By Jasmin Rosemberg By Jasmin Rosemberg | February 7, 2023 | Food & Drink
PHOTO COURTESY OF MELOGRANO COCKTAILS
San Marcos-based husband-and-wife team Reza and Shiva Mortazavi dish on Melograno Cocktails (melogranococktails.com), their ready-to-drink luxury canned creations available in over 50 establishments in San Diego.
What inspired you to launch Melograno Cocktails?
SM: Both my husband and I have true entrepreneurial spirits. We always knew we wanted to create a brand together and build something from the ground up. During our travels, at friends and family gatherings, and upscale events, we noticed your classic offerings: the staple canned seltzers, beers or mixed cocktails. We wanted to create something that was intentionally different from the rest. Something that you could hold in your hand that exuded luxury and design— and tasted delicious. Why can’t a canned cocktail do both? We knew that if we created something with outstanding package design, more complex and flavorful options, and quality ingredients, we could elevate the image of the entire ready-to-drink (RTD) category. And in the early days of Melograno Cocktails, feedback indicates that we did just that.
Melograno Cocktails founders Reza and Shiva Mortazavi PHOTO COURTESY OF MELOGRANO COCKTAILS
What makes these products so special and unique?
SM: Melograno Cocktails is a luxury crafted cocktail. Our cocktails are 100% blue agave-based [and] meticulously handcrafted for those who are looking for a sophisticated take on a classic cocktail recipe in a ready-to- drink, convenient slim can. The 100% blue agave base is what makes us truly an alternative to what you’ve been seeing in the last few years as RTD cocktails have been trending. Instead of distilling agave, we ferment it, which creates a light, refreshing base for all of our classic cocktail recipes. It’s a completely new category. Our customer is someone who likes to enjoy a cocktail, but in a sophisticated way that is also convenient and portable.
the canned cocktails come in four flavors, including a melon margarita PHOTO COURTESY OF MELOGRANO COCKTAILS
Which are your most popular flavors?
RM: We have four classic cocktail recipes that we have reimagined with our taste palate and global take. The category is flooded in basic flavors; Melograno offers canned cocktails inspired by your favorites. We have a margarita, martini, mojito and cosmopolitan. Of the four, most people are gravitating toward the pomegranate cosmopolitan and cucumber lime mojito. When they go for their second, they always try a diff erent flavor that might seem exotic and intriguing, such as the orange blossom martini and melon margarita.
Why are San Diego, and Southern California as a whole, the perfect markets for these products?
RM: San Diego is our home base— we love it here. And San Diego proves to be one of the best [places] weather-wise, in the way where you can almost always enjoy your time outside—which is the ideal way to enjoy your canned cocktails. Though Melograno’s mission is to prove that you can enjoy canned cocktails any time of the year, as it allows the convenience of your favorite drink without any of the hassle.
all of the drinks are 100% blue agave-based and feature a festive package design. PHOTO COURTESY OF MELOGRANO COCKTAILS
Where in San Diego are Melograno Cocktails available?
RM: Total Wine & More, Mrkt Space, Valley Farm Market, Parq Restaurant & Nightclub and Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa, just to name a few.
What’s next for the brand?
SM: It’s really important to win in our home market, so we are really focused on building the brand, making new connections and sharing it throughout Southern California. We’re always brainstorming on how we can put the can and the design front and center, and we recycle all of our cans from our sampling events and look for ways to upcycle them through partnering with local artists who create stunning art pieces. We have also curated a selection of Melograno merchandise that complements the luxury elements of the brand. We are currently being sold online, and we are exploring new flavors and recipes for 2023.