The tartness of grapefruit embraced by a bouquet of hibiscus is the new canned creation of Safe House Distilling Co.
Teller Grapefruit Hibiscus Lemonade Vodka Cocktail is the newest release of the distillery’s successful canned line, which began with its Teller Blueberry Lavender Lemonade Vodka Cocktail. The canned line has extended to its Green Chile Bloody Mary, as well as its collaborations with the Albuquerque Isotopes that include its Teller Watermelon Walk-Off, a watermelon lemonade vodka cocktail, and its canned Mariachis Margarita.
“We just wanted something that was a little more refreshing,” said Chris Leurig, master distiller, of the grapefruit hibiscus canned cocktail. “And something for when you are sitting out on the pool, at the lake, something like that. It’s super refreshing and awesome for the heat.”
Leurig said the goal of the new cocktail was to create something that was not overly sweet. The tartness from the fruit awakens the taste buds and balances out with subtle floral notes of hibiscus.
Safe House has plans in the works for other collaborations including one with the ABQ BioPark.
“We have a lot of people reaching out to us,” Leurig said. “We have some collabs going on soon with other canned cocktails for the zoo and some other people. (The ABQ BioPark) is gonna start having all the canned cocktails there. Some other stuff that they’re doing with it is (they are featuring) different animals on the labels.”
Sales of the distillery’s canned cocktails has been so successful that it is installing a new canning line, which is able to produce slightly over 40 cans per minute, at its location at 616 Gold Ave. SW.
Patrons will have to wait for some of Safe House’s other spirit offerings that are currently aging.
“We have gin aging right now,” Leurig said. “Most of those are in used whiskey barrels but then we have a couple that have been aging in mezcal barrels. So that will be super cool and unique. And then we also have rum aging now.”
The rum is a Caribbean agricole-style spirit that is a high ester rum with notes of butterscotch and vanilla. A release date has not been established.
“Maybe another year or so,” Leurig said. “We don’t want to rush anything until it tastes right. When it tastes right, we’ll sell it. So my guess is probably about a year for that.”
Leurig’s experimental side inspired him to age gin in mezcal barrels.
“I’ve never really seen that anywhere or have had that from anyone,” Leurig said. “But we thought with our gin, how it’s like earthy and super botanical, that the smokiness and kind of earthy flavors from the mezcal would balance really well in it to make a Negroni or something. And then we had a few extra (mezcal barrels) so we filled some with rum as well. I don’t know what that’s gonna be at all. That’s going to be super one off and rare.”
The gin has been aging for about a year and the rum for about six months. It is possible that the gin will be ready for release soon.
“It just all depends,” Leurig said. “These are all kind of first test batches of it. So we’re still kind of finalizing each product and style. And how long it’s actually going to age for all the flavors to extract from the oak.”
Just in time for the cooler weather, Safe House will release a bourbon tentatively in October.
“We released one barrel last summer for Father’s Day, around that time, and it sold out in one day, every bottle,” Leurig said. “That one was kind of like a teaser. It was a little young. It was only like a year aged … All of our barrels that we have aging (now) will hit two years. So we’re doing at least a starter two year minimum on our bourbon. So at that time is when we’re gonna start casing them and bottling them when they’re ready. We have like 100 barrels of that cooking right now.”
Safe House products can be found at retailers around the state. For a list of retailers and other information, visit safehousedistilling.com.