Margaritas that are good for you? Say what?!
Well not exactly in the nutritional sense but as Carey Clahan said, "it's as good as it gets." Laughing Glass Cocktail is a natural ready made drink created from only the best organic ingredients and perfected by two best friends Sydney Rainin-Smith and Carey Clahan.
I know what you're thinking, "Ready made drinks, really?" Well before you start reliving college flash backs of cheap alcohol, crazy nights, and rough hangovers. Let me tell you that this product is different.
Well we had the chance to chat with Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer of Laughing Glass Cocktails, Carey Clahan as she told us what makes their ready made Margs stand out from the rest.
HOW DID LAUGHING GLASS COCKTAILS COME TO BE?
I went to Mexico with a group of my girlfriends oh gosh, a good ten years ago and we were doing what we do best, which was laughing and drinking Margaritas. At this time it was the height of the Real Housewives era and we had all tried the national brand of ready made cocktails and didn't really like it. So we kind of waited around to see if someone would create a ready to serve Margarita that actually tasted like a Margarita. When it didn't happen Sydney and I were at a point in our career where we were ready for something new so we decided to do it ourselves.
WHAT MAKES YOUR COCKTAILS DIFFERENT FROM OTHERS?
Traditionally in this category, the ready to serve category, it has been basically the crap category and marketed towards young people. I mean I've barfed plenty of ready made cocktails in my twenties and it's because they are full of all kinds of garbage. We are from Northern California so when we went to do our ready to serve cocktails we did it the Northern California way. With the tequila, we couldn't find one in bulk that we liked, that wasn't too expensive and was quality. We went through a million taste trials, which was really fun but we ended up having to strike out on our own and do it our own way. We wanted to stay as close to organic as possible but with the import of our tequila form Mexico we can't actually put the "organic" stamp on our bottles. But everything else that goes in is listed. We are also one of the only companies that list our ingredients. It's 100% all natural citrus or pomegranate, organic Agave nectar to sweeten and after that it's filtered water and we have to put in some citric acid but that's just government regulations. We wanted to make it easy for people to have a great tasting Margarita.
WHERE CAN YOU FIND LAUGHING GLASS COCKTAILS?
We are in all the Whole Foods that have a liqueur license, some just have wine and beer. Most Safeway stores and then all the regional chains like BevMo, Ralphs, Albertsons, Pavilion, Bristol Farms, Vons and more. We are mostly in all the chain grocers in California. We're in talks with Target but we aren't in there yet and we are also in and out of CostCo. They usually bring us on as a seasonal buy.
YOU AND SYDNEY ARE VERY CLOSE. HOW IS IT WORKING WITH A FRIEND?
Well Sydney and I have been friends for 25 years and i have always had really great luck working with friends. So it was easy and it is easy for us because Sydney and I are more like sisters at this point. We fight like sisters but it literally takes us like two seconds to get over it and get on with it. And the crazy thing is that we work 24/7 together and then we go on family vacations together too. We just got back from a ski trip that we took with our families for a week.
ALCOHOL IS A TOUGH WORLD TO ENTER INTO. WHAT WERE SOME OF THE STRUGGLES YOU'VE FACED?
Struggle wise, I mean starting your own thing is brutal. I think the old saying of, "if I knew how much work it was going to take I never would've jumped in" is super true. You don't have a clue. I think naivete is almost the best way to go into starting your own thing with because you have no clue about how difficult it's going to be. Lucky for us is that we work really hard. I think why a lot of start ups don't make the two year mark is because it's brutal out there. It's hard to get brand awareness especially if you're a consumer product. If you don't have a gazillion dollars backing you it's just really hard. But we formed a strategy and we are still working it and we're almost to the end of our Series A round and then we will go for more in our next round.
YOU HAVE LOTS OF RECIPES FOR DRINKS ON YOUR YOUTUBE PAGE. WHAT ARE TWO DRINKS THAT BEST DESCRIBE YOU AND SYDNEY?
I love all of those recipes. There's a Spicy Thai Margarita with lemon grass, ginger, Thai red chilies, and fresh lime. And it's kick ass, it's so yummy. And for Sydney it's half of the pomegranate Margarita and half Prosecco or Dry Champagne. It makes it really sparkly and pink which is great for parties, a brunch or showers. It's really good, that's probably her favorite. So sparkly and fruity that's Sydney. Spicy and complicated, that's me.
DESCRIBE YOUR SLAY.
For our company we slay with collaboration. We just worked so well together Sydney and I, it's a friendship and it's a sisterhood. I don't think I could work with or for someone I just didn't love the crap out of. I mean for our product we've done things our way. We couldn't have gotten into more of a male dominated industry unless we went with like pro-football. Alcohol is a boys club, it's changing but it's taking people like us. It's slow but we're doing it and we're kicking ass at it.