:1 sugar to water)
2 parts / 60 ml champagne
*Pour all ingredients except the champagne into a shaker. Shake the cocktail hard. Pour the champagne into a chilled coupe glass and double strain the cocktail into the chilled coup glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.
Budweiser unveiled a contemporary and timely version of its iconic “whassup” commercial as a reminder for America to prioritize check-ins with loved ones as the country endures unprecedented social isolation to combat COVID-19. The new spot is part of a broader PSA that features weekday programming across Budweiser’s digital platforms to encourage check-ins with family and friends.
The original “whassup” ad rose to pop culture prominence in 1999, creating a widely-used catchphrase that manifested itself in different corners of culture and achieved industry-wide acclaim. Now, Budweiser was compelled to bring back the commercial for today’s times as the country comes to grips with uncertain periods of isolation. Bud has collaborated with Dwyane Wade and a collection of athletes, musicians and celebrities from his close network to bring back the commercial as a PSA for connecting with each other in order to stave off isolation and loneliness.
“Thanks to modern technology, we’re able to remain virtually connected in ways that otherwise we would not have been able to within the current distance-mandated climate,” said Monica Rustgi, Vice President of Marketing for Budweiser. “In times like these, something as simple as a hello, or in this case ‘whassup,’ means a lot. Following the unbelievable success of the original ad campaign, we found this to be a meaningful opportunity to revisit the original spot’s simplicity and focus on human connection in a time when people may be feeling hopeless, uncertain, and alone. Our hope is that by getting people to check in, we can play a small part in bringing the world closer together during these trying times.”
The campaign’s second episode features Gabrielle Union, joined by Wade, and fellow actors Issa Rae, Yvonne Orji, Emmy Raver-Lampman and Broadway star Daveed Diggs. Watch the new spot here.
The campaign’s first episode launched last week, featuring Wade and Union checking in with Chris Bosh, Candace Parker, and DJ D-Nice.
“My wife and I wanted to partner with Budweiser because we believe the message is crucial,” said Wade. “We both remembered the original ‘whassup’ ads and love the idea of bringing them back as a genuine PSA to connect with each other. We encourage everyone to take a moment out from their day to check-in with their friends and loved ones during this difficult time.”
Budweiser has partnered with The Salvation Army as part of the PSA campaign. In response to rising levels of anxiety, uncertainty, and fear resulting from the pandemic, The Salvation Army launched a nationwide hotline in April.
“During times of crisis, feelings of isolation and fear can be overwhelming, and we want people to know there’s someone here to listen,” said David Hudson, National Commander of The Salvation Army. “The unknown is the hardest part, but thanks to Budweiser, more people will know that they’re not alone. We’re going to get through this—together.”
As part of the campaign, Budweiser will make a donation to The Salvation Army for essential support of those in need due to COVID-19.
Everyday at 6:00 PM EST, Budweiser will be offering its community the chance to say “whassup” through a host of interactive activations on its social platforms. This is headlined by “whassup” live chats every Thursday via Instagram Live on @BudweiserUSA where different celebrities will check in while having a Bud and answering questions submitted by fans. The program will kick off with Dwyane Wade tomorrow, April 30, at 6:00 PM EST. A full list of activities can be found in the notes section.
The Salvation Army has trained staff available for English and Spanish speakers every day from 9:00 AM – 11:00 PM EST at 1-844-458-HOPE (4673). Callers are encouraged to leave a message if they call after hours.
When Festival Napa Valley, California Wine Country’s flagship music festival, made the decision to postpone its 15th Anniversary Season to 2021, its artists refused to be silenced. Led by two alumni of the Festival’s Blackburn Music Academy – conductor Zach Salsburg-Frank and violinist Sienna Peck – 126 past and present Festival Napa Valley musicians joined forces to create an extraordinary virtual performance of the famous “Va, pensiero” chorus from the opera Nabucco by Giuseppe Verdi.
