Published on March 31st, 2022 | by Darren Paltrowitz


20 Recommended Brands To Add To Your Home Bar In March 2022

Summer 2022 is rapidly approaching. Even if social distancing and quarantining at home are a thing of the past for us, 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 20 recommendations for readers of The Hype Magazine seeking some possible, quality-oriented — yet most of which cost-effective and value-oriented, in spite of that high level of quality — additions to their home bar, recipes and non-alcoholic options included, of course.

Oskar Blues’ Wild Basin Hard Seltzer

Founded by Dale Katechis in 1997 in Lyons, Colorado, Oskar Blues Brewery launched the craft-beer-in-a-can apocalypse via its hand-canned flagship brew, Dale’s Pale Ale. As crafted and canned at Oskar Blues Brewery, Wild Basin Hard Seltzer was reportedly the first nationally-distributed craft hard seltzer. Every 12 oz. can of Wild Basin is gluten-free, vegan and contains just 1g carb per can. Available in a range of effervescent, contemporary flavors, Wild Basin is designed for craft drinkers who value the outdoors and living an active lifestyle. A portion of proceeds from each Mix Pack sale goes toward Can’d Aid to support river and beach cleanups nationwide.

Rancho La Gloria’s Skinny Margarita

Rancho La Gloria aims to offer perfectly-balanced margaritas, as made from 100 percent Blue Weber Agave and fresh lime. These beverages can be enjoyed blended, on the rocks or even from the bottle, and are now available in 5 flavors: Classic Lime, Strawberry, Mango, Peach and Watermelon. These bottled cocktails come in at 13.9 percent ABV. The brand also offers a lighter option via the new Skinny Margarita in Classic Lime or Strawberry offerings, as bottled at 9.8 percent ABV with only 90 calories and 3g carbs per serving, and canned varieties in all the same flavors as the bottles and deliver the same ingredients.

Dekō Cocktails

Inspired by its founders’ shared love of the gilded age of the speakeasy era, Dekō’s cocktails feature glass bottles with an opulent Art Deco design and are reportedly made using the finest herbs, fruit and veggies grown and foraged on the North Fork of New York. Each nuanced cocktail is crafted and bottled by Matchbook Distilling in Greenport, which is a woman-owned business known for concocting premium small-batch, bespoke spirits. Matchbox Distilling is also said to be only distillery of its kind that the Dekō founders could find that would work with a Rabbi to ensure that every aspect that goes into creating the cocktails is Kosher. Great quality product helmed by great quality people.

Tequila Cazadores

National Margarita Day was last month, but Tequila Cazadores has plenty of offerings available for year-round celebration. Made from 100 percent Blue Agave and crafted in the highlands of Las Arandas, Tequila Cazadores recently rolled out an updated bottle design to commemorate a century of real tequila for real people. Meanwhile, Cazadores also has ready-to-drink cans on the market, as made with award-winning its gluten-free Blanco spirit and priced at $14.99 per 4-pack.

Drake’s Organic Spirits

Drake’s Organic Spirits is reportedly the first and only spirits line distilled with pure organic cane sugar, yet it also meets 5 official certifications: vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO, kosher and USDA-organic. In turn, the sustainable brand manages to pioneer the “better for you” category within the booze space. Its new Boxtails — boxed cocktails — are available in Mojito, Watermelon-Tini, Blackcherry Limeade, Margarita and Mango Punch offerings. They are only 110 calories per serving, and the collapsible bladder inside the box keeps the Boxtails fresh and shelf-stable for up to 2 years.

Whiskeysmith Flavored Whiskey

The popularity of flavored whiskeys has been the signature growth among the whiskey boom that we are currently seeing, per the 2021 Liquor Handbook. In turn, what better time for Whiskeysmith Flavored Whiskey, as launched by the Old Elk Distillery in Fort Collins, Colorado?

As previously covered by The Hype as a top drink recommendation in late 2021, available flavors from Whiskeysmith include Chocolate, Banana, Pineapple, Blood Orange, Salted Caramel, Peach and Coconut. In turn, Whiskeysmith has created a delightful range of unique flavors, all made with real American whiskey, while keeping its “more flavor, less labor” concept in mind. Fun flavors that taste true to their source, Whiskeymsith’s Banana being my favorite of the Whiskeysmith offerings I have tried so far.

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.

Hunni Soju

Yobo Drinks Inc. is the parent company of Yobo Soju and Hunni Soju, America’s first craft ultra-premium soju and premium flavored soju brands. Founded by Carolyn Kim, lawyer and mother of twins, Yobo and Hunni blend Korean and American cultures to reimagine soju for the next generation of soju drinkers. The word “Yobo” is Korean for “honey” or “darling,” a term that binds people together through love and life. Yobo’s first bottle was produced in the New York Finger Lakes in 2015.

