AUSTIN, Texas, Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Austin Cocktails, a line of bottled, craft cocktails, is now available fleetwide onboard Virgin America. Made with five-times distilled vodka, fine, natural flavors and sweetened with organic agave, Austin Cocktails has four drinks: Cucumber Vodka Mojito (featured onboard all Virgin America flights), Vodkarita, Tea Twister and Paradise Found (stone and citrus fruits, coconut water, basil). Virgin America’s focus on a fresh, diverse range of menu options helped the airline capture the “Best Domestic Airline for Food” award in Travel + Leisure 2014 World’s Best Awards.
Austin Cocktails distinguishes itself in the category for two primary reasons: its focus on unique, premium cocktail offerings and the skill sets of its co-founders. Austin Cocktails did not enter the market with another cosmo or margarita, opting, instead, to develop a convenient offering for those looking for original, high-quality cocktails. The founders spent 20 months developing their drinks and sourced some of the finest ingredients from all over the globe. In so doing, the founders set out to bring craftsmanship to a space in alcohol stalled mostly with neon, high fructose corn syrup offerings developed typically in a handful of months. “Transforming what is exceptional into something convenient such as five star food trucks is something Austinites have been leading the charge on for a while,” says co-founder Kelly Gasink.
“Similar to the explosive craft movement in the beer space, Austin Cocktails is bringing craft to the bottled cocktail segment shattering the traditional stigma associated with the ready to drink category. Consumer traction has been extraordinary as we are seeing Austin Cocktails being served everywhere from tailgates, to corporate parties, to VIP galas to five-star hotels — and of course, now on one of the hippest airlines,” remarked co-founder, Jill Burns. The drinks won two gold and bronze medals from the Beverly Hills Spirits Awards for taste before hitting shelves.
Austin Cocktails were able to address the need in the marketplace because Burns was in on the ground floor in developing and marketing another non-competitive beverage and understood the intricacies involved with both creating a drink and bringing it to market. Her co-founder and sister, Kelly Gasink, has a business background having started three successful companies bolstered by a degree in economics from Stanford and a Masters from Harvard. Kelly was identified by The Wall Street Journal as one of its “Faces of a New Generation of Leaders and Entrepreneurs.”
“This is a top-notch team at the vanguard of bringing craftsmanship to a stalled category,” remarked venerable beverage alcohol trend analyst, Bump Williams. “While craft beer, flavored spirits and more drinkable premium wines have bolstered sales for their segments, we have not seen anything new in the “ready-to-serve” space. This is strong leadership introducing innovative and exciting products into a stalled segment and changing the way cocktails are served in the air, at events and in home.”
Austin Cocktails is distributed by Republic National Distribution in Texas and Colorado and part of the elite Craft Division within Southern Wine and Spirits in California. They have three new drinks scheduled for release in spring 2015 and will expand distribution to additional states 2015.
Known for its mood-lit cabins, three beautifully designed classes of service and innovative fleetwide amenities — like touch-screen personal entertainment, WiFi and power outlets at every seat, Virgin America has built a loyal following of flyers and earned a host of awards since launching in 2007 — including being named both the “Best U.S. Airline” in Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards and “Best Domestic Airline” in Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards for the past seven consecutive years.
About Austin Cocktails
Austin Cocktails is a line of bottled, craft cocktails made with five-times distilled vodka and fine, natural ingredients sourced from around the globe. Signed by the largest two distributors in the country, Austin Cocktails is at the vanguard of innovation in making a craft cocktail as convenient as a glass of premium wine or craft beer. #DrinkBetter. Sisters Jill Peterson Burns and Kelly Gasink come to Austin Cocktails with previous beverage experience, business acumen and highly successful entrepreneurial background including the creation of four start-up businesses between them, five including Austin Cocktails. Their individual strategic and creative skill sets, combined with their previous professional experiences, complement one another and will continue to serve as a catalyst for the ongoing development and growth of Austin Cocktails. www.austincocktails.com