July 23, 2019
Plenty of us take a vacation, then try to recreate that magic when we get home. David Barrett and Boris Senek were on a trip to Costa Rica, and found that when they were lounging around, a simple cocktail was the one they enjoyed most.
“We’d mix up some vodka, gin, or tequila with soda water, then add in fresh lemons citrus fruit. There were lemon and lime trees all around us, so we could pick the fruit, cut it, and squeeze it right into our drinks,” remembers Barrett. “It tasted so good, so fresh and just so natural.”
When they returned home, the duo couldn’t stop thinking about their experiences. So smitten were they with the fresh fruit and simple, clean flavours Barrett and Senek began recreating their concoctions at home. Then they started to wonder why a natural, ready-to-drink vodka-soda option wasn’t more readily available.
“There were coolers on the market about three years ago when we seriously started looking at this, but there was nothing like what we wanted. Everything was loaded with sugar or used artificial flavours and had that disconnect between how it smelled and how it tasted. Everything tasted synthetic,” says Senek.
The duo began experimenting in their kitchens, and noticed there was a trend developing, where customers like them were eschewing sugar and preservatives in favour of more wholesome options. They started looking for the right manufacturer and soon, & Soda was born.
“It took the better part of a year sampling countless food and beverage companies in the industry. We didn’t get this off the ground until we found just the right partner,” shares Barrett. “We needed someone who could produce the flavoring ingredients using the real fruits and nothing more. From the smell, to the color, and the taste, it had to be just like when you mix real fruit into your drink at home.”
& Soda makes a Lime Vodka Soda beverage and a & Soda Raspberry Lemon Vodka Soda, and both flavours are available at Calgary Co-op Wine Spirits Beer.
The unusual name of their company owes itself to the simplicity of their product.
“The name just felt right,” says Barrett, “Because our product is just vodka and…soda with those hints of flavour.”
& Soda’s ready-to-drink Vodka Sodas have been a hit with Co-op Wine Spirits Beer customers.
“We have people telling us it’s so much better than anything else on the market,” Senek says. Adds Barrett: “We’ve only been in Co-op for a couple of months, but already our sales have exceeded our expectations. We’re just two guys from Calgary that enjoy the beautiful Canadian outdoors and value time with friends and family. We’re self-starters with a dream and we really wanted to make this happen.”
Find & Soda Lime Vodka Soda and & Soda Raspberry Lemon Vodka Soda at Calgary Co-op Wine Spirits Beer stores.
For some people, just the mention of the word gin is enough to elicit groans, shudders and memories of the drink that earned the nicknames,...
Like many folks in Calgary’s burgeoning brewing and distilling industry, Ross Alger started out making his own libations at home.
There’s not that many times in the year when you can enjoy a bright green cocktail without turning some heads, but St.