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Canned cocktail collab at JuneShine

Sourcing high quality spirits was a challenge

JuneShine shakes things up with canned cocktails
JuneShine shakes things up with canned cocktails

“When we originally started in 2018, it was because we couldn’t find any transparently and sustainably brewed organic options in beer or wine, so we decided to brew our own hard kombucha,” explains Morgan Tenwick, Director of Quality and Innovation at JuneShine. “We saw an opportunity to create something we and our friends would love, and it turned out to be something that a lot more people would enjoy, too.” This mindset is the driving force behind the company’s latest venture: canned cocktails.

Place

JuneShine Ranch

10051 Old Grove Road, San Diego

Last year, Tenwick and her team noticed similar issues with ready-to-drink (RTD) cocktails: “The majority are high sugar (25g and up), syrupy, use questionable spirits, and don’t disclose ingredients. And often times, they don’t even taste that great. We knew we could create something better with simple ingredients, far less sugar, and premium spirits.”

Here at the outset, JuneShine Spirits is offering three flavors: a margarita, a mai tai, and a vodka soda. (Two more as-yet-unannounced flavors are due in mid-April.) The Classic Tequila Margarita is 10% ABV with the lime, orange, salt, and tequila flavors you’d expect in a typical margarita, especially when poured into a glass with rocks and a salted rim. Tropical Mai Tai Rum is also 10% ABV, with less sweetness than a mai tai you’d get at your favorite tiki bar, but with cherry added to give the exotic cocktail a unique twist. The third cocktail, Passion Fruit Vodka Soda, balances the tart and sweetness of the passion fruit with sparkling water for a light, refreshing drink that at 9% ABV still packs a punch.

As a kombucha brewer moving into the canned cocktail, JuneShine had to find distillers with which to partner to produce their new drinks. Tenwick explains, “One challenge unique to RTDs was in sourcing the highest quality spirits, given that we’re not distilling our own. There are plenty of low-quality bulk spirits on the market. We worked diligently to trial a wide array of spirits from a variety of producers and select the best of the best. We knew we only wanted to work with the best distilleries, so that at least made it simple to narrow down our choices”

Ultimately, JuneShine chose fellow San Diegans Malahat Spirits for the spiced rum in their mai tai. It’s a familiar partnership, as JuneShine previously upcycled some of Malahat’s spent ginger for one of their kombucha flavors. Casa Orendnain, which has been distilling tequila in Jalisco since the mid-1800s, was chosen to supply tequila for the margarita. Tenwick can’t share the name of JuneShine’s vodka partner, but assures that the liquor is gluten-free, distilled six times, and produced in the United States.

In addition to bringing a natural, healthier canned cocktail to market, the RTDs give fans of JuneShine a boozier option when at the tasting room. Tenwick notes, “The most obvious difference between our Spirits and Hard Kombucha is the ABV: one 12 oz. can of hard kombucha is only 6% ABV, and one 12oz can of our Spirits is 8-10% ABV.”

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JuneShine shakes things up with canned cocktails
JuneShine shakes things up with canned cocktails

“When we originally started in 2018, it was because we couldn’t find any transparently and sustainably brewed organic options in beer or wine, so we decided to brew our own hard kombucha,” explains Morgan Tenwick, Director of Quality and Innovation at JuneShine. “We saw an opportunity to create something we and our friends would love, and it turned out to be something that a lot more people would enjoy, too.” This mindset is the driving force behind the company’s latest venture: canned cocktails.

Place

JuneShine Ranch

10051 Old Grove Road, San Diego

Last year, Tenwick and her team noticed similar issues with ready-to-drink (RTD) cocktails: “The majority are high sugar (25g and up), syrupy, use questionable spirits, and don’t disclose ingredients. And often times, they don’t even taste that great. We knew we could create something better with simple ingredients, far less sugar, and premium spirits.”

Here at the outset, JuneShine Spirits is offering three flavors: a margarita, a mai tai, and a vodka soda. (Two more as-yet-unannounced flavors are due in mid-April.) The Classic Tequila Margarita is 10% ABV with the lime, orange, salt, and tequila flavors you’d expect in a typical margarita, especially when poured into a glass with rocks and a salted rim. Tropical Mai Tai Rum is also 10% ABV, with less sweetness than a mai tai you’d get at your favorite tiki bar, but with cherry added to give the exotic cocktail a unique twist. The third cocktail, Passion Fruit Vodka Soda, balances the tart and sweetness of the passion fruit with sparkling water for a light, refreshing drink that at 9% ABV still packs a punch.

As a kombucha brewer moving into the canned cocktail, JuneShine had to find distillers with which to partner to produce their new drinks. Tenwick explains, “One challenge unique to RTDs was in sourcing the highest quality spirits, given that we’re not distilling our own. There are plenty of low-quality bulk spirits on the market. We worked diligently to trial a wide array of spirits from a variety of producers and select the best of the best. We knew we only wanted to work with the best distilleries, so that at least made it simple to narrow down our choices”

Ultimately, JuneShine chose fellow San Diegans Malahat Spirits for the spiced rum in their mai tai. It’s a familiar partnership, as JuneShine previously upcycled some of Malahat’s spent ginger for one of their kombucha flavors. Casa Orendnain, which has been distilling tequila in Jalisco since the mid-1800s, was chosen to supply tequila for the margarita. Tenwick can’t share the name of JuneShine’s vodka partner, but assures that the liquor is gluten-free, distilled six times, and produced in the United States.

In addition to bringing a natural, healthier canned cocktail to market, the RTDs give fans of JuneShine a boozier option when at the tasting room. Tenwick notes, “The most obvious difference between our Spirits and Hard Kombucha is the ABV: one 12 oz. can of hard kombucha is only 6% ABV, and one 12oz can of our Spirits is 8-10% ABV.”

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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