CHICAGO (March 13, 2018) – Beam Suntory, the world’s third largest premium spirits company, has partnered with On the Rocks, a premium, ready-to-serve cocktail business. As part of the deal, Beam Suntory will become On the Rocks’ exclusive partner for co-branded beverages, including an Old Fashioned with Knob Creek® Bourbon, a Margarita with Hornitos® tequila, and a Cosmopolitan with EFFEN® vodka. On the Rocks will also leverage Beam Suntory’s considerable expertise in product development, commercialization, distribution, manufacturing, and packaging as it continues to grow.
“As the cocktail culture continues to thrive, we know consumers are looking for quality, hand-crafted cocktails in places where they haven’t been available before,” said Greg Hughes, General Manager, North America at Beam Suntory. “Our partnership with On the Rocks will help them capture more of these occasions, such as air travel, hotel room service, and major sporting events.”
On the Rocks was co-founded in 2015 by Patrick Halbert, an entrepreneur and restauranteur. Halbert and bartender Rocco Milano had created a cocktail program at the Dallas restaurant Private Social that was recognized as one of the city’s best by 2013. Friends in the airline industry asked Milano to try bottling his signature cocktails for in-flight service.
“This created a new challenge: how do you make natural cocktails that can keep,” said Milano, now Co-Founder/Corporate Mixologist at On the Rocks. “We said, let’s make bartender cocktails that elevate ready-to-serve into a culinary experience in a glass.”
The team developed branding, packaging, a method for preserving cocktails made with natural ingredients in a bottle without separating or spoiling, and assembled a portfolio of esteemed clients. On the Rocks filled its first order in 2016, for Hawaiian Airlines, and has since added Hilton Hotels, Four Seasons Hotels, Pebble Beach Golf Club, and the Beverly Hills Hotel to its client roster.
“We couldn’t be happier to have gained a partner like Beam Suntory,” Halbert said. “Their partnership will help us grow our business much faster, and our collaboration will mean that our hand-crafted, quality cocktails will also include some of the world’s finest premium spirits.”
In addition to the Old Fashioned, Cosmopolitan and Margarita, Rocco has also created a Jalapeno Pineapple Margarita with Tres Generaciones® tequila, an Aviation using Larios® gin, and a Mai Tai with Cruzan® rum.