In an industry where new product categories are being introduced constantly, canned and bottled cocktails are transforming the category’s reputation, and making a huge impact on the future of the alcoholic beverage industry. Ready to drink cocktails appeal to the busy lifestyle of many consumers, saving them the time and money of having to gather multiple ingredients to concoct their boozy beverage. The convenience and quality of these beverages give consumers a quick solution to their problems and also fulfills their need of having a delicious cocktail on the go. Like any other category, new products are being released pretty regularly, so having a competitive advantage, as well as a compelling background story is crucial to succeeding in this saturated category. One such brand that is doing just that is Fisher’s Island Lemonade, a premium canned cocktail containing lemonade, premium distilled vodka, barrel-aged whiskey, and honey.
Although the beverage was launched in 2014 by founder Bronya Shillo, the story of Fisher’s Island Lemonade begins long before that. Bronya’s family has been operating the Pequot Inn, a bar located on Fisher’s Island, New York, for many years. Long before Bronya and her sister became involved with the Pequot Inn, visitors of Fisher’s Island have been enjoying the refreshing cocktail that would become known as Fisher’s Island Lemonade. The drink contained vodka, whiskey, lemon, and honey, which quickly became a staple beverage of the Pequot Inn. When Bronya began working behind the bar at the age of 18, she realized that they had something special on their hands.
Bronya’s decision to start canning the beverage came from the increased demand and popularity that had grown around her family’s famous drink over the years. After two years of perfecting the recipe, Bronya launched the brand in 2014 on Memorial Day. Since Fisher’s Island attracts a large number of people by boat, eliminating glass bottles was a way for those individuals to enjoy Fisher’s Island Lemonade without the worry of breaking glass on the water. Right from the beginning, her loyal customer base traveled by boat to purchase a four-pack that could be enjoyed wherever they pleased. Since the launch of the brand, Fisher’s Island Lemonade has expanded distribution to over nine states with plans of continuing its expansion in the future.
When one thinks about drinking a cocktail mixed with lemonade, usually warm weather comes to mind. The refreshing taste of lemonade and vodka pair very nicely with the hot sun. For this reason, many people thought that Fisher’s Island Lemonade would be a seasonal product in states that have warm weather. Bronya, a long-time bartender and mixologist, used these speculations as an opportunity to present various ways that consumers can enjoy Fisher’s Island Lemonade. Because the drink contains no carbonation, it can be used in a shaker cup to mix various drinks, where as other canned cocktails and mixers cannot. These recipes also provided Bronya with a strong selling point when speaking to various on-premise accounts about featuring Fisher’s Island Lemonade, or one of the specialty cocktails on their menu. One recipe that really shows the versatility and quality of Fisher’s Island Lemonade is the Fisher’s Island Hot Toddy. Simply warm half a can of Fisher’s Island Lemonade in a saucepan with some cinnamon, pour into your desired glass, add a floater of your favorite whiskey, and garnish with a cinnamon stick and lemon. This refreshing beverage is sure to keep you warm and satisfied in those colder temperatures.
The quality of the ingredients included in Fisher’s Island Lemonade really make the product stand out from other canned cocktails in the category. The beverage only uses premium vodka that is made from corn that gives the liquid a smooth taste, the unmistakable taste of barrel-aged whiskey, and of course, lemon and honey to provide the sweetness that is traditional with lemonade. Rightfully so, these premium, high-quality ingredients result in the product being sold at a much higher price point to its competition. But let me assure you, the price is well worth it. Fisher’s Island Lemonade gives drinkers the refreshing taste of summer, all while providing its drinkers with a premium, high-quality beverage, unlike its competition.
On top of having a product that is unlike any other in its respective category, Fisher’s Island Lemonade is extremely philanthropic and committed to giving back to the island in which without it, the brand would not have been possible. Through a partnership with One Percent for the Planet, Fisher’s Island Lemonade is able to identify and give back to environmental causes. In 2018, Fisher’s Island Lemonade was able to contribute to all 16 nonprofits located on Fisher’s Island. Additionally, Fisher’s Island Lemonade provides graduating seniors of the Fishers Island School who are interested in entrepreneurship with a scholarship. In the future, Fisher’s Island Lemonade plans on expanding its reach when it comes to philanthropy.
Bronya Shillo has done a fantastic job establishing her brand as a leader in a crowded category. Being a female in a predominately male-dominated industry is difficult. She has shown extreme passion and resilience over the years and will no doubt continue to grow Fisher’s Island Lemonade into a brand that is known throughout the country. As for other women who are looking to pursue entrepreneurship as a career, Bronya suggests that they take advantage of every networking opportunity, gather knowledgeable mentors, and build a strong team that believes in the brand as much as you do. The combination of the three is a recipe for success. Bronya has shown extreme passion and resilience over the years and will no doubt continue to grow Fisher’s Island Lemonade into a brand that is known throughout the country and a leader in the ready to drink cocktails category.