Published on March 16th, 2021 | by Darren Paltrowitz


15 Recommended Brands To Add To Your Home Bar In March 2021

Spring 2021 is almost upon us. No matter whether you are still quarantining or regularly socializing in small groups, there are still plenty of opportunities to enjoy your home bar and imbibe. As someone regularly following trends within the food and beverage worlds, I can tell you that there is no shortage of interesting new offerings from top producers of wine, spirits and even non-alcoholic beverages.

In turn, below are 15 recommendations for readers of The Hype Magazine seeking some possible, quality-oriented (yet cost-effective) additions to their home bar.

Five Wives Vodka

Ogden’s Own is the largest independent distillery in the state of Utah. Ogden’s Own has officially entered the canned cocktail market with the launch of 2 new ready-to-drink varietals: Five Wives Moscow Mule & Five Wives Vodka Soda. These 2 canned cocktails are the newest members of the innovative Ogden’s Own spirits portfolio and the distillery’s first-ever foray into the canned beverage segment, with more canned cocktails on the horizon for release later this year.

Each can of Ogden’s Own’s ready-to-drink cocktails contains 2 servings at 162 calories each and 16.5 carbohydrates per serving. Both varietals are also completely gluten-free, as Five Wives Vodka is distilled with 100 percent corn spirit.

SunSmash Fruited Hard Seltzer

Unlike other seltzers on the market which offer little to no real fruit ingredients, SunSmash Fruited Hard Seltzer includes 25 percent real fruit juice. These new seltzers are lightly-bubbled, aiming to leave drinkers refreshed without the belly full of air that comes from overly carbonated seltzers. In turn, SunSmash is a blend of carbonated water, alcohol from cane sugar, fruit juice concentrates, and natural flavors. Each can comes in at 150 calories, bridging the gap between tasteless hard seltzers and more indulgent high-calorie beverages.

SunSmash Fruited Hard Seltzer is available in 4 premium flavors: Black Currant, Prickly Pear Lime, Mango Peach and Pineapple Passionfruit. Its 12-ounce slim cans are available in 2 package sizes: a single-flavor six-pack retailing for $10.49 and a 12-count variety pack at a $19.99 suggested retail price. SunSmash Fruited Hard Seltzer is available now in select Washington retailers, including Total Wine & More, BevMo! and select independent retailers, with expanded distribution to follow soon.

Middle West Spirits

Columbus, Ohio-based distillery Middle West Spirits has been around for 13 years, and its on-premise bar and restaurant Service Bar was helmed by Executive Chef Avishar Barua; Barua is competing on Top Chef: Portland next month. Middle West Spirits’ flagship spirit, OYO Vodkas, is made from the finest local soft red wheat. Because it is unfiltered, it boasts a distinctiveness that is known to be a favorite among dodka drinkers. Other OYO Vodka expressions include OYO Stone Fruit, OYO Honey Vanilla Bean and OYO Barrel-Finished Honey Vanilla Bean.

Meanwhile, Middle West Spirits’ Vim & Petal Gin is an American dry gin that is a union of the culinary and distilling worlds. Per a published review I read: “Vim & Petal bursts forth with a pioneering robustness, then falls quietly like the soft red winter wheat at its base.” Each note of Vim & Petal reportedly “brings to life 18 botanicals and the delicate tension between them…to give you character, dimension and a refined versatility.”

Canteen Spirits

CANTEEN is a line of canned vodka and sodas in a variety of refreshing flavors. CANTEEN’s products made with real vodka and all-natural ingredients in a 12-ounce can that will actually fit in your boat or golf-cart cup-holders and koozies; founder Brandon Cason made the cans in a regular size for this exact reason since skinny cans fall all over the place. Cason also founded Waterloo Sparkling Water and served as the longtime VP of Marketing for Deep Eddy Vodka prior to the launch of CANTEEN.

All 6 flavors — including Watermelon, Black Cherry, Lime, Ruby Red Grapefruit and Cucumber Mint — carry 5 percent ABV, 99 calories, zero carbs and no grams of sugar in each can. Single-flavor 6-packs of CANTEEN currently have a suggested retail price of $9.99, while variety packs are expected to be on the market in the very near-future.

