Mad Lemon launches Throwback lemonade with an alcoholic twist
After throwing lemonade into farmers’ markets for years, cousins Corina Remer and Shona Paterson, along with longtime friend Maxwell Hawk, are adding vodka to the mix with the launch of Crazy lemon. Canned cocktails will hit the shelves of select Denver liquor stores on October 8 with a bright, retro-inspired branding and an emphasis on all-natural ingredients, a clean flavor and a nostalgic twist aimed at making the happy people.
“Our main inspiration certainly came from a very natural education that was very focused on whole foods,” Paterson said. The three shared a “hippie and bohemian background and roots” in Pennsylvania, but later they spread across the country – Paterson in Colorado, Hawk in Brooklyn and Remer in Vermont. Their paths would eventually bring them together, as Hawk puts it, brewing a drink they really love in a sunny spot with their best friends.
The trio initially launched Cowgirl lemonade in 2015, selling a traditional alcohol-free lemonade sweetened with maple syrup at Colorado farmers’ markets and parties. It was a way of honoring the strong women they had had in their lives: their mothers and grandmothers were dairy farmers, performers, and homesteaders. The crew all share a love for face-to-face interactions in the markets, where they got to see the joy over their returning lemonade.
After using Cowgirl Lemonade to mix cocktails at events and gaining overwhelmingly positive feedback, the three realized that an enriched version could fill a missing gap they were seeing in today’s canned cocktail market. “If there’s anything better than fresh maple lemonade, it’s fortified maple lemonade,” Paterson says.
Colorado has been the perfect place to settle, they say, as people are open to entrepreneurship and encourage small businesses and startups. And it doesn’t hurt that the effervescent cocktail is considered sunshine in a can, an ideal choice for the sunny centennial state.
Development of the drink’s recipe took place in real time at events, as all three received feedback on what was working and what people reacted to. From the start, the priority was to simple ingredients. Classic lemonade is made with only lemon juice from Perricone Farms in California, maple syrup, cane sugar, vodka, lemon oil and sparkling water. Mad Lemon will also be launching a vivid magenta-hued Keylime Raspberry variety, made with the same ingredients with raspberry and lime juice. Both 7% ABV cocktails are available in 12-ounce cans and are best enjoyed on ice.
“Everyone remembers fresh lemonade – not something out of a plastic jug in the grocery store,” Hawk says. The goal is to provide a clean drink with vitamin C and no flavoring additives for those who choose to indulge themselves with alcohol.
“There has to be a balance in all things in life,” Paterson says. The result is a refreshing, not too sweet taste with a pleasant mouthfeel – “the best lemonade you’ve ever had in a can with alcohol”.
Homeowners opted for canning because of its durability factor, as it is easy to recycle and is a sustainable way of shipping. Plus, the cans work as the perfect canvas for living art that tells the story of Mad Lemon, with vibrant colors and beautiful flowers. The engaging art, the women explain, is meant to provide consumers with a full drinking experience, both visually and through the delicious flavor, for an intriguing and engaging result, just like the drink itself.