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The Aviary’s Mixologist Rolls Out New Proprietary Line Of Cocktails

September 9, 2013

Noted Chicago mixologist Charles Joly is rolling out a line of three pre-mixed bottled cocktails under the banner Crafthouse Cocktails, with distribution initially centered around Chicago.

Joly, drinks director at gastro-spirit lounge The Aviary, is sourcing ingredients from artisanal distilleries for his proprietary recipes. His Moscow Mule features small batch vodka and organic ginger, while his Southside contains gin from Journeyman Distillery in Three Oaks, Michigan. The Paloma, due out in September, showcases Tequila from Orendain de Jalisco mixed with agave nectar, lime and grapefruit juice. All the cocktails are being bottled at William Premium Cider in Montreal, one of the few producers willing to adhere to Joly’s preservative-free approach.

Matt Lindner, owner of Chicago venues including the Back Room and the Drawing Room (the latter is a former employer of Joly), is a partner in the venture. Crafthouse, line priced at $20 a 750-ml., has won retail placement in the 29-store Binny’s Beverage Depot chain as well as the nine-store upscale grocer Mariano’s.

“We have a humble budget for marketing right now,” says Joly, who’s still working full-time at Aviary. “Our focus is on tasting our product at retail while I work on more recipes. We hope to make a few more batches and nail down production. But we think the business is scaleable. The goal is to expand into other markets beyond Chicago by the end of the year.” Crafthouse Cocktails’ distributor in Illinois is Wirtz Beverage Illinois.

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