Angry Orchard

Last month Angry Orchard — the nation’s leading hard cider maker — announced the launch of Angry Orchard Peach Mango and Angry Orchard Strawberry, 2 new refreshingly delicious hard fruit ciders made with real fruit and bursting with flavor. Available nationwide in newly-designed, colorful cans, Angry Orchard’s fruit ciders are perfectly blended by combining bittersweet apples with peaches, mangos and strawberries for a juicy, naturally sweet cider with a balanced finish. At 5 percent ABV, Angry Orchard Peach Mango and Angry Orchard Strawberry perfectly complement the beloved apple.

Also new from Angry Orchard is its limited-edition Green-17 party pack. Created in collaboration with, the Green-17 pack contains 17 bottles of fan-favorite Angry Orchard Green Apple wrapped in super-festive, collectible packaging. It is available for purchase for $39.95. Meanwhile, Angry Orchard is partnering with Cash App to give away REAL pots o’ gold this St. Patrick’s Day as 17 lucky winners will find a golden ticket hidden inside their packs, each redeemable for $500 in Bitcoin on Cash App.

SESH Beverages

Billed as a “cocktail meets seltzer,” SESH is a future-shaping beverage that launched in January 2021. In turn, SESH brings together the rich, authentic flavor of a traditional cocktail, with the lighter qualities of a hard seltzer, with just 100 calories, 1 carb, and ZERO sugar. With 6 percent ABV, this canned beverage comes in 4 distinct flavors based on fan-favorite cocktails: Gin & Tonic, Paloma, Mojito, and Moscow Mule. SESH was created by co-founders Zeke Bronfman — who I interviewed last year for The Hype — and Nate Medow as an answer to problems they identified in the alcohol industry, namely how Medow sought healthier alternatives as a type 1 diabetic unable to consume most alcoholic beverages. Bronfman, who comes from a long line of spirits pioneers, and Medow have scoped out a solution that wouldn’t compromise between taste and quality. Great stuff.

Elysian Brewing Company

3-time “Large Brewpub Of The Year” at the Great American Beer Festival, the Elysian Brewing Company operates 3 locations and a production brewery in Seattle, Washington. Known both for classic styles and for flexibility and innovation, Elysian has brewed over 500 different recipes since opening in 1996. While Elysian’s brewers use a variety of unusual ingredients, they are seasonally-notorious for their pumpkin beers.

Last year I had the pleasure of trying out its new Salute The Sun. A seasonal beer that is perfect for summer, the Salute The Sun pale ale is conditioned on sun-dried black limes and vibrates with a ridiculous amount of Citra hops. It is slightly-tart, highly-citrusy, and — for lack of a better term — “super-chill.” More recently, I tried out the Full Contact Imperial Hazy IPA from Elysian, which features 8.8 percent ABV.

Just in time for Summer 2021 comes Elysian’s newest seasonal release, Salt & Seed, which is made with 100 percent natural watermelon and kosher salt. Offering easy drinking — 4 percent ABV — with lemon-lime tartness, herbal characteristics, and mild saltiness, it is made with an even split of pale and malted white wheat and a dash of acid malt, most likely creating a flavor unlike any other beer you have tasted before.

Blue Spot Single Pot Still Whiskey

On March 9, 2021, Pernod Ricard USA reintroduced Blue Spot Single Pot Still Whiskey — an ultra-premium whiskey meant to be explored by curious and whiskey enthusiasts alike — to the Spots whiskey range for the first time in the States. In turn, the reimagined cask strength Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey is re-joining the Spots whiskey range for the first time since 1960. It has an ABV of 58.7 percent and a suggested retail price of $85.00.

Building on the foundation of bourbon and sherry casks, the reimagined Blue Spot Single Pot Still Whiskey includes whiskey aged in Madeira casks, inspired by the historical inventory of Mitchell & Son and typical of the Spot style of whiskey. Blue Spot takes its name from the blue daubs or “spots” of paint that the Mitchell family used to mark the barrels to signify that the whiskey in those casks were to be matured for a minimum of 7 years.

