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Business is Booming for On the Rocks Ready-to-Drink Cocktail Brand

Spirits-based is one of the fastest growing segments of the US ready-to-drink market, and the OTR premium RTD brand doubled its sales in the first half of 2020.

On the Rocks Product Line
On the Rocks Product Line
David Stoken

What started out as three guys experimenting with liquor in their garage has become a spirits success story. On the Rocks was co-founded in 2015 by Patrick Halbert and Rocco Milano, who were soon joined by Andrew Gill. The three began designing ready-to-serve cocktails using only premium natural ingredients, and the brand made a name for itself with collaborations in the airline and hotel industry. The OTR product line was designed for when a bartender is not available, and in settings where convenience is in demand.

On the Rocks worked with Berlin Packaging and their Studio One Eleven design team to create a portfolio of custom bottles. Simplicity was top of mind when it came to both aesthetics and manufacturing, so Studio One Eleven borrowed cues from traditional spirits silhouettes when designing the sleek, round-shouldered bottle with a long neck. A mix of glass and PET in 375mL, 200mL, and 100mL sizes round out the portfolio.

   Read this story on another Berlin Packaging bottle design.

In 2018 OTR partnered with Beam Suntory as a minority owner, utilizing their top-shelf brand name spirits in OTR Cocktails. The award-winning product portfolio includes The Old Fashioned made with Knob Creek bourbon whiskey, The Aviation made with Larios gin, The Mai Tai made with Cruzan rum, The Cosmopolitan made with Effen vodka, The Margarita made with Hornitos tequila, and The Jalapeno Pineapple Margarita made with Tres Generaciones tequila.

In September 2020, Beam Suntory announced that it had acquired the OTR brand. “On the Rocks is the pioneer in the premium pre-mixed cocktails category, and joining forces couldn’t come at a better time,” said Albert Baladi, president & CEO of Beam Suntory. “On the Rocks is perfectly positioned to address evolving consumer preferences, including convenience, quality, the emerging home-premise, and cocktails-to-go. We have an ambition to become #1 in the spirits-based ready-to-drink market, and On the Rocks will be a key growth platform that we’ll build along with our fast-growing pre-mixed highball products. We see tremendous opportunity to expand the OTR brand to new occasions, formats, cocktail recipes, and the low-ABV space.” 

On the Rocks is currently available in the US and Canada. For more information visit

PACK EXPO Las Vegas and Healthcare Packaging EXPO (Sept. 27-29, Las Vegas Convention Center) will reunite the packaging and processing community, offering new products, technologies and solutions, while implementing up-to-date protocols for a safe and successful in-person event. Attendee registration is open.

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