Ross Graham, the founder of Miami Cocktail Co., jokes that his college drinking days led him to a career in the alcohol and beverage industry, but it was his ability to gauge a gap in the market that led him to start his business.
“If you walk up to anyone on the street and ask them to name a brand of tequila or gin, they’ll probably have a top of mind name. Same with wine, and it goes down the list. But if you turn to those same people and ask them to name a ready-to-serve cocktail brand, most times you get a blank face looking back at you,” Graham says.
The all-natural, organic bottled-cocktail company rebranded in March. With headquarters in the core of Wynwood, the company launched with two wine-based flavors — sangria and mimosa — and distributed online and in five local Miami Whole Foods Markets.
The company imports organic wine from Spain and blood orange and tangerine juices from Sicily, and received organic certification. Currently, eight flavors are offered, and its newest flavor, Organic Copper Pot Margarita, is scheduled to debut before the end of the year.
Graham says the brand has been successful because people are shifting to products with real ingredients. Whole Foods recently increased Miami Cocktail Co.'s distribution by expanding it statewide. On weekends, Miami Cocktail Co.’s team can be found at various stores offering samples to shoppers. Graham says it’s the best way for people to learn about the company.
“People want transparency, they want something that’s authentic, and they want a real cocktail experience. And our mindset is just to make some real, authentic cocktails and bottle them up,” Graham says. “Being in a Whole Foods gives us the opportunity to do those consumer tastings which are so important. When people try it, they love it."
Each bottle contains about four to five cocktails at 9 percent alcohol and retails for $14.99.The recipes are created in Wynwood, and batches are made at the company's Missouri-based organic winery partner, where the ingredients are shipped and the bottling process is finalized. When orders are shipped, FedEx takes on the legal responsibility to verify that the person who purchased is the same as the receiver and is of drinking age.
The next step for Miami Cocktail Co. is to expand the retail brand to local brunch menus, eateries, and bars around South Florida, as well as New York and California. Graham also plans to pour during Art Basel Miami Beach and says he welcomes partnerships and collaboration. He hopes to see Miami Cocktail Co. at all the hip brunch spots in town.
“We’re proud to be Miami Cocktail Co., and we’re excited about it, but our name obviously is a big name, and we want to represent it and rep it proudly. To do it justice, we have to make sure that we do it with quality and that it's hand-crafted. We launched here in Miami, and we’re going to make sure to be a part of this community. Good things are on the way.”