Conelly Cocktails: New Brand Pairs Juice, Liquor In Unique Package, Tampa

Pour, pour, shake, shake, shake and you'll have an instant adult beverage that can compete with a drink from your favorite bartender.

Hendrik Bisanz and Bridget Bohannon are the founders of BHB Import LLC, a wine and spirits company. Established in 2008, BHB Import has spent the past two years solidifying approvals and is now the exclusive importer of Conelly Cocktails. Conelly Cocktails was founded in Austria and thanks to BHB Import, its U.S. headquarters will be in Tampa.

Conelly Cocktails entered the market officially in October 2010. "The product, which is patent pending in the U.S. is the first of its kind to co-package spirits and natural juices," says Bisanz.

Why a patent? The two components of the product, liquor and natural juices, have never been packaged together as one single item. When liquor is mixed with natural juices, it is usually consumed shortly afterward. Bisanz explains that the spirits attack the pectin structure of juices, so the two couldn't be packaged into one single container. So your favorite mixed beverage, perhaps a Cosmopolitan or another popular martini, could never be picked up from the liquor store as one item. Until now.

Conelly Cocktails offers mixed drinks, such as Sex on the Beach, Mai Tais and Ladykillers, in one packaged product. Depending on how you want to put your cans (the spirit or the juice) together, you will have the spirit on top and the juice on the bottom, held together by a ring that doubles as a can opener. The entire packing is completely recyclable as well.

"It's a new category. People always ask us who our competitors are, but it's hard to make our competitors out because the category that we've defined ourselves, is 'ready to shake.' There is nothing like that," says Bisanz.

Conelly Cocktails is available only in select markets, which includes Tampa Bay, and was recently approved for sale at Total Wine and More. Next steps will be to secure authorized vendor suppliers and hire key market managers across the country.

Writer: Nancy Vaughn
Source: Hendrik Bisanz, BHB Import LLC
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