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ilbegone
10-27-2009, 02:50 PM
Hathaway's seeks to refine bloody marys
Matt Wrye, Staff Writer
Posted: 10/23/2009

It's been a long time since bloody-mary drinkers had something this tasty to sip on.

Tom Bright, managing partner and investor in Fontana-based Hathaway's Bloody Mary Mix, is on a tear as he promotes Hathaway's to cocktail connoisseurs while trying to reclassify what constitutes a "great bloody mary."

"This product isn't for everyone," Bright says. "It's really (for) a discerning, discriminating consumer that wants the best and doesn't mind paying more for it."

You won't find Hathaway's next to your average $2.99 plastic bottle of bloody-mary mix.

A 32-ounce glass bottle - sold at your pricier restaurants, clubs, bars and boutique liquor shops - goes for between $7.99 and $9.99, and for good reason.

Bright is targeting lovers of high-quality bloody marys, and he's got the ingredients to prove it.

From the horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, sea salt and lime juice bottled in Hathaway's Original to the pureed jalapeņos, black pepper corn and various spices in Hathaway's Robust, every ingredient tastes as fresh as if you mixed it in your own kitchen, he says.

There's even Hathaway's Energy, with ginkgo, taurine, vitamins B6 and B12, and a shot of caffeine.

Cheaper mixes are bottled while cold or at room temperature, but Bright heats his mixes up to 180degrees to "emulsify" and "pasteurize" them before they're poured into bottles.

"It really does bring out the flavors," he said.

He knows a thing or two about bloody mary mixes.

With Appleton Lane Inc. - a food and beverage distributor housed under the same roof in Fontana, and of which Bright is president - he's gotten a first-hand look at cheaper bloody-mary mixes that he makes for other companies.

He isn't downplaying those brands and says Hathaway's isn't even a competitor. He just thinks a certain crowd is willing to pay more for fresher ingredients. He says he's tired of seeing high-end vodka poured into low-end mixes.

Bright started the venture after 24 years in the alcoholic beverage industry, and 13 years in the food-beverage wholesale distribution business. It's been 14 months since he and a group of investors around California put their heads together to create Hathaway's.

The brand seems to be catching on quickly, but only time will tell whether it can last in a post-recession economy when many consumers are feeling down and out when it comes to spending money.

Besides Hathaway's getting attention at bars, clubs, restaurants and country clubs around California, local places carrying the mix include Espiau's in Claremont, Total Wine in Rancho Cucamonga, Red Hill Country Club in Rancho Cucamonga, New York Grill in Ontario, JD Allison's Bar & Grill in Upland and the DoubleTree Hotel's restaurant/bar in Ontario.

Liquorama in Upland was the first to carry Hathaway's.

"I don't think we've found a person yet that didn't like it," said Liquorama owner John Solomon. "People love it."

An investor in the company himself, Solomon said Hathaway's is increasingly becoming the mix that party hosts save for themselves while unleashing the cheaper mixes during the party.

"There was never an option like this in the bloody-mary category," he said. "It's fresher."

"Fresh" remains Bright's selling point - and so does the pricier price tag.

"We've spent a year to develop these recipes to know they're right," Bright said. "It's a complete departure to what a bloody mary has been."

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Jeanfromfillmore
10-27-2009, 04:20 PM
Bloody Marys are often drank as a cure for a hangover, so many people won't care as much about the taste as much as the results. Me myself, just stick a celery stalk in it and I'm happy. But my Scotch, well that's another story. I gotta have a single malt. All the other stuff just isn't worth the burn.