Sapporo Pure

Founded in 1876, Sapporo is Japan’s oldest beer brand still operating and the #1-selling Asian beer brand in the United States. Sapporo lagers have been enjoyed for almost half a century in America, with 5 varieties — Sapporo Premium, Sapporo Premium Black, Sapporo Premium Light, Sapporo Reserve and the new Sapporo Pure — available. Sapporo beers are reportedly made from only the finest natural ingredients, and its products sold in the U.S are brewed in the U.S, Canada and Vietnam.

The aforementioned Sapporo Pure is a new superior light beer that will serve the evolving tastes of the modern consumer and long-time Sapporo drinkers alike. The beer is among the lowest calorie options for beer drinkers in the superior light beer category, with only 90 calories, 2.4 grams of carbs, and 4.0 percent ABV. Sapporo Pure can be enjoyed in a distinctly-designed 12-ounce slim can and available in 6-packs, rolling out to 17 states across the U.S. beginning this month.

Roadhouse Brewing Co.’s Seltzy

Last month Jackson Hole, Wyoming’s Roadhouse Brewing Co. debuted Seltzy, a new line of 4.0% percent ABV handcrafted hard seltzers which aimed to deliver the brand’s passion for craft beverages, thirst for adventure, and reverence for its natural surroundings with each sip. Formulated for life at the base of the Tetons and beyond, Seltzy is offered in 3 unique, artisanal flavors: Kicked Back: Cucumber-Lychee, The Crush: Huckleberry-Lingonberry, and The Chill: Ginger-Lime. Teton water aside, you can expect zero carbs, zero gluten, no added sugar and only 90 calories from each can of Seltzy.

Commented Gavin Fine, Roadhouse co-founder: “We’re continually thinking about the intersection of the craft and culinary worlds. Seltzy presents a new and unique opportunity for us to explore not only distinct flavor combinations, but ways to creatively complement this product offering via mixology using Seltzy as the base.” Seltzy is currently available in mixed 12 packs throughout Wyoming, Idaho, Utah, Colorado and Montana.


On the heels of a successful limited launch last Fall, entertainment icon and hip-hop legend Snoop Dogg recently announced his INDOGGO Gin as being available nationwide. INDOGGO, crafted with a laid-back California style, is intended to be “the ultimate remix of seven premium botanicals infused with all-natural strawberry flavor.” Developed by Snoop in partnership with Keenan Towns, Marc Weisberg and the Prestige Beverage Group, INDOGGO is certified gluten-free, distilled 5 times with 7 premium botanicals and is infused with all-natural strawberry flavor with no added sugar. The gin is light on the juniper flavor and features orange, coriander and cassia botanicals for a taste of strawberry and citrus with a slightly sweet and fruity finish.

The gin is great on the rocks, yet also cocktail-friendly — here is a provided recipe from INDOGGO for “Long Beach Lemonade”:

– 2 oz. INDOGGO Gin
– 6 oz. Fresh Lemonade
– Ice cubes
– Lemon slices for garnish

– Add INDOGGO and lemonade to a glass.
– Stir to combine.
– Top with ice and lemon slices.

Sparkling Ice Spiked Seltzer

Sparkling Ice Spiked Seltzer is available in 4 bold and refreshing flavors: Ruby Fizz, Cherry Lime Chiller, Strawberry Citrus Smash and Lemonade Refresher. The canned cocktail is infused with deliciously-crisp, featuring satisfying blends of natural fruits while packed with flavor. The hard seltzer contains only 80 calories, and has zero sugar, 1 gram of carbs and 4 percent alcohol per can. Thus, you have a guilt-free drink sold at select retailers across the United States.

Bubbly Blaster

As seen on Shark Tank in January 2021, you celebrate any occasion with Bubbly Blaster. A fun way to spray champagne with less mess, the Bubbly Blaster attaches to any champagne bottle, turning it into a long-lasting champers cannon. It even works as a bottle stopper when you are not using it, preserving your champagne to be enjoyed later on. Its patented design allows you to attach the Bubbly Blaster to any champagne bottle with ease. Just pop it in, snap it down and flip the entire thing over, and you’re ready to blast.

