In Conversation With the Brand Redefining RTD Cocktails
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Spirited Hive Crafts Cocktails With a Honeyed Twist: In Conversation With the Brand Redefining RTD Beverages

From a Tom Collins-inspired gin drink to a ginger-rich riff on a Mexican Mule, Spirited Hive redefines what ready-to-drink cocktails are by highlighting the flavors of infused wildflower honey and the spirit of adventure. (Photo: Spirited Hive)

In a world teeming with ready-to-drink (RTD) cocktails, Spirited Hive sets itself apart with a unique approach that combines high-quality spirits, natural ingredients and the golden touch of wildflower honey.

We sat down with Jack Espy, CEO and Founder of Spirited Hive, to delve into the story behind his tasty gin-based drink and the distinctive elements that make his brand buzzworthy.

Creating the Spirited Hive Gin Cocktail

Spirited Hive, a rising star in the world of RTD beverages, launched in 2020 thanks to Espy’s serendipitous encounter with honey-based cocktails. What started as a “happy accident” during intimate gatherings with friends amid the global pandemic quickly transformed into Espy’s newfound passion. Longing to break free from the confines of the finance world, he embarked on an exciting journey into the realm of canned cocktails.

(Photo: Spirited Hive)

First debuted in November 2022, Spirited Hive’s gin drink joined the brand’s tequila, bourbon and vodka drinks, all canned at 7% ABV and created as riffs on iconic cocktails. When it came to selecting which cocktail to use as inspiration for his gin drink, Espy turned to a classic.

“I wasn’t always drawn to gin when it came to cocktails,” Espy shared. “But one day, I decided to take a leap and ordered a Tom Collins. It’s a classic and straightforward cocktail, with gin, lemon juice, sugar, and club soda. But I knew we could take it to the next level by adding a touch of honey.”

Yet, developing the perfect recipe for Spirited Hive’s gin drink wasn’t without its challenges.

“Achieving the ideal balance between sweet and acidic flavors was key,” explained Espy. “Honey, being a viscous liquid, required us to find the perfect consistency for our cocktails. It took time and experimentation to strike that balance—not too thin, not too thick—so that it enhanced the cocktail without overpowering its flavors.”

“And of course, we couldn’t ignore the herbal nuances of ginger and juniper, which were crucial in creating a well-balanced concoction.”

Spirited Hive and the Big World of RTD Cocktails

(Photo: Spirited Hive)

What sets Spirited Hive apart from the many other RTD beverages on the market? According to Espy, it’s his brand’s commitment to quality.

“We pride ourselves on using only premium spirits and natural ingredients,” Espy said. “But what truly sets us apart is the use of honey as a natural sweetener. Our canned cocktails feature 100% organic wildflower honey sourced from Lancaster, PA. That touch of pure sweetness adds a unique flavor profile to each sip.”

And when it comes to the gin used in its Tom Collins-inspired drink, Spirited Hive leaves no room for compromise.

“We source a premium gin from New Haven, Missouri—a gin that truly embraces the distinct juniper-forward profile that gin enthusiasts love,” Espy added. “It’s the perfect base for our Tom Collins, ensuring that every sip captures the essence of this classic cocktail.”

Spirited Hive’s Identity

(Photo: Spirited Hive)

As we know, honey plays a significant role in shaping the brand’s identity and its range of cocktails. But why was this ingredient chosen as a key feature in all of Spirited Hive’s drinks?

“I’m a huge fan of honey as a sweetener,” Espy shared. “Not only does it bring a natural and wholesome quality to our cocktails, but it also aligns with my commitment to a healthy lifestyle.”

“Honey allows us to reduce excessive sugar consumption while adding a unique twist to our canned cocktails. Each Spirited Hive cocktail incorporates honey infused with natural ingredients like rosemary, ginger, and cranberries, resulting in a range of distinctive flavors that truly set us apart.”

As for what kind of person drinks Spirited Hive, Espy revealed that his cocktails “are made for those who embrace adventure, cherish their community (or ‘Hive’), and enjoy sharing good drinks with friends.”

“Each cocktail represents a different spirit or personality within our Hives, ensuring that there’s a spirited option for everyone.”

The Future of Spirited Hive

Following the successful launch of its gin drink, Spirited Hive is poised to unveil its first Party Pack, featuring a brand-new tequila cocktail.

“We’re always looking for ways to better serve our Hive members,” Espy said. “Listening to their feedback and suggestions is crucial to us. We’ve received numerous requests for a tropical flavor profile, and we’ve listened.”

“That’s why we’re thrilled to announce the upcoming release of our first-ever Tropical Party Pack. It will include our vodka, gin, and an exciting new tequila cocktail infused with pineapple and lime-infused honey.”

“Get ready to experience the taste of the tropics in a can!”

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Candie Getgen is the managing editor for Gin Raiders. Before immersing herself in the world of spirits journalism, Candie has been many things: a bartender, a literary journal editor, an English teacher — and even a poet. Now, Candie shares her passion for gin with the world and hopes to help others fall in love with it, too (if they haven't already!). When not writing, Candie enjoys sipping a Negroni while drawing or relaxing by the pool with a campy mystery novel.