parent has swigged the last of their kids’ milk, juice or soda.
But very few add liquor, mix it up and tell their friends about it.
That’s what Newport Beach, Calif., mom Tracy Reinhardt, 38, did one
night after mixing her kids some chocolate milk and putting them to bed.
Reinhardt added a little vodka and promptly updated her Facebook status:
“Tracy is enjoying some adult chocolate milk.”
Friends noticed and left a stream of positive comments and questions.
Nikki Halbur, 36, of Gilbert, Ariz., was particularly intrigued.
The two had attended high school together in Southern California, and
Facebook brought them back together. The posting made them business partners.
In 2009, the two launched Adult Beverage Co., makers of 40-proof
vodka-based Adult Chocolate Milk and soon-to-be-bottlers of Adult Orange Cream,
Adult Fruit Punch and Adult Limeade, scheduled to launch May 1.
“These days, especially with the state of the economy, people want
to go back to a time when they felt good and comforted, which, for many, is
their childhood,” Halbur said. “So our slogan is: ‘Re-taste your
youth. At 40 proof.’ “
The swing-top glass bottles are available at more than 300 stores, restaurants
and bars in Arizona and in more than 20 other states.
Their first gig was a private party at the Beverly Hills home of Sacramento Kings and Palms
Casino Resort owner Adrienne Maloof-Nassif, now on Bravo’s “Real Housewives
of Beverly Hills.”
“We ended up mixing the drink in her kitchen and serving it in
plastic cups with red straws,” Halbur says, laughing. “We knew our
friends and relatives loved it, but when celebrities started to say they loved
it, we knew we were onto something.”
The pair continued to serve the drink at private parties for the
Hollywood elite, from star athletes to Patti LaBelle and P.
Diddy. The drink caught the attention of R&B singer Ginuwine, who signed on to be a company
spokesman, dressing in an old-school milkman costume for ads.
Breaking into the Arizona market was easy, and Halbur said BevMo signed
on right away, retailing 750-milliliter and 1-liter bottles for $17.99 to
$22.99 each. The women financed the company themselves, with the help of a
Temperance Distilling in Temperance, Mich., makes, bottles and packages
“We don’t want to be just another vodka brand,” Reinhardt
said. “We are part something new, fresh and exciting. Bailey’s (Irish
Cream) is the closest thing, but they taste nothing alike. There isn’t any
other competing product on the market.”