As the temperature rises, you may be looking for a new poolside cocktail or something to get you through seltzer fatigue. Look no further than the unique taste of Phreshly, a new better-for-you canned cocktail.
The Atlanta-based brand was inspired by a viral tweet between Issa Rae of HBO’s Insecure and Phreshly’s Co-Founder, Paul Owusu, during the first month of the pandemic. When you drink Phreshly, you’re not only quenching your thirst, you’re off on a flavorful adventure and supporting a Black-founded, majority women-led, canned cocktail brand.
These canned, ready-to-drink cocktails are inspired by flavors from Ghana and Louisiana (where the three founding members once called home). Phreshly also partners with minority-owned farms across the U.S. to source its ingredients, further adding to their mission to amplify Black farmers and family-owned businesses in the Southeast, where the company is based. These cocktails are plant-based and 100% vegan and only include real, whole, and honest ingredients and if you have wellness in mind, each can is only 152 calories.
The company recently made a splashy debut with two delectable signature flavors. A hint of lavender pleases the palate in the smooth Bay Lemonade cocktail, incorporating strawberry and lemon fused with aged Bourbon transports you to New Orleans with subtle Louisiana inspired flavors. G’iddem, inspired by the flavors of Ghanaian Sobolo combines blueberry, pineapple, rum and a twist of lemongrass with a dash of agave nectar to take you on a flavor-packed cultural journey.
We chatted with Tai Applewhite, Co-Founder & CAO (Chief Aesthetic Officer), Paul Owusu, Co-Founder & COD (Chief of Dranks) and Ama Marfo, Co-Founder & CTO (Chief Tasting Officer) about this exciting and, yes, refreshing new line of delicious cocktails.
How did you all meet up and how did Phreshly come about?
Tai: This is a great story, glad you asked! We all watched HBOs Insecure during the first month of the pandemic and Paul made a tweet about a cocktail that Issa Rae plugged on the show. Well, it went viral! The tweet resonated with me, and I connected with Paul online. Shortly after, Paul decided to lean into his newly found hobby in cocktail making and brought me and Ama along for the Phreshly ride. It’s been an incredible journey and we can’t wait for what’s to come!
What drove you to get into the ready-to-drink (RTD) cocktail market?
Paul: The viral tweet that inspired Phreshly validated a problem. Specifically, we’re in a new era with a rise in consumers that are looking for better-for-you options, but many of today’s ready-to-drink products are poorly positioned. This is why we decided to build Phreshly to solve this issue.
What do you think makes Phreshly stand out from other ready-to-drink canned cocktails?
Paul: Consumers are looking for convenience and a modern twist on cocktails, and we saw an uptick in RTD sales. What makes Phreshly different is our take on premium flavors, ingredients, and intentionality in how we produce our products. We believe our consumers deserve both transparency and visibility in how we built this brand, without compromising taste and quality.
From your bios, you all seem like quite the foodies. What flavors (not necessarily cocktail-wise) excite you?
Tai: We’re fans of a wide array of flavors – anything savory, smoky, or including herbaceous notes gets us going. We added these flavors to our line of Phreshly products, keeping the research and feedback we got top-of-mind.
What are your perfect food pairings for each of your current flavors?
Paul: Similar to the flavor profiles included in Phreshly cocktails, Phreshly food pairings are also inspired by that distinct sense of place and our intention is to transport customers to different places. Bay Lemonade’s refreshing citrus and strawberry flavors can be paired with Gumbo, Jambalaya, or a fresh burrata salad. We suggest pairing G’iddem with the spiced West African traditional dish of Jollof, Okra stew, or cucumber salad with seared salmon.
What are you hoping to achieve with Phreshly?
Ama: We want to intrigue customers and we’re hoping to expand the category we’re in, specifically showcasing that premium cocktails can feel new and exciting.
If you can reveal this information, what flavors would you still like to create?
Ama: We have a vault of original recipes and unique flavors that we’re excited about. In the coming months, we’ll release more information on what’s to come for Phreshly. We plan on launching four more flavors and we will be expanding to more states.
Phreshly 4-packs can be purchased online now at phreshly.co for $21.99. If you’re in the Atlanta area, Bay Lemonade and G’iddem will be available at the Bellyard Hotel and select stores throughout Georgia in the coming months.