When making hard drinks or cocktails, one of the less-considered elements is the mixer. Usually some kind of fizzy concoction – such as a club soda, or a soft drink – mixers often make up the most of the best cocktails around, giving an extra kick or fruity punch to balance out the harder elements of the beverage. Unfortunately for those who don’t drink, there hasn’t been much emphasis on these mixers, leaving them with less-endearing options to choose from.
That is, until now. On Thursday, actress and Hollywood superstar Blake Lively announced the release of her latest endeavor, “Betty Buzz,” a new line of sparkling mixers “crafted for your favorite spirits, but tasty enough to fly solo,” according to the company’s Instagram bio. The bottled mixers, which are kosher, vegan-friendly, gluten-free and made with real fruit juice, were inspired by Lively’s experience with her husband, Ryan Reynolds: the famed “Deadpool” star and brain behind Aviation American Gin.
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“I don’t drink. I know that’s odd coming from the wife of an infamous gin slinger,” Lively writes in the company’s “about” statement. “Over the past many years of mixing but not drinking cocktails, it became clear mixers are the unsung heroes of the drink world and deserve just as much love as alcohol. We’ve spent the last three years crafting Betty Buzz and are so excited for people to finally taste it.”
The mixers take inspiration from some of the most classic mixers often found behind the bar, featuring flavors such as ginger beer and tonic water, as well as custom fruit mixes such as sparkling lemon lime, sparkling grapefruit and a Meyer lemon club soda. Each soda is easy to pair with a liquor to make a cocktail alternative, but each drink can be enjoyed as their own refreshing splash, straight out of the bottle.
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According to Lively, the project has been in the works for around three years, with the actress saying she’s been incredibly involved in the project’s development; unlike other celebrity-backed products.
“I know every celebrity says they’re ‘so excited to unveil this secret project they’ve been working on’. And it always seems questionable. Years? Years??” Lively wrote in an Instagram story Thursday afternoon. “You won’t get that here… I’m mortified that I’ve spent 3 years obsessing over the exact bubble size and quantity for the perfect, tightly explosive pops.”
Each soda is made with all-natural ingredients – including agave syrup, real fruit juice, natural flavors and occasionally a kick of salt or sugar – and is made in the USA, both points of emphasis for both the company and Lively. The drinks are available to all to enjoy, having been certified Kosher and devoid of typical allergens, according to the company website. Lively, while poking fun at her commitment to the project, is incredibly proud of the finished work.
“Think of all I could have accomplished in the amount of time I tried 17 versions of Meyer Lemon Club Soda,” Lively wrote. “Or giving notes on how to more lightly balance the real fruit juice in each flavor… because there was no way our Betty Buzz sparkling mixers could have crap flavors or sweeteners… But ultimately, all I did was the fun stuff. And truth be told, the easy stuff. So thank you to everyone who’s worked on Betty Buzz to make it the best thing ‘I’ve’ ever done.”
With their release on Thursday, Betty Buzz hopes to take a unique position in the new drinking market: sodas made specifically for cocktail mixing. While products such as margarita and bloody mary mix have existed for years, and the “Rum and Coke” has been a bartop favorite for decades, there really has never been a specific soda for just the occasion, even if you don’t drink– like its creator.
“I don’t drink. With Betty Buzz, you don’t have to. Or you can. It’s your mouth,” Lively wrote.
Photography by: Kelly Taub, BFA