Never one to miss an opportunity, word leaked recently that Jefferson’s is planning an extra special release of their popular Ocean series. This will be the first Voyage aged on traditional flatboats, and its location will make it an even more exclusive release than Jefferson’s Presidential series. Aged in the famous Ocean Spray cranberry bogs, the new Voyage…you guessed it… will go by the moniker “Ocean Spray Voyage.”
Jefferson’s had originally planned to age their next barrels for the Ocean series aboard the Pacific Princess cruise ship, famed for its role in the popular television show The Love Boat. The batch was to be labeled Jefferson’s Ocean, Voyage of Love, but alas, the coronavirus derailed those plans. Trey Zoeller had even secured Ted Lange, who played The Love Boat’s famed bartender Isaac, for a promotional campaign, but those plans have also sunk with the ship.
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The decision to move the barrels to a cranberry bog wasn’t one that surfaced immediately. After discussions with the United States Navy, Coast Guard, the American Sportfishing Association, and Red Lobster, it was determined that during the pandemic, no vessel was open to carrying the bourbon. Zoeller, however, had one last idea he wanted to float by his team.
At his 2019 Thanksgiving Day soiree, Zoeller had harvested so many cranberries from the famed Ocean Spray cranberry bogs that he and his guests simply could not eat them all. Once the tryptophan hit, everyone fell asleep and woke up to find that the bourbon left in glasses sitting next to the uneaten cranberry sauce had unexpectedly picked up the essence of the cranberries. This got everyone thinking and upon further conversations with experts at Ocean Spray, the plan came to fruition to co-brand the spirit, as Zoeller wanted to give some credibility to the release, something Jefferson’s has always been in search of.
Further information from our inside sources revealed that one of the reasons Ocean Spray was so in favor of this co-brand was that they were trying to recapture the appeal of the cranberry now that the cosmopolitan cocktail has fallen out of favor. With Sex & the City no longer in heavy rotation for pop culture, cranberry juice hasn’t been as big a commodity for craft cocktails. The release of the Ocean Spray Voyage will come with a recipe for a bourbon cosmopolitan, and gift packs will be available that include branded glassware, a 32-ounce bottle of Ocean Spray Cranberry Cocktail juice, and fresh cranberries. Because it’s being sold with fresh berries, the gift packs will be placed in the produce section as opposed to the liquor section, giving Jefferson’s and Ocean Spray another leg up.
The Ocean Spray Voyage is set to debut later this month, just in time for the holidays.
This may sound like a parody, but I assure you that it is as real as the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, & that Lusty Claw is actually sourced from Stitzel Weller. It's a joke damnit!
The fifteen months Bob Bennett spent living in Lebanon, KY, as a child may have laid the groundwork for what would happen years later (something in the water…literally). Originally from Corning, NY, he grew up in a household where happy hour was celebrated every night. Surprisingly, Bennett didn’t start drinking until he was 23 years old. He quickly made up for lost time, gravitating to bourbon as his preferred libation immediately, and proudly filled the bar that was passed down from his father. In the years that followed, not only did he develop a deeper appreciation for bourbon, but began to cherish the opportunity to talk about the spirit he has grown to love. As the Artistic Director for Jazz St. Louis, Bennett has become the unofficial bourbon ambassador of jazz, spreading the gospel of good taste to musicians everywhere. It also helps endear him to the St. Louis community, which is needed, as bleeding Dodger Blue tends to rub those Cardinal fans the wrong way.
Read Bob's full profile.
I think the partnership is inspired in that it gets Jefferson’s out of the liquor section, and into the produce section near the cranberries. More visibility and it’s earlier in most customers’ journey through the store. Genius! 🙂