Dartmouth, SouthCoast ready-to-drink canned Grow Cocktails expands – SouthCoastToday.com

DARTMOUTH — During the pandemic, some people took advantage of the quarantine to pursue their entrepreneurial spirit and start small businesses. 
For Sy and Martha Yules, they launched a bartender quality craft cocktail “ready to drink” (RTDs) line, that is now sold at 28 locations throughout the SouthCoast.
“We are a vodka-based with real organic ingredient cocktails,” said Martha Yules, owner of Grow Cocktails.
“When you look at some of these other drinks that are out there that everyone thinks are true RTDs, they’re just all fake flavors and cheap vodka or malt beverages.”
The inspiration for their four canned cocktails comes straight from their home garden.
“We grow a lot of things that inspire what we end up using,” said Sy Yules, the chemist and creative mind behind the South Dartmouth cocktail brand.
The four main canned drinks are Red Wanderer; a blend of hibiscus and vanilla bean vodka, lime juice; Hot Shot, jalapeno and habanero vodka with ruby red grapefruit juice; Hoppy Place, cascade hops and roasted cardamom vodka and lemon juice; and French Twist, a blend of lavender and vanilla vodka.
Fishing gear shop opens:Last-minute option for fisherman at Kilburn Mill
All the concoctions also have blue agave as the sweetener, sparkling water and vodka from Dirty Water Distillery in Plymouth. 
Each 12-ounce can contains 8% alcohol.
“It lends itself to capturing that special moment with a really good friend where you just really want to have a good conversation,” said Martha Yules, adding that each can is equivalent to two drinks.
Grow Cocktails came to market in July 2021.
The canned cocktail is available in stores such as Lee’s Wines and Spirits in Westport, Friend’s Marketplace in Rochester, Portugalia Marketplace in Fall River and Freitas Package Store in New Bedford.
“They come very highly recommended,” said Jason Diaz, an employee at Acme Liquors in South Dartmouth.
“When people come in and buy it, they first think it’s overpriced ($19.99 per four pack), but it’s really not. People are really happy with the quality, and they get good reviews.”
Diaz doesn’t think there are many locally made canned cocktails in the store. 
‘It gives our customer another dining option’: Parklets return to New Bedford
“We are restocking these a lot in the fridge,” he added. “Everyone who gets them always comes back for more of them almost right away.”
Last month, Grow Cocktails joined forces with Alden Johnson of Coastal Craft Distributors to be one of the company’s first RTDs. 
They have already extended their reach to 10 other locations from Duxbury to Medfield, as well as in Martha’s Vineyard.
Get your calendars ready:Here is a listing of upcoming food festivals on the SouthCoast
People can also enjoy a Grow Cocktails with their meal at restaurants such as Black Bass GrilleBack EddyWalrus & Captain and Joe’s Original.
“When you drink like a gin and tonic, it’s like the the last third you’re kind of chasing the drink because it waters out,” added Yules. “Ours hold up, they are good at the beginning as good as they are at the end.”
In March 2006, Yules and Martha Yules moved to South Dartmouth from North Attleboro. Yules served as a manager at Joe’s Original for a number of years. During the pandemic, he was tasked with coming up with a good “on-the-go” cocktail.
“We were doing 100% takeout then,” he said. “And I just thought we need a really good cocktail that would make us stand out.”
Also an expert cook, Yules said he was driving home from work when he suddenly had the idea of incorporating ingredients from their garden to create a fresh cocktail.
The Newbie: Hey SouthCoast, have you had a glass of wine at these places yet?
He made a sangria, fittingly named Sydney’s Lavender Sangria, which included vodka, lavender, vanilla, agave and lemon juice.
“It’s SouthCoast garden to glass,” he said.
Yules said there are three categories for RTDs: hard seltzer containing 4% alcohol; 8% alcoholic cocktails; and 12% drinks like the traditional cosmos, margaritas, bourbons that open the container and pour over ice.
“But they’re not new. They’re kind of the old standards,” said Martha Yules. “What we offer is an innovative, interesting blend of organic and fresh flavors. And great vodka.
“It’s a real cocktail.”
Most of the ingredients are locally sourced such as the lavender from Stone Pony Gardens in Westport. Anything they can’t get from a nearby farm or grow themselves, they make sure it’s still organic.
Sy Yules said they organized a “Christmas Club” of 20 families to be their test market; they were also the ones who helped them come up with the different names.
They also organize tastings around the SouthCoast.
‘Heart and soul will still be the same’: NB’s Pour Farm Tavern changes owners
“Everyone that’s tried it loves it. And we’ve been able to keep up with the demand. But we think we’re gonna blow off the doors really soon,” said Martha Yules.
However, the challenge has been to scale and find a distillery or organization that can help scale and produce in New England.
“The integrity of the quality is really our No. 1 concern. This is our baby,” Yules added.
She said they are very specific about where we go because the product is so unique.
“It needs to be understood to be sold by our stores, and we want to make sure we’ve got good distribution,” she said.
Sy and Martha Yules, parents of four kids and four grandkids, said the experience of working on a business together has been fun.
Yules calls himself the technical math person, the chemist, while he said his wife is the expert at sales and marketing.
 “We’re a great team, we balance each other out in many, many good ways,” he said, adding that if anyone has an idea they shouldn’t be afraid to just go for it.
“Just make sure you have stamina and make sure you have patience,” Martha added. “We’re working in a heavily regulated industry, and stuff pops up all the time that we never would’ve thought of.”
Beer Garden:Buzzards Bay Brewing’s outdoor escape is back
“But we’re having fun. We like the creative process,” Sy Yules quickly chimed in.
Martha Yules said what makes it all worthwhile is seeing people taste the drink and seeing their reaction, especially hearing what they taste first and last.
“If we can get in front of people, they will buy it because it’s good, it’s really clean, fresh and local.”
Standard-Times staff writer Seth Chitwood can be reached at schitwood@s-t.com. Follow him on twitter: @ChitwoodReports. Support local journalism by purchasing a digital or print subscription to The Standard-Times today.