Thursday, 31 December 2020 11:31

Just Add Booze

Written by  Missy Black
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Let's Stay Home Cocktail Kits. Let's Stay Home Cocktail Kits. Photo by Taylor Ballek

Did you hear the one about the tequila drinker, scotch drinker and non-drinker that were best friends and all enjoyed a drink together using a pre-made kit? We don't have a punchline, but we do have the story of Let’s Stay Home Cocktail Kits, with owners Eric MacAulay and Taylor Ballek. 

These kits feature premade cocktail mixes that can easily be used with whatever spirit you love, and made into a huge variety of mixed drinks at home. The flavors are fun yet cool, just like the people who make them. We asked MacAuley and Ballek all about it!

To mix up your own drinks, head to letsstayhomeanddrink.com or @letsstayhome_gr on Instagram.

Where did this business idea come from?

TB: Eric has bartended for several years and when the pandemic hit, he was out of work just like many other people in the service industry. He has always been creative when it comes to crafting cocktails. They’re tasty and fresh because he’s infusing them with fruit and herbs. I told him he should really consider selling them, and in a matter of a day we had a business name and sample products for our friends to try! 

What are your main flavors? Any in the works in the future? 

EM: Our four core mixes that we launched with are strawberry mint, ginger basil, blueberry lavender and peach rosemary. We currently have a fall flavor (a pumpkin spice old-fashioned mix) and winter flavor (cranberry sage mix) at the lab being tested for shelf-life, and have plans to introduce more flavors each season. We craft each kit utilizing Michigan fruit and herbs whenever possible so we’re keeping an eye on seasonal availability for produce to help us determine flavor profiles.

What is the most popular flavor sold?

EM: According to our website analytics, it’s blueberry lavender.

Your branding is super fun. Where did those ideas come from? 

TB: Our friend Josh Sheller, also known as @horse.grave on Instagram, is an incredible artist. Eric and I both knew right away that we wanted Josh to design our logo and do our artwork. We wanted our branding to be fun and homey.

How many drinks can you get out of each mix on average?

EM: You can get a little over 10 drinks out of each bottle. There is a little extra room for spills, a mixed shot or a strong 11th drink! 

What’s the strangest thing made using your mixes? 

EM: We’ve seen some innovative uses of our mixes outside of the beverage realm. Skilled chef and manager of the Incubator Kitchen at the Downtown Market, Ryan Bolhuis, used our blueberry lavender mix to marinate pork belly for a ramen dish. Another friend used it to make a buttercream frosting for a cake. 

Where do you sell? 

EM: We sell at Fulton Street Farmer’s Market every Saturday from 10 a.m.­ to 1 p.m. and we sell directly through our website (letsstayhomeanddrink.com), where we offer local porch pick-ups and shipped orders. 

Why is it so important to be able to have quality mixers at your home at the ready? 

TB: 2020 has been an absolute doozy to say the very least. We want everything else to be as easy as possible from here on out and that includes making a delicious drink at home, because you 100% deserve it.  

If your company had a mascot who/what might it be? 

TB: Our mascot would probably be a super chill cat sipping a cocktail. Fun fact: We have four cats!

Ditto for a theme song?

EM: The theme song would have to be a mash-up of “Wide Awake” by Parquet Courts, “Gaslighter” by The Chicks, and “Take Me Home Tonight” by Eddie Money.

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