Inside Rice Village’s Sipple – Texas’ only alcohol-free bottle store for adults


ASince the day Bayou City Hemp Co. put its Mixer Elixer Ranch Water on the shelves at Sipple, Texas’ only alcohol-free bottle store, the CBD-infused seltzer has sold out weekly. The placement in the Rice Village spot four weeks ago was a market test before Bayou City Hemp officially launched the drink at a public event this Saturday, January 8. Now is the perfect time for those observing dry January.

Since Sipple opened in October in a bungalow at 2410 Quenby, owners Helenita and Danny Frounfelkner have hosted tastings on Saturday afternoons at the quaint boutique which offers some 50 brands and 150 products. This Saturday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., the focus will be on Mixer Elixer Ranch Water, the product chef Chris Shepherd and his Underbelly team consulted on.

“Our first partnership with Chris Shepherd helped us better understand restaurant demand for non-alcoholic alternatives and how to tailor the flavor notes of our additives to complement cocktails,” said Ben Meggs, co-founder and CEO of Bayou City Hemp, in a statement. .

The Bayou City Hemp contingent will offer three tastings that will highlight the different uses of Mixer Elixer Ranch water. The seltzer will be served as a stand-alone drink, mixed with Ritual, the popular alternative to tequila, to create an alcohol-free Texas Ranch water, and mixed with a fiery rattlesnake mocktail. Bayou City Hemp Ranch Water contains 25 mg of hemp-derived CBD, infused through the team’s nano-emulsion innovation to allow the body to absorb CBD more easily and feel the effects faster.

Ranch Water’s alcohol-free, calorie-free and sugar-free water is in keeping with the Frounfelkner philosophy that guides their carefully curated collection of “adult soft drinks”.

“We don’t believe in trading alcohol for sugar,” says Danny PaperCity.

Sipple shelves come fully stocked with a wide variety of alcohol-free bottles. (Photo by Therron Francis)

With 20 years of hospitality experience, much of it as Director of Beverages and Sommelier, and with experience in wine production in his native California and Italy, Danny Frounfelkner brings particular expertise to the world of non-alcoholic drink options. In the year he spent working at Sipple, Danny says he spoke to some 150 brands and tasted 300 to 400 different products.

Danny had slowed down his alcohol consumption before the pandemic and during the shutdowns he completely quit drinking. Like many who avoid alcohol for health reasons, religious restraints, or simply out of personal preference, the owner of Sipple is excited about the rapid growth of the non-alcoholic beverage industry. He’s not talking about non-alcoholic grocery store wine. Rather, it talks about sophisticated taste points in all of the offerings that Sipple has to offer.

“There are a lot of horrible alcohol-free wines on the market. It’s grape juice for adults, ”he says.

Sipple offers non-alcoholic beers, wines, spirits and aperitifs and the owners are on hand to give you an overview of the different products and suggestions for mixing non-alcoholic cocktails.

Helen Frounfelkner notes that on Christmas and New Years, business was booming as hosts filled their bars with alcohol-free alternatives for the growing number of people giving up the drink. These hosts, she said, are looking for something more than Topo Chico or a soft drink to gift their friends.

“Alcohol-free, these are just options for people at home, in restaurants, bars, whether you have a non-alcoholic night, a month or a whole year or a lifetime,” says Danny. “Whatever your why, we have a lot of options.”

As a reminder, he allows him to soak up Mixer Elixer Ranch Water daily, especially at night, just to relax during the day.

About James Almanza

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