Spicin’ it up
Chances are if you’re a Bloody Mary connoisseur, you’ve tried the Sportsmans Bar & Grill’s Redneck Juice. And if you haven’t, you should. Plus they’ve perfected a new recipe to add to their repertoire: Spicy Redneck Juice.
Ed Fazekas, who owns the Sportsmans in Somerset with wife Missi, said they perfected their spicy mix at the end of January when they signed up with Bill’s Distributing, a beer and non-alcoholic beverage distribution company out of Menomonie.
“Bill’s wanted two flavors,” Fazekas said. “We wanted to keep the same flavor profile as our original juice, but for it to be spicy.”
It took a few tries, but they finally found a combination they liked, that kept the same Redneck Juice flavor that has proven popular with patrons. The new spicy Redneck Juice was born.
The Fazekas’ are proud that their juice is 100 percent tomato juice.
“It’s not a concentrate like so many that you find out there,” Fazekas said.
When <I>The News<I> interviewed the Fazekas’ in December, their Redneck Juice venture was just weeks old, but was already being sold in 31 stores.
Now, Redneck Juice is being sold in more than 100 grocery stores, liquor stores and gas stations. Plus, it is available in 18 bars.
“We are so excited at how well it’s going,” Fazekas said. “I knew it was a good product, but we are surprised at how much good feedback we’ve been getting.”
The Fazekas’, who have owned the Sportsmans at 217 Main St. in Somerset for almost 19 years, perfected their Bloody Mary recipe over that time. It grew so popular with patrons that they were making it by the buckets full, and struggling to find enough adequate containers to put it in.
The mixes are made in bulk, packaged and distributed from Snappy Valley Foods in River Falls. The packaging is meant to be “redneckish,” being sold in mayonnaise jars and vinegar jugs with the duct tape labeling, as an homage to the days when they would put the juice in any container they could find to fill customer orders.
The mix was originally sold in orange juice cartons, but the Fazekas’ have added the 64-ounce vinegar jugs with a foil seal for freshness and the 32-ounce mayonnaise jars.
“We went through so many different containers: plastic honey jars, orange juice jugs,” Fazekas said of trying to find the perfect container for the new spicy mix.
The Fazekas’ plan is still to continue to grow the brand slowly, with a regional focus. Fazekas would like to expand his distribution area more into Minnesota and northern Wisconsin, and possibly toward Green Bay in the future.
Minnesota businesses that have recently starting selling Redneck Juice are Mattie’s Lanes, Bar & Grille in South St. Paul, MGM Liquor in Woodbury, and Oaks Wine & Spirits in Oak Park Heights.
People will have plenty of chances to attend Redneck Juice tastings this spring and summer. A few that are scheduled include the following:
- Falls Sampler at the Polk County Fairgrounds in St. Croix Falls, Friday, May 3, 5:30-8:30 p.m.
- The “Taste in Cumberland” event, a fundraiser for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Barron County, Cumberland Golf Club, Monday, June 30, 5:30-8:30 p.m.
- Rice Lake Aquafest, June 5-15. Look for times and location at a later date.
Fazekas said he is honored to be asked to attend these events. One he especially enjoyed recently was the Man Show Expo at Staples Lake Bar & Grille in Comstock, where he met Jake from Rugged Custom Calls in Shell Lake. They decided to collaborate together on a giveaway that was promoted on both businesses’ Facebook pages, as a way to cross promote small, Wisconsin businesses.
For more information on locations where Redneck Juice is sold or to buy it online, visit its Facebook page at facebook.com/RedneckJuiceBloodyMary or its website at SportsmansRedneckJuice.com. Prices range from $5.49 to $5.99 for the mayonnaise jars and from $7.49 to $7.99 for the half-gallon vinegar jugs.