Flocking Around

Nearly branded with the name Dirty Birdie, the Mangia brothers trio are experiencing soaring success with their new canned cocktail, Flocktails, a refreshing blend of lemonade, cranberry juice and vodka. During the trademark process, the brothers decided against “Dirty Birdie” as their product name because of a similarly named beer.

“The flamingo represented our brand, in the vibe we were looking for,” Nick Mangia, co-founder of Flocktails said. “It is summer, it is fun, it is silly and has good vibes.”

Nick is one-third of Flocktails along with his brothers, Anthony and Michael.

“We already had the design of the can including the bird,” Mangia said. “We sat down and were spitting out names that included a bird. We said, ‘Flock….and cocktails… hmmm…Flocktails!’”

By trade, Mangia is a graphic designer. His oldest brother, Anthony, is an accountant. Michael, the youngest of the brothers, is a project manager and helps their father manage Garden City Wines & Spirits along bustling Seventh Street.

“We all grew up watching what my dad did and learning from him, what he has done as a businessman,” Mangia said. “That has helped a lot.”

Mangia said their business idea for Flocktails had been in the works for more than five years and based on a popular cocktail that they enjoy, the Fire Island Zippy, a tasty rum-based cocktail.

“We would always make our own cocktail variations at home and always thought, wouldn’t this be great in a can so we don’t have to mix it all the time.”

They began searching for production resources.

“Canned cocktails, unlike soda or energy drinks, were so new five years ago that no one wanted to be so involved initially,” Mangia said. It was a matter of putting all the pieces together, finding someone to mix the formula and can the cocktail.”

The Mangias went through about five rounds of formula adjustments.

“We would crack open a test batch with friends; it was a lot of fun,” Mangia said. “We would just sample them until we were sure we found ‘the one,’ more of this, less of that.”

The demographics are wide-ranging. The brothers were aiming for the 21- to 30-year-olds, but what they got were the 21- to 60-year-olds.

“We’ll take it,” Mangia said. “Recent feedback has been surprisingly good; the can itself is appealing, too, with the crazy flamingo.”

The alcohol content of most canned cocktails ranges from four to nine percent. Flocktails measures in right in the midrange with seven percent. The sugar content is low and the beverage is gluten-free.

“The lemonade with cranberry combination surprises people in a good way,” Mangia said. “The full flavor and low carbonation intrigues people.”

The brand launched last August.

“This wasn’t exactly good for us because the timeframe for launching a new beverage product for Long Island is May to August,” Mangia said. “We started late and it took more time for stores to get involved, but it is happening for us now.”

The proof is in the wildly expanding local market.

“We have had great response from South Shore stores especially,” Mangia said. Much of the brand’s success has been seen in Suffolk stores.

Locally, you can find Flocktails at Garden City Wines & Spirits (166 7th St., Garden City), Total Wine (1230 Old Country Rd., Westbury) and at Westbury Liquors (1250 Old Country Rd., Westbury).

Visit www.drinkflocktails.com to learn more and to find additional purchase locations.

Christy Hinko
Christy Hinko is a managing editor at Anton Media Group. She is a New York Press Association (NYPA) and Press Club of Long Island (PCLI) award-winning writer and photographer.

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