Coming to a location near you: Redneck Juice
Sportmans Bar & Grill owners Ed and Missi Fazekas knew their homemade Bloody Mary mix was top-notch. But who knew once they marketed Sportsmans Redneck Juice to the public it would be sold in 31 stores in just five weeks?
The Fazekas’ have been making their famous Bloody Marys since Missi and her sister bought the business from Bette Bruette in 1995.
“We’ve been tweaking it ever since so it would get to the point where a bartender could just pour it,” Ed said. “We wanted it to be consistent every time someone ordered it.”
All the ingredients for the mix are listed on the bottle, but of course how they’re all blended together to create the perfect flavor is a secret, Ed said.
The bar and grill’s website touts its Bloody Mary as being the “St. Croix Valley’s No. 1 Bloody Mary.”
“The meal in itself” is garnished with a pickle spear, olive, fresh shrimp, beef stick and homemade deviled egg, according to the website.
“People come in all the time just for them,” Ed said. “We have had people from Eau Claire, Eagan, Minn., all over bring in their friends just for these.”
Ed and Missi got the idea to sell their mix to the public because they were getting a lot of requests from people to buy it in bulk.
“With all the campers and tubers in the summer, we were selling a lot of it,” Ed said. “We would put it in whatever containers we could find -- washed out sour cream containers, milk jugs, five-gallon buckets, one- and two-quart to-go cups. That way people could take it back to the campgrounds.”
Ed said they received requests for it many weekends for graduation parties and weddings. They bought milk jugs specifically for it to make it easier for people to carry out.
“We were easily going through 40 to 50 gallons some weekends,” Ed said.
A few weeks ago, Sportsmans Redneck Juice, in its official capacity as a distributed product, was born. The mix is made in bulk, bottled and packaged at Snappy Valley Foods in River Falls. Ed distributes and delivers the product. Their three children have also helped by taking orders and doing tastings, Ed said.
“The design for the container came from our thought that ‘you sell it the way you sell it,’” Ed said.
The website for Redneck Juice explains the packaging as “The container, label and name were a byproduct of how we sold it for the past 17 years (Any ol’ way that was red neck-in way). So what better than a milk jug, orange juice cap and some duct tape. The Sportsmans Redneck Juice was born.”
A product must be pasteurized to be distributed in bulk, so that’s another reason the product is made at Snappy Valley Foods and not at the Sportsmans itself, Ed said.
Since they began marketing Sportsmans Redneck Juice to liquor stores, 31 stores have started carrying it in just five weeks.
“Not too shabby,” Ed said with a smile.
Most of the stores carrying their mix are in Wisconsin; two are in Minnesota.
“We want to start out small and not get too big too fast,” Fazekas said. “It’s a local product, so I’ve been focusing on Wisconsin. We’ll start out with a small circle and add a little more, then a little more.”
Ed said he markets their mix by just being himself. He said it also helps that the Redneck Juice is a local product.
“I basically introduce myself, get them to sample it and talk to them about who we are and how long we’ve been in business,” Ed said. “Usually when they taste our new product they are on board. Being we’re a small local business made in Wisconsin, a lot of people want to work together and try to help each other out.”
The Fazekas’ have hosted several tastings. Ed plans to send samples to friends in Kansas City, San Diego, Phoenix, and Louisville to share with their friends, while widening his network.
Ed is also in the process of making the product available to purchase online. Their website provides different drink recipes for the juice.
Ed said the mix is great for recipes other than drinks. He has used it in chili, tomato soup, enchiladas, lasagna and hot dishes.
Sportsmans Redneck Juice sells for $6.99 to $7.99 per half-gallon, depending on the store. It’s also available at the Sportsmans Bar & Grill for $7.95.
For more information or to place an order visit sportsmansredneckjuice.com, visit their Facebook page or call 715-760-1093.
The Fazekas’ plan to host a kick-off party for their product in January or February.