“Although we will not have a summer season this year, our pioneering spirit is alive and well and we are creating innovative ways to continue to bring music to our audiences,” said Richard Walker, President & CEO of Festival Napa Valley.
The innovations include the Festival Napa Valley Remote Ensemble, made up of: instrumentalists and singers from 26 states, 8 countries, and 5 continents representing two dozen orchestras, ensembles, opera companies and music conservatories such as the Young People’s Chorus of New York City, Juilliard School, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, San Francisco Opera Orchestra, Toronto Symphony, and many more.
“Va, pensiero was a perfect choice of music, a moving hymn that has served as a rallying song of hope and resilience for people around the world,” said Charles Letourneau, the Festival’s Vice President and Director of Artistic Planning.
Each musician recorded their part on a smartphone while following the virtual conductor. The group was synchronized into one glorious collective performance. It was dedicated to the essential workers whose heroic efforts safeguard the health and safety of our communities. The performance can be seen on Festival Napa Valley’s YouTube channel: http://youtu.be/jHV9wLvNYxA
Added Letourneau: “Our technical engineer Wei Wang created a visually and musically stunning virtual performance that proves digital art can be as moving as a live performance in these extraordinary times.”
Festival Napa Valley’s 15th Anniversary Season will take place July 16-25, 2021.
About Festival Napa Valley:
Blending the beauty and bounty of Napa Valley with the very finest performing arts, Festival Napa Valley offers programs that enrich the economic and cultural vitality of the region and make the arts accessible to all. The Festival presents world-class performances staged in iconic Napa Valley venues and inspiring educational programs offered at Napa County public schools year-round. It is presented by Napa Valley Festival Association, a nonprofit organization governed by a board of prominent vintners and local leaders. More than 200 artists, wineries, resorts, theaters, restaurants, chefs and vintners participate each year.
While social distancing measures mean we can’t travel, that doesn’t mean we can bring the spirit of our favorite destinations to our own homes. The chefs at Brisas Hotel Group, a leading Mexican hotel brand renowned for their local hospitality, have shared some of their favorite drinks inspired by the flavors and history of Mexico. For an added touch, stream the live beach cam feed from Brisas’ luxurious NIZUC Resort & Spa in Cancun.
Red Fruit Mojito
- 3 strawberries (medium sized)
- 2 blackberries
- 2 raspberries
- 5 mammoth basil leaves
- 4 ounces of cranberry juice
- 1 ounce of natural syrup or 3 sachets of refined sugar
- Lemon Juice
- Lemon Soda
- White Rum
- Combine the fruits, basil, sugar and a dash of lemon juice in a mortar and begin grinding it with a pestle while adding in the cranberry juice.
- Put it in a cocktail shaker with your favorite type of white rum and shake.
- Serve in a high ball glass over ice.
- Top it off with some lemon soda and garnish with a fresh sliced strawberry.
Tepache Pina Colada
Ingredients for the Tepache:
Tepache is a great drink on its own so this recipe is for 5 liters so you can have a carafe ready for enjoyment. Tepache is a traditional Mexican drink that dates to Pre-Columbian Mexico and was popular amongst the Nahua people of central Mexico.
Ingredients for the Tepache:
- 4 pieces of pineapple peels
- 2 pieces of cinnamon bark
- 2 whole cloves
- 5 liters of water
- 500 grams of unrefined sugar (preferably piloncillo)
Instructions for Tepache:
- Combine all ingredients in a jar and let sit for three days. Then strain and add ice to have a home-made tepache.
Instructions for Tepache Pina Colada:
- Combine 3 ounces of the tepache, with an ounce of pineapple juice, with 2 tablespoons of grated coconut and your favorite rum.
- Serve in a margarita class and garnish with a fresh slice of pineapple.
