Couple brings creativity to canned cocktails
With the world mostly limited to take-out last year, South Dartmouth residents Sy and Martha Yules wanted to find a way to help restaurants and bars bring their quality and experience to people at home.
To fill that drink gap, the couple started Grow Cocktails and “put the bartender in a can.”
“Going to a bar and getting a real cocktail is different from just buying a canned seltzer,” Martha said. “We want you to have that bartender quality craft cocktail experience.”
Many businesses have started off in garages or basements, but for the Yules’, their venture came about on their front porch in Padanaram.
Last summer, Sy had used some lavender Martha had been growing in their front garden to create a syrup for Joe’s Original on State Road to use in the restaurant’s take-home sangrias.
After seeing its popularity at the Dartmouth eatery, the Yules’ began to share the lavender syrup with friends during socially distanced gatherings on the porch.
Again, people liked the mixture.
“People kept telling me, ‘You should put this in a can,’” Sy said.
So they did.
Last September, the South Dartmouth couple got to work to establish their brand of ready-to-drink cocktails, meeting with bartenders to come up with formulas and partnering up with the Plymouth-based Dirty Water Distillery.
To differentiate themselves from malt-based seltzers and canned margaritas, the South Dartmouth residents instead try to use uncommon mixes with their vodka-based cocktails.
“These are creations that you most likely haven’t had before,” Sy said.
The couple launched their brand with four flavors: Hot Shot, which features jalapeño, habanero and grapefruit; French Twist, which has lavender, vanilla and lemon; Red Wanderer, which has hibiscus, vanilla and lime; and Hoppy Place, which contains cardamom, hops and lemon.
This month also saw the launch of a fifth cocktail “Twice the Spice,” which contains orange and winter spices.
Many of the ingredients used in the cocktails are sourced from farms around the region such as lavender and jalapeños used in their Hot Shot cocktail.
“If we can find local products, we’ll buy it from local farms,” Sy said. “Getting the balance with the flavors, it’s a delicate dance.”
The names of the drinks, Martha noted, were chosen and voted by the consumers.
“The reason we decided we needed to come up with names is because someone told us you can’t have a bar full of people and say ‘I want a jalaeño-habanero-grapefruit Grow Cocktail,’” she said with a laugh.
Grow Cocktails officially hit shelves in July.
When the brand launched just two months ago, they started in three stores. Now, their drinks are in 14 stores and venues across the South Coast.
“From Somerset to Wareham,” Martha noted. “This was our goal — to be a South Coast business.”
Much like at their initial porch gatherings, the drinks have proven popular at promotional tastings the couple holds at area liquor stores.
The canned cocktails are currently available in town at Joe’s Original, CV Liquors at 550 Russells Mills Rd., and Acme Liquors at 722 Dartmouth St.
For a list of other locations, visit growcocktails.com/.