Sangria lovers are about to get a taste of a new line of the popular cocktail, St.Gria, produced by a husband and wife team that have concocted three unique flavor combinations that blend fresh juices, teas and spices.
The first batch of the St.Gría line, which has been in the development and tasting stage for the past year, will be produced later this month, Sachira Rodríguez, who is an advertising and marketing executive-turned-mixologist, said.
The premium artisan sangria comes in three flavors — Pitahaya y Playa, “made with love and champagne;” Mango y Miel, “made with love and whiskey;” and Acerola y Cha Cha Cha, described as a “cocktail made with love and ginger tea.”
“A year ago, we decided to bottle our creations. These premium artisanal sangrias are made with the juices that we produce, the distilled spirits are premium. Our sangrias feature different flavors and textures to stand out,” Rodríguez said, who says the cocktails feature a mix of mango, acerola (Caribbean cherry) and pitahaya (Dragon Fruit) with whiskey and champagne.
On the road to formally entering the competitive sangria market segment, Rodríguez said she and her husband spent a year participating in “pop-up” demonstrations, which confirmed that the three flavors were the best sellers.
Initially, the company wants the brand to be sold in a limited amount to the customer following it has gathered so far in person and through social media campaigns, she said.
“We’re seeing how people accept the product, because we’re doing more promotions, putting more money into our campaigns, so we’re testing,” she said.
But eventually, Rodríguez would like to expand production and distribution in retailers in Puerto Rico, and export.
St.Gría will be produced in a small plant on Andalucía Ave. in San Juan that will eventually be opened once a week so customers can taste, experience the production process, and buy the products, she said.
“For now, the focus would be on the flavors and the new plant, but I would like to emphasize that this is a company created by a woman and that’s something that draws attention and changes the perspective of many people,” she said.
“I have had my supporters — my husband and my family — who haven’t let me give up during this whole process, which has already taken a year of getting permits and everything that having an alcohol manufacturing operation entails,” she said.
“Now finally, after paying a year of rent without making any money, I can say that I’m ready to take on everything that is ahead of me,” Rodríguez said, adding that “eventually, I would like to make this a brand that supports women in everything that they set out to do.”