The Bubbly Blaster is available in 5 stylish colors and can produce a stream up to 30 feet when the trigger is full throttle. Now available via and Amazon with a suggested retail price of $99.00.

Tia Maria

Tia Maria, which many call “the world’s most authentic coffee liqueur,” recently announced a new bottle design alongside the launch of its ready-to-drink cocktail the Iced Coffee Frappé. Since its launch in 1950, Tia Maria has been a favorite for coffee liqueurs lovers around the world and was reportedly used in the first Espresso Martini recipe, created in London in 1983. Bringing to life Tia Maria’s one of a kind personality, the new packaging has been created in collaboration with famed street artist Karski from the Netherlands.

Tia Maria Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur is available nationwide with a suggested retail price of $27.99. The Tia Maria Iced Coffee Frappé cocktail is available nationwide in 200ml 4-packs at a suggested retail price of $9.99. A single 200ml can is available for a suggested retail price of $2.30.

Crook & Marker

Crook & Marker is reportedly the first fully-USDA-Organic alcohol beverage brand and the brand recently unveilved canned Lime Margaritas made with pure Blue Agave Tequilana and all-natural ingredients. Unlike standard margaritas that can serve up more than 300 calories and 30 grams of sugar per serving, Crook & Marker Lime Margaritas are an easy-drinking alternative boasting restaurant-quality flavor with just zero sugar, 1 gram of carbs and 100 calories. The Lime Margaritas deliver perfectly-balanced flavor in every can and are sweeneted from natural sources, gluten-free, non-GMO, vegan and carry 5 percent ABV.

All Crook & Marker beverages are made with its proprietary BaseBrew alcohol, which is crafted using ancient supergrains including quinoa, amaranth, millet and cassava root, and finished with vibrant all natural flavors.

Bud Light Seltzer’s “Out Of Office” Variety Pack

Last month Bud Light Seltzer announced its expansion to its delicious hard seltzer portfolio with the launch of the new vacation-inspired Bud Light Seltzer “Out Of Office” seasonal variety pack. The pack includes 4 brand new flavors: Watermelon Mojito, Classic Margarita, Mango Mai Tai and Strawberry Daiquiri. Now available nationwide in 12-ounce slim can variety 12-packs through May 15, 2021. The brand recently gave away $25,000 on March 5th for National Employee Day, showing that Bud Light Seltzer has plenty more to offer than great beverages.

Truly Citrus

Earlier this month Truly Hard Seltzer announced the launch of Truly Extra Hard Seltzer, a delicious and refreshing hard seltzer that clocks in at 8 percent ABV. After its 2020 test launch received overwhelmingly-positive drinker feedback, Truly Extra is now officially available nationwide in 2 flavors: Black Raspberry and Peach Mango. Unlike competitors’ hard seltzers that are packed with sugar and artificial ingredients, Truly Extra has only 1 gram of sugar and just 220 calories in each 16 oz. can.

Last month Truly Hard Seltzer revamped its Citrus Mix Pack to include its latest flavor innovation: Citrus Squeeze. Citrus Squeeze — which replaces Truly Orange — is a juicy mix of Truly fans’ favorite citrus flavors and packs an incredibly powerful punch. Artist Gemma O’Brien helped design both its Citrus variety pack and the Citrus Squeeze can.

Cutwater Spirits

Cutwater Spirits is reportedly the most awarded canned cocktail brand in the U.S. with 19 canned cocktail classics to its credit, including tequila, vodka, rum, gin, whiskey and liqueur-based offerings. Co-Founder and Master Distiller Yuseff Cherney began distilling as a side project under Ballast Point Brewing. In 2017, Cutwater Spirits was established as a separate entity from the brewery and now operates from a 50,000 square foot distillery and production facility, which includes a world-class tasting room and restaurant. To date, Cutwater has earned over 1,000 awards across its portfolio of products and is distributed in 45 states.

