Joe Daily sits down with Founder of Rivergreen Cocktails Danielle Mann
By Joe Daily
Photos by Kathryn Harrington
Welcome everyone to this month’s all things cocktails and spirits column, Daily Libations! I am happy to say that this issue also marks my one-year anniversary with VOICE Louisville! With that being said I thought it was perfect timing to introduce an extraordinary female entrepreneur coming on to the scene, Danielle Mann of Rivergreen Cocktails. Not only is she hilarious, but she also happens to be one of the brightest minds I have met. Not only was it refreshing; her cocktails are quite refreshing as well! Without further ado, let’s jump in and get the rundown on Rivergreen Cocktails with Danielle Mann!
So, let’s crack it right open! Fun, right?! What made you want to leap into the alcohol industry with ready-to-drinks?
Yes, it is fun! I have always wanted to start my own business, but I didn’t know much about the alcohol industry when I began Rivergreen Cocktails. I saw an opportunity when I noticed that gin was not well represented in the canned cocktail section of liquor stores. After researching gin, I became enamored with its history and the classic cocktails of the Prohibition era. I started making some of these cocktails with sparkling water and serving them to my friends and family. It was exciting to see their reaction when they tasted the drinks. It made me think that I had crafted a product worth sharing. I started educating myself about the industry and what it would take to get my cocktails on liquor store shelves.
I have noticed that Rivergreen Cocktails are all-natural products! That’s an excellent factor. I appreciate that aspect because it’s a more challenging path to follow, but the resulting product is much better in my experience. What drove you to push the envelope?
It’s important to us that Rivergreen Cocktails must be made with natural juices and sweeteners. We wanted to create the same drink that I made in my home but on a larger scale. I learned that it is hard to keep with natural ingredients if you try to make a product in large batches. The goal has always been to create a proper cocktail. To make that happen and keep with our commitment to all-natural ingredients, we make everything in small batches. It is more tedious and requires additional equipment, but it is worth it. Our cocktails taste deliciously fresh.
I told my editor how excited I was to meet you coming in. I love seeing women-owned brands, and you happen to be a highflier! How has the experience been in the industry so far?
Thank you, I was excited to meet you too! My background is in health care, so this was a new experience for me. This industry is fascinating, and it has been fun doing something creative and meeting so many new and interesting people. I have also had the privilege of meeting other women who have started their own businesses, and it has been a great support system going through this process. I have a lot of respect for anyone who has started a business.
What was that like learning that side of the world?
We make all of our products in Louisville, KY. This wasn’t the initial plan, but we wanted to have control over the entire process, and the only way that was going to happen was to learn how to manufacture it ourselves. We leased a warehouse and then purchased tanks and a canning system. Once we sourced the ingredients, we started making our cocktails. We were excited that they tasted just like the ones I made in my home! One month later, we were on our first liquor store shelf.
So, let’s talk about these flavors. Which one came first?
The Bee’s Knees cocktail was the first drink that we created. Lemon and honey are such a great combination, and it pairs well with gin. It is our best selling product.
Do you have a favorite, or is it like having children?
I enjoy all of our products, but I do find that I am particularly partial to one of our cocktails for a while, and then I change it up and switch to another. Currently, I am enjoying our Gimlet: fresh lime, cane sugar, gin and sparkling water. It is very refreshing.
Let’s talk about that, ABV! How many cocktails are in one can?
Our cocktails are 12% ABV, equivalent to two cocktails in each 12-ounce can. We wanted to offer a solution for those consumers seeking a true, proper cocktail, much like you would order at a bar or restaurant.
You know I go back and forth on how I like to consume ready-to-drink products. Do you have a preference? Can or over ice?
If I am at home, I pour our cocktails over ice and add a garnish of lemon or lime. But the convenience of the can is great to take out on the boat or to have by the pool or lake.
So, I noticed immediately that your team has excellent marketing! What’s your Instagram handle, and how can we track your events in the future?
Thank you for noticing our marketing! From the label on the can to our marketing photos, I am excited about how well it has all come together. Chris Witzke is responsible for our beautiful photos. He is a talented photographer, and I love the branding he has helped create for us. We are on Instagram @rivergreencocktails.
Last but not least, where can our readers snag a four-pack of Rivergreen Cocktails?
We are in multiple liquor stores, bars and restaurants in the Louisville area. A constantly updated list of locations can be found on our Instagram account or our website: jnspirits.com.
I am glad you shared your hectic schedule with me and VOICE Louisville to sit down to walk us through your process. I had the pleasure of sitting down with Danielle and sipping each cocktail. I was impressed, to say the least. Please do yourself a favor and check her products out. Boat and picnic season is right around the corner!
Cheers and Best Regards,
If you drink it. I Study it.
2732 River Green Circle
Louisville, KY 40206