- Worm salt
- 2 ounces of lemon juice
- 4 ounces of orange juice
- 3 ounces of espadin mezcal
- 2 ounces of grenadine syrup
- Moisten the edges of the glass with lemon juice and frost with worm salt
- Mix the lemon juice, orange juice and the mezcal
- Take your glass and add the grenadine syrup to first then pour in the mezcal mixture
- Add ice and mix before drinking
Crazy times. Surreal. Uncertainty. These are some ways we describe the Coronavirus outbreak and the consequences. But what about…
What we’re drinking and how that has changed.
According to Seriouslysmoked.com, a cooking and BBQ website compiled more than 200,000 tweets from the last 30 days and analyzed their contents using keywords, phrases, and hashtags.
Their findings will surprise you.
Surge in Sales
Perhaps the scars of Prohibition still run deep. An overriding theme in the collected data was panic buying and stockpiling. The figures tell a dramatic story.
Alcohol sales ending the week of March 21 surged 55 percent.
Teasing those numbers reveals some shocking but not altogether unpredictable trends that SeriouslySmoked.com noted.
The volume of 1.75 liter-sized bottles sold increased dramatically.
Cheaper and more affordable brands saw significant upticks.
Half-bottles and luxury brands, not so much.
The latter makes sense given the uncertain economic situation. Many who didn’t have a liquor budget are probably reconsidering it now.
However, it’s essential to put these data in perspective. Many restaurants aren’t open for dine-in customers. The wine you’d enjoy with your steak entree, you’re now consuming at home. That’s evident when you look at the meteoric rise of online sales.
Wine.com, for example, saw a 200 percent increase during this same time.
What Else Are People Buying—or Not Buying?
SeriouslySmoked.com uncovered some other trends that the industry statistics support. Unlike in Europe, Americans reserve their sparklers for celebrations. The pandemic has hit that continent hard too.
Consequently, Champagne says have taken a nosedive.
However, it’s probably not too much of a stretch to guess that Champagne will recover just fine when we all start painting the town red when all of this is behind us.
Interestingly, alcohol products that have seen slow declines are now enjoying something of a comeback, such as port and other fortified spirits.
Tequila and gin have also seen sales spikes, but that’s not all. Canned and packaged beverages are enjoying a similar surge.
Canned wine, for example, wasn’t a serious thing in the beginning. Now, with the outbreak, think again. The situation is fueling sales that rival its rise in popularity over recent years.
Yup. And probably for many of the same reasons of economy and getting more for your buck.
What else has changed?
The Industry Reinvents Itself
The unprecedented events have spurred many forces in the industry to reinvent themselves in innovative ways…
Restaurants and bars are sharing cocktail recipes as acts of solidarity to get through the crisis. Some are holding virtual tastings. We’re having virtual happy hours out of our homes.
Individuals are also reaching out to their favorite wineries and joining wine clubs in droves.
That’s especially significant given that most tasting rooms are closed. Cancellations of wine tours continue to grow with an uncertain future. The looming collapse of the summer tourist season weighs heavily on countless wineries.
Napa Valley visitor traffic brings $2.23 billion to the economy, according to the 2018 Economic Impact Report.
Luckily, e-commerce sales are surging with direct-to-consumer purchases, as SeriouslySmoked.com discovered too. Early figures show that online traffic has exceeded pre-pandemic volumes in some cases.
So there is hope that the industry will recover. But then what will happen?
The fact remains that the road ahead is uncertain, but likely has lots of twists and turns along its path. The questions that the industry and consumers ponder loom large.
Will wineries, breweries, and distilleries recover?
Will restaurants and bars open their doors again?
What is the future of online sales and its impact on brick-and-mortar stores?
One thing is clear from the data collected by SeriouslySmoked.com. Everyone is living in the moment. It’s hard to plan because the situation literally changes every day.
There are also some good takeaway messages from the responses of consumers and the industry.
We are supporting each other in a myriad of ways. The prospect of our favorite watering hole closing or hole-in-the-wall restaurant forever has given us pause.
Sure, we’ve adapted. The industry will survive too. It just might look a bit different on the other side. In the meantime, enjoy that new tipple that you’ve discovered. And support your local businesses.