Late last year Cutwater Spirits unveiled a White Russian made using real, award-winning spirits as the base. This new take on the beloved cult classic features Cutwater Vodka with house-made coffee cream liqueur with a bold 14 percent ABV. I look forward to trying Cutwater’s White Russian soon.

Wild Turkey’s Longbranch Whiskey

Bourbon is a true sensorial experience, and in the last 5 years alone, more than 2.5 million people are said to have visited the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. However, as travel still is not a reality for many right now, this tool is a compelling way to drive interest in American Whiskey while speaking to a new audience of tech-savvy consumers. Unlike other whiskey-focused smart speaker skills that simply share recipes, the Wild Turkey Tasting is uniquely multi-dimensional, channeling the perspectives and authenticity of the Russell family straight from Lawrenceburg, Kentucky. Master Distillers Jimmy and Eddie Russell — a beloved father and son distilling duo with a combined 107 years of industry experience between them — personally lent their voices to guide consumers through a curated collection of Wild Turkey whiskies: Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon, Wild Turkey 101 Rye, Rare Breed Bourbon, Longbranch and Kentucky Spirit.

From nosing and tasting to sharing humorous anecdotes that are quintessentially Wild Turkey, the audio tour is meant for both the novice whiskey drinker and the more mature connoisseur. Consumers not only learn about the different styles of Wild Turkey whiskey, but also about the distilling process, the palate, glassware, and more from the masters themselves. Along the way, the Russell family — Jimmy Russell, Eddie Russell, Bruce Russell and Joann Street — conveys the history of Wild Turkey and the craftsmanship that sets it apart. For those who don’t have their favorite Wild Turkey on hand, there is also a general whiskey tasting. And consumers can ask questions from “can I add water to my whiskey?” to “tell me a fun fact about whiskey.” As an additional “Easter egg” component within the skill, whiskey drinkers can unlock a special message from venerated actor Matthew McConaughey, Wild Turkey’s Creative Director and the co-creator of Longbranch.

Austin Eastciders

Last but not least… Austin Eastciders produces craft ciders in Austin, Texas using all-natural ingredients and bittersweet apples to create traditionally-inspired ciders. Helping to move the mainstream toward a hard cider that is lower in sugar while featuring more complex flavor profiles, Austin Eastcider’s offers a range of styles created to appeal to beer, wine, and cider drinkers alike. On their own, Austin Eastciders can be mixed into a cocktail, or served with a shot of whiskey, proving that there is no wrong way to enjoy an Austin Eastcider.

Its new Austin Eastciders Blackberry Cider is a ripe and juicy cider that is slightly-tart yet super-drinkable. Using a blend of European bittersweet apples and real blackberry juice from California, Oregon, and Washington, the cider offers a sparkling, light, and fruity beverage. Meanwhile, its new Austin Eastciders Spiked Mango Seltzer is a 100-calorie fruity and tropical seltzer made with cider, real mango juice from Colombia and nothing artificial. More greatness from Austin Eastciders.

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About the Author

Darren Paltrowitz is a New York resident with over 20 years of entertainment industry experience. He began working around the music business as a teenager, interning for the manager of his then-favorite band Superdrag. Since then, he has worked with a wide array of artists including OK Go, They Might Be Giants, Mike Viola, Tracy Bonham, Loudness, Rachael Yamagata, and Amanda Palmer. Darren's writing has appeared in dozens of outlets including the New York Daily News, Inquisitr, The Daily Meal, The Hype Magazine, All Music Guide, Guitar World,, Businessweek, Chicago Tribune, L.A. Times, and the Jewish Journal. Beyond being "Editor At Large" for The Hype Magazine, Darren is also the host of weekly "Paltrocast With Darren Paltrowitz" series, which airs on dozens on television and digital networks. He has also co-authored 2 published books, 2018's "Pocket Change: Your Happy Money" (Book Web Publishing) and 2019's "Good Advice From Professional Wrestling" (6623 Press), and co-hosts the world's only known podcast about David Lee Roth, "The DLR Cast."

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