Jenny McCarthy releases signature cocktails
Nearly every celebrity is in the game of creating their own product. Whether it is perfume, a clothing line, or food and beverages, the fact of being famous is no longer enough. But for actress, model and television host Jenny McCarthy, joining the creative game was born out of a personal need: an alcohol she wasn’t allergic to. Blondies cocktails was her answer.
“I wondered in college why, when I would drink beer I couldn’t breathe. My face would turn red and I couldn’t talk,” said McCarthy, who tested her son’s allergies along with her own, finding out that she was allergic to 60 different things. “Once I cleaned up the gluten and dairy, my life was so much better. My rosacea, my rashes are gone, my stomach isn’t bloated. But I still didn’t have a go-to drink.”
Before she created Blondies, McCarthy would take packets of Emergen-C and add Stevia to water and gluten free vodka and that was her beverage of choice. Surprised by how many people had the same type of allergy, she aimed to find a distillery that would help her create something that was low calorie, sugarless and full of electrolytes.
“I’m so proud of it,” she said of her new cocktail mix, currently available in lemonade and strawberry lemonade. “I’m allergic to the world. I was someone who didn’t have their cocktail when I went out because I’m allergic to beer, wine and most vodkas so it was really hard for me.”
McCarthy set out to find a company that would be able to help, meeting with a few who wanted to use chemicals and she wanted real fruit and no artificial colorings. She eventually found a distillery in her hometown of Chicago.
“I found Mid-Oak Distillery, Inc. in south side Chicago,” she said. “They said it was illegal to put electrolytes in a drink but we found another way to fulfill that.”
One of the chemists suggested using coconut water, but extracting the coconut, so the end matter was simply infused electrolyte water. McCarthy then added Stevia, real fruit juice and gluten free vodka, conducting numerous taste tests before finalizing the product, like lowering the Stevia content to keep the drink at 100 calories.
“The whole process probably took about two years, which I think is pretty fast,” noted McCarthy of the idea going from her head to the shelves. “I was driving everyone crazy. They were like, ‘Jenny, fruit grows on trees, you have to wait for it to grow if you want real fruit juice.’”
McCarthy and her team created 12 flavors but limited them to two universal ones: lemonade and strawberry lemonade.
“Those flavors are pretty basic for everyone,” she said. “My favorite was grapefruit, which will probably come out next summer and there will be more as time goes on.”
McCarthy launched her new mixed vodka cocktail on Nov. 15 at Total Wines & More in Westbury. Guests got the chance to meet the actress, purchase a bottle of Blondies and have their bottle signed by McCarthy. As for how to enjoy Blondies, McCarthy prefers the mix on it’s own over ice, but she recommends club soda for those who like a carbonated, sparkling sizzle with their drink.
While she prepares for the end of 2017 and beginning of a new year, McCarthy has a whole list planned, which hopefully includes checking those items off with a glass of Blondies in hand.
“I’m dedicating my time to doing all the things I’ve wanted to do instead of have to do,” she said. “I really want to launch a web show, so that’s maybe on the horizon, a way more Internet based, web-viral Jenny.”
For more on Blondies cocktails, visit www.blondiescocktails.com.