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Blake Shelton may have sung about a “couple of cold ones” in his hit song, “The More I Drink,” but the country star is jumping on the hard seltzer bandwagon this summer with launch of his new Smithworks Hard Seltzer Lemonade.
Best-known for their American-made vodka, Smithworks has partnered with Shelton on the launch of four alcoholic lemonade flavors (5% ABV): Classic Lemon, Ripe Strawberry, Southern Peach Tea and Crisp Lime.
The singer says it was a no-brainer to put his “own spin” on the hard seltzer trend, which is quickly becoming one of the fastest growing categories in the ready-to-drink market.
“With the category growing so fast, we wanted to come up with our own spin on the hard seltzer trend that payed homage to our Heartland values and leaned into America’s favorite summertime lemonade beverage,” Shelton tells Rolling Stone, adding that he “carefully chose each flavor for its connection to the Heartland.”
We talked to Shelton about swapping spirits for seltzer, his post-quarantine plans, and why he can’t wait to have drinks in person soon with Kelly Clarkson and their fellow The Voice coaches.
People often picture country singers as beer or whiskey guys – when did you start drinking hard seltzers?
I’m actually more of a vodka guy, which is why Smithworks is something I’m so proud of. When this category started to grow, I wanted to know what all the hype was about so I tried it and immediately enjoyed the ease of popping open a can, when it’s less convenient to bring a bottle and mixer.
Does this mean you’re giving up vodka?
I love Smithworks vodka, but the more options the better, right? The hard lemonade seltzers are perfect to pack up in a cooler and spend the day out on Lake Texoma.
We’ve had a tough year with everything that’s happened in the world – how did that affect your launch plans with Smithworks?
This was actually the perfect time to launch the seltzers. After a year of being locked down and with summer and warmer weather right around the corner, we all need something to look forward to so we can enjoy all the feelings of summer, appreciate the good stuff and get back to some fun.
Once things fully open up, who’s the first person you’re going to have a drink with?
I think a day at Lake Texoma with The Voice coaches would be a fun outing and a perfect way to enjoy all the hard seltzer flavors. Kelly being born and raised in Texas is probably pretty familiar with a lake day and I bet John [Legend] has too, being from Ohio. But for Nick [Jonas], it just might be a new experience. There’s nothing like spending a day on the pontoon boat with friends and a cooler full of your favorite beverages.
What are you looking forward to most for the rest of 2021?
I’m especially looking forward to this summer when we can all finally kick back, relax on a hot day by the lake with my favorite hard lemonade seltzer flavor in hand. The Heartland is all about spending quality time with close family and friends, and that’s one of the biggest things I’m looking forward to when life gets a little safer. It’s simple moments like these that I’m most looking forward to — starting new traditions with old friends and now with Smithworks. Cheers to that!