Bottle brings spice to craft cocktail category

As the craft cocktail movement explodes in bars and restaurants around the world, fans of these handmade, high-quality drinks are increasingly looking for ways to create cocktail recipes with exotic and fresh ingredients at home.

Pw 82369 Rokz Infusions

For these DIY craft-cocktail enthusiasts, rokz Design Group, of Eugene, OR, offers a variety of naturally flavored cocktail salts, sugars, and infusions with sweet and spicy ingredients such as chocolate, watermelon, pepper, and ginger.

rokz’ line of Infusion products was born out of the company’s desire to offer a mixer line to pair with its garnishes. “Yet anything but fresh didn’t seem good enough,” say owners Charissa Black-McKay and Terry McKay. “We began experimenting with premium, dried ingredients to see where the flavor could go. Here in Oregon, we have amazing manufacturers and distributors right in our backyard, so there was no shortage of ingredients to play with. Initial testing blew us away in flavor, and we knew we had something.”

For the packaging structure, the McKays sought a format that would allow the user to add the desired spirit—rum or vodka, for example—to the infusion ingredients, store the mixture in the refrigerator or freezer, and then strain and pour when ready. They also wanted a package that would feature the whole spices and fruits inside, make the process simple for the user, and allow for reusability with its 1.5-oz flavor packs.

“We looked at basic jars and bottles and considered several options, but they all required extra steps such as the end user needing to filter the ingredients out by hand or pouring mechanisms that spilled more than they poured,” say the McKays.

Instead, rokz’ in-house design team selected a clear, 16-oz glass bottle fitted with a bottle pourer with filter, the Whiskey Gate from C.R. Manufacturing (402/786-2000), and a reusable cap for the tip of the pourer. According to the McKays, size, color, and shape were also part of the decision: “The 16-ounce size works nicely when considering a typical 750-millileter spirit bottle, which can be split between two infusion bottles. The shape and size also fits well on a store shelf and stores well in a refrigerator or freezer.”

Glass also eliminated the possibility of the packaging material influencing the flavor of the product during the infusing process, they add, and it is reusable and recyclable.

To add a stylish backdrop for the ingredients in the bottle, rokz uses a simple, silver-and-black wraparound label positioned across the center of the bottle. The label is a pressure-sensitive foil and paper substrate digitally printed in four colors plus a matte varnish, converted by The BoxMaker.

As the McKays explain, the label design uses clean lines of text matched with graphic swirls and intricate patterns that mimic the product—“intricate flavors that come together to produce flavors that are bold and complex,” they explain. A hangtag on each bottle provides a pop of color that complements the infusion variety and provides information that reinforces preparation instructions and suggested spirits pairings, as printed on the label.

The Infusions line, in six varieties, is available in glass bottles as well as in refill packs, at select department stores such as Nordstrom, retail stores, and online for an average retail price of $10.99 for the bottle, and $5.99 for the pack.

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