Hunni Soju is reportedly the only premium soju made in California distilled from organic wheat and rice grown in Northern California, and is blended with real fruit juice, real fruit purees, and natural flavors. The light, refreshing, and bubbly Hunni Sparkling Soju canned cocktails feature four modern, elevated takes on traditional Korean flavors: Yuzu and Elderflower; Korean Pear, Perilla Leaf and Lime; Peach and Chili Pepper; and Grape and Ginger. At just 90 to 100 calories per can with 4 percent ABV, Hunni Sparkling is a low-alcohol option calibrated for active lifestyles.

NÜTRL Vodka Seltzer

Anheuser-Busch recently-unveiled NÜTRL Vodka Seltzer to the U.S. market. What makes this one stand out from other “hard seltzers” is that NÜTRL is vodka-based and made with simple ingredients like vodka, seltzer and real fruit juice. It also manages to be gluten-free and carry just 100 calories per can for all of its delicious flavors, including its latest addition, Mango; its Raspberry, Watermelon and Pineapple offerings are also great. NÜTRL Vodka Seltzer is refreshingly-real, and as of last month, NÜTRL Vodka Seltzer has been rolled out nationwide. It can also be purchased on the NUTRL website via Reservebar and e-retailers (e.g. Drizly).

Whistlepig Piggyback

WhistlePig Whiskey recently launched its new PiggyBack Craft Cocktail, as made with 100 percent Estate Rye Grain and Barrel-Aged Fruit. This crisp and boldly refreshing craft rye beverages are available in 3 flavors, and each 12 oz. can contains 8 percent ABV. Best served straight from the chilled can, this one currently comes in Blackberry Lemon Fizz, Session Citrus Mint and Fresh Ginger Lime. This game-changing canned cocktail is available for purchase online here in four-packs, as carrying a suggested retail price of $16.99.

Honkaku Spirits

Honkaku Spirits is devoted to bringing intensely artisanal Japanese spirits to discerning American customers with a particular focus on koji-based spirits including Honkaku — meaning “authentic” — Shochu, Ryukyu Awamori from Okinawa, and koji whiskey, an as-yet undefined but widely enjoyed category of whiskey. Working exclusively with family-run suppliers, Honkaku Spirits endeavors to introduce the finest traditional spirits Japan has to offer.

Founder Christopher Pellegrini cut his teeth in alcohol as a teen brewer at Otter Creek Brewing Company in Middlebury, Vermont. He discovered shochu and awamori after moving to Tokyo while he was a full-time professor at Waseda University. In 2014, he published the first ever English language guide to shochu and awamori, The Shochu Handbook. He also contributed to The Oxford Companion To Spirits & Cocktails, as published in 2021. Pellegrini launched Honkaku Spirits in March 2020 and co-hosts 2 podcasts focused on the education of Japanese spirits: Japan Distilled and Sake On Air.

Bumbu Rum

Sovereign Brands produces and markets premium wine and spirits brands including Luc Belaire, Bumbu Rum, McQueen & The Violet Fog Gin and Villon (a Cognac liqueur). Sovereign Brands is helmed by Brett Berish, whose past brands include Armand De Brignac (Ace Of Spades) Champagne and D’Ussé Cognac. Along with countless profile features, he was most recently recognized by Goldman Sachs as one of 2021’s “100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs.” The aforementioned Bumbu The Original is an all-natural craft rum distilled in Barbados, produced using sugarcane selected from 8 countries throughout the West Indies. Its portfolio also includes the ultra-premium Bumbu XO and Bumbu Crème, a new rum liqueur that blends real dairy cream with the brand’s flagship expression. Bumbu was recently featured on Impact and Market Watch’s 2021 “Hot Brands” list.

Wild Hibiscus Flower Co.

Wild Hibiscus is a specialist in Butterfly Pea Flowers, with the family-owned company growing its flowers for over 11 years. The company uses a specialized drying process that stabilizes the flower’s attributes for 3+ years, creating a long shelf life for their products as well as fellow manufacturers who are looking for the same aspects. Tea companies, distillers and breweries alike are drawn to the flower’s deep natural blue color and color change ability, which they purchase in bulk from Wild Hibiscus. The Wild Hibiscus Flower Company recently showcased its award-Winning product offerings — including delicious Wild Hibiscus Flowers in Syrup from Australia — at this year’s Winter Fancy Food Show in Las Vegas. As a fun fact, there are 7,500 handpicked flowers per pound of Wild Hibiscus Flower Co. output.

Grand Old Parr Scotch

Old Parr Blended Scotch Whisky — the official whisky of last year’s Latin GRAMMYs — aims to make people “enjoy the Golden Moments in life when the weight of responsibility is lifted from your shoulders and all the possibilities of the time ahead become apparent.” Created to be the culmination of the finest flavors Scotland has to offer, it is rooted in the rich earthiness of islay peat, the balanced smoothness of speyside waters, and the oaken warmth of Cragganmore casks. Old Parr has more than 150 years of long history, representing James and Samuel Greenlees’ commitment to creating the finest blended Scotch Whiskies. Some cocktail recipes featuring Old Parr can be found by clicking here.

