On a recent Friday night, The Grove at the W Hotel in South Beach was filled with mingling guests and a celebration, all in the name of good liquor. With trees ornamented in lingering lights, complimentary hors d’oeuvres and a cool summer breeze, came the launch party for Moscai, the world’s first ready-to-drink craft cocktail, and a large fraction of Miami’s “it” crowd was there to taste it.
“I think Miami is the right place to launch a summer refreshing cocktail with a poolside appeal; with a beach appeal; with a party appeal,” said Karan Raturi, 27, Founder and CEO of Elixer, which makes Moscai. “We are talking about a real, true mixology cocktail that’s going to be enjoyed by everyone now in any venue they choose to be in.
Moscai is an already made cocktail with five times distilled American-made, small batch vodka and blended with all natural extracts of ginger, honey, green tea and lime. At 120 calories and 15 percent alcohol per drink, Moscai is – according to Raturi – stronger than any ready-to-drink cocktail out there promising no juices, artificial flavors, nor preservatives.
The projects for the new drink commenced 14 months ago with everything from design, to trying hundreds of recipes and a ten thousand-person study to see people’s flavor preferences in sweetness, package design and price points.
“The hardest part is explaining to people that it’s a ready-to-drink cocktail,” said JP Parlavecchio, who has been in the nightlife business for about 35 years and teamed-up with Raturi, to create a new drinking experience regarding craft cocktails. “I saw a void, that there was no ready-to-drink mixologyst drink, and it’s an opportunity… almost like when the first wine coolers came out; it’s something no one has done yet.“
Parlavecchio’s key role is to find the mechanism and the vertical to introduce Moscai into nightclubs and restaurants.
The native New Yorker came to Miami in 1992 and effectively opened whiskey bars, lounges, cafés, restaurants and nightclubs between Miami and New York. He plans to take Moscai and introduce it into the hospitality industry by mainly focusing on the young professionals, the trendsetters, the travelers, and the go-getters.
“There is no brand in the world today that is doing what we are doing,” added Raturi. “There is a millennial generation that is craving quality cocktails and if you think about it, a lot of time what we are drinking is limited only by choice.”