It ISN’T a Cocktail; It’s Better!

Nick Grube and Jackie Verrilli came to WiseBev because they had a bone to pick with non-alcoholic beverages: They weren’t fun, they weren’t exciting, and even the term “mocktail” was disappointing. Why should they have a “lesser than” version of a cocktail, just because they didn’t want alcohol? 

The two are co-founders and managing partners of a beverage startup called Isn’t Drinks. With backgrounds in business consulting (Jackie) and brewing science (Nick), they knew what makes a good drink. They wanted to raise the bar for the times when you want a good cocktail, but don’t need the alcohol. What about a new kind of drink—one that offered an experience, with complexity and depth of flavor profiles?

So Nick and Jackie brought us a few recipes they’d invented in their kitchen, and a question: “How can we bring these to market?” 

We booked a rapid feasibility session and took a closer look at their products. Entrepreneurs like Nick and Jackie use our feasibility testing to quickly scope out the technical parameters of their beverage idea to make it viable for the market. 

One of the recipes Nick created on his stove contained a rhubarb extract. Rhubarb is popular for pies and other desserts, but not well known to beverage manufacturers. We immediately went to work figuring out how we could scale the idea from Nick’s stove to a large-scale product, and introduce this new flavor of fruity tartness and bold color to the beverage scene.

We asked the tough questions: How can we bring these ideas to market in a way that is cost-effective? How can we make sure we’re not losing the essence of what you’ve created? 

It’s a tough balance. Trust me, we’d all like Nick in our kitchen serving up a fresh mocktail. But we needed a product with a shelf life, still with no loss in quality. We helped them recreate their original ideas into manufacturing-ready recipes, and together developed three new zero-proof cocktails that now make up their Distinctivos beverage line:

  1. Absence – the bittersweet, herbaceous, and hoppy drink that 007 would favor.
  2. Mazy – the bold blend of spice and pomegranate for red-wine lovers.
  3. Redessence – the tart and rhubarb-infused cocktail that pairs perfectly with a burger and fries.

At the end of the day, we’re thrilled with what we helped Isn’t Drinks achieve.  We gave them their dream, in the form of a contract manufacturer’s blueprint.  And now that their drinks have gone to market, the products speak for themselves.  Find your own favorite zero-proof cocktail flavor with Isn’t Drinks.

We love helping bring a beverage concept from your stovetop to store shelves! If you have an idea, a dream, a stigma you’d like to overturn, we’d love to chat.  Contact us for help bringing your next beverage idea to life!

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