Avión Reserva Cristalino

Born from agave grown at the highest elevations in Jesus Maria, Jalisco, and forged through the vibrancy of modern Mexico, Tequila Avión is an award-winning tequila that defines a new standard of quality and taste. Produced with fifth-generation growers from among the finest Blue Weber agave, the ultra-premium tequila’s distinct flavors are achieved through a combination of slow-roasting at lower temperatures to protect the natural flavors of the agave and an ultra-slow filtration process which creates an unusually smooth taste profile. Tequila Avión is available in Silver, Reposado, Añejo, and Avión Reserva 44. Avión Reserva Cristalino is now available in the United States for a suggested retail price of $145.00. Coupled with Avión’s Reserva 44, tequila aficionados now have access to 2 luxurious expressions for a wide range of taste preferences that are suitable for the most discerning of palates, thanks to Tequila Avión.

Flying Embers

Handcrafted beverage brand Flying Embers’ latest innovation is Orange Passion Mimosa, as priced at $17.99 for a 6-pack. An excellent better-for-you canned option, this one features zero sugar and zero carbs. Launched earlier this month, the Orange Passion Mimosa aims to take your traditional mimosa to the next level. Each sip contains a subtly sweet combination of juicy citrus notes and the natural tang of kombucha, finished with hints of tropical passionfruit and guava. In turn, the mimosa has all the passionfruit and guava flavor you love, minus the sugar you hate. This lighter, brighter brunch option pairs perfectly with both sweet and savory breakfast treats like omelets, avocado toast and pancakes.

Clubtails Cocktails

Billed as “cocktails in a can,” Clubtails are ready-to-drink canned drinks carrying a 10 percent ABV. They are gluten-free and vegan, while free of high fructose corn syrup. Offerings from the original line of Clubtails include the following offerings: Sunny Margarita, Bahama Mama, Screwdriver, Watermelon Margarita, and the Alabama Slammer. As lighter fare, Clubtails also has a “Hard Seltzer” line — offerings include Strawberry Daiquiri, Black Cherry Margarita and Peach Cosmo — which carry 4 percent ABV and only 90 calories per can.

Lagunitas’ Disorderly TeaHouse

Lagunitas Brewing Company, as known for its hop-forward and innovative craft brews, has brewed beyond beer viaits new Disorderly TeaHouse premium spiked and sparkling tea. This is Lagunitas’ first hard tea beverage and it is aiming to be the drink of summer. So what makes Disorderly TeaHouse different from other hard teas? It is reportedly the first hard tea to be brewed with premium guayusa tea leaves that are hand-harvested and hand-picked by Indigenous farmers from Ecuador. It carries 100 calories, 2g carbs and 0 grams of sugar per 12 oz. serving size and is available via Drizly, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and Safeway.

Clonakilty Irish Whiskey

Over the last 9 generations, the family-owned Clonakilty Distillery has farmed the coastal land to utilize the best resources that nature has to offer. As a result of using their own heritage barley, Clonakilty Distillery has produced numerous award-winning spirits. Its Single Batch Double Oak Irish Whiskey — carrying an ABV of 43.6 precent — is matured in ex-bourbon casks and finished in virgin American oak, before finally being shaved and toasted in ex-red wine European oak casks. This full-bodied whiskey boasts fragrant aromas of soft spices and vanilla that lead to flavors of ginger and hazelnut. Its long finish is highlighted by vanilla sweetness and spices lingering on the palate.

Hendrick’s Gin Neptunia

Last but definitely not least… Infused with an uncannily refreshing blend of coastal botanicals, Neptunia was inspired by the rugged and majestic sea that sits just two miles from Hendrick’s Gin distillery in Girvan, Scotland. From master distiller Ms. Lesley Gracie’s Cabinet Of Curiosities, this unconventional, intriguing expression uses a mysterious blend of refreshing Scottish coastal botanicals to create a ​​crisp citrus finish that is as refreshing as Scotland’s ocean breeze. As ocean magic is exceedingly difficult to bottle, Neptunia is a limited-release gin.

Hendrick’s recently launched a Magic-Of-The-Sea Spa Kit complete with everything you would need to bring the refreshing nature of the sea directly into your home. To sustain this oceanic enchantment, Hendrick’s Gin — in partnership with Project Seagrass — will donate 100 percent of the sales from this kit to fund the conservation of seagrass meadows and raise awareness of the critical role they play in providing food and habitat. The Magic-Of-The-Sea Spa Kit is available for purchase now via Hendrick’s Tiny Shop.

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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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