BROWNSBURG — You have to tip your glass to them, preferably if it’s half-filled with vodka.
Hoosier Momma? Three women — including one from Brownsburg and one from Indianapolis — have a Bloody Mary mix with that namesake that’s sweeping across the nation.
Hoosier Momma Bloody Mary Mix has been named as the official mix of the Kentucky Derby Festival 2012. The story is a rapid, random rise to fame, which has culminated with sales in five states and 650 locations, and included a piece in the L.A. Times after famed columnist Chris Erskine had a salty time in Indianapolis with his Bloody Mary experience in May.
“We knew we had a special product on our hands, because it doesn’t taste like anything else on the market,” said KC Cranfill, one of the three creators of Hoosier Momma, along with Erin Edds of
Indianapolis and Cat Hill who resides on the East Coast. “When we formed our corporation in the summer of 2010, we had 20 accounts.
Now we’re on Bourbon Street, the Chicagoland area, we’ve paired up with Jim Beam and their cucumber vodka ... it’s been amazing.
“Our slogan is ‘Momma always told you to eat your veggies,’ so the original idea is to make it garden fresh, so what we’re offering is a mix that, if you had the time and ability to make your own fresh mix at home, this would be it.”
Edds originally conceived the mix and started selling it, along with other items at farmers’ markets in the area. She said she started to notice a distinct cult following developing with the Bloody Mary mix.
From there, the three women got the idea to take it to Royal Foods in Indianapolis and the next thing they knew, it was making its way to grocery store shelves and even liquor stores, starting originally with Crown Liquors.
The mix, however, is not like anything else on the market. There is a healthier element to it that makes it user-friendly to a wide range of ages, and Cranfill said, that’s coming at just the right time.
“The 30 and under crowd sees it as a real hip thing to have a Bloody Mary every now and then, and then as you age you hear people say that they love Bloody Marys, but can’t have all the salt,” she said.
Well, those folks are in luck, because where many mixes can be 60 to 80 percent sodium content, Hoosier Momma prides itself in being the lowest sodium product on the market, hovering in at around 18 percent.
Cranfill said it’s the thickness and the taste that put the product over the top.
“We’re naturally thicker than most products, so you can see when you hold it how the pepper and horseradish floats, whereas most others will be watery,” she said. “So by the time you add vodka and
ice, it still will have a nice consistency.”
They’ve even come out with a spicy version of the product.
“You can drink another product that’s just spicy, but ours is spicy from the tip of your tongue to the back of your throat,” Cranfill said.
She said Hoosier Momma is ideal with premium vodkas.
“We consider ourselves, if you like a premium vodka, to be the mix for you, if you want a great drink,” Cranfill said. “We get a chuckle when people go into the liquor store and buy Grey Goose, then buy a
competitor’s mix that costs $3.99. You’re going to end up tasting more of the mix than the vodka that you paid for. You need to get a premium mix with your premium vodka, and there are so many
premium spirits out there, that’s where people spend most of their money. There are hardly any premium mixes, and we hope to change that.”
She likened their product with the popularity of craft beers as a sign that they’re hitting the market at the right time.
The women’s turning point came when the aforementioned Erskine, who writes a travel series for the L.A. Times, came out to sample the local fares for the Indianapolis 500. When he did, he left with a glowing review of the city, from everything ranging from hospitality and traffic to St. Elmo’s Steakhouse.
One thing left him wanting more though: a decent Bloody Mary. Erskine described in his column the house mix at St. Elmo’s to be akin to the sauce on frozen pizza.
The Hoosier mommas took their shot and sent Erskine a sample of their product. He was so impressed that he described it as the best Bloody Mary mix he’s ever had. From there, came hoards of online orders and West Coast popularity.
Now, with the city embarking on an unprecedented sporting event, Hoosier Momma hopes to parlay their fixture around Indianapolis Colts tailgates to festivities in the city as Super Bowl week hits town.
On the horizon for the women is the spring release of two Margarita mixes: the Key Lime and Strawberry Rhubarb varieties.
Those hoping to find the mix can recognize it by their mascot “Betty,” a blonde pin-up girl who adorns their bottles and sometimes even goes to events with them.
“There’s so much going on,” Cranfill said. “It’s been so fast and furious it’s hard to take a step back, look at where it started, where it is, and where it might go.”
To find a list of retailers that carry the product, visit the website at hoosiermomma.com. Additionally, they can be found on Facebook, showcasing the many events they have been a part of, or on Twitter