I adore DRY soda. I have known the story of DRY for years and have followed their success from a small Seattle based company, to a nationally recognized company with a cool product to share. Last month I got to meet the founder of DRY, Sharelle Klaus and ask her a zillion questions. I culled them down because a lot of them were business related. As a young woman starting her own business from scratch, we had a lot to talk about. And as two gals who really enjoy a good cocktail, we had even more to talk about.
Here are the five questions I asked that are perfect for planning you next dinner party - dinner at home - or picnic in the park. Don't forget, it's always good with a splash of vodka as well!
1. What is your inspiration to come up with flavors? Has the process changed since you developed your first flavors?
When I first started DRY, I was inspired by some of my favorite foods and herbs. For example, lavender was my first idea - it came to me when I was out in my garden and thinking about how great it would taste when paired with chocolate. Rhubarb was inspired by my grandmother, who made me rhubarb pies every summer from the rhubarb growing in her yard. Over the years, several fabulous chefs (some of whom are now great friends of mine) have been involved in our flavor development processes – either by suggesting flavor ideas or by helping us perfect recipes. I also travel internationally whenever I can, and I make it my mission to eat as much local food as possible, which is one of my favorite ways to get inspired. And finally, we receive a load of flavor ideas from our customers. Ideas are sent to me weekly.
2. How do you envision people pairing DRY Sparkling with their dinners?
One of my favorite things about DRY is how it can truly elevate a meal. There is nothing more exciting to me than when I find a brilliant food and beverage pairing. We offer pairing suggestions to our customers on our packaging and on our website, but we also love hearing from our customers about some really fun and unique ways that they have paired DRY or even used it in their cooking.
3. What is your favorite flavor to pair with dinner? (Any chance you’ve added vodka to it?)
I really love cooking with the seasons, so it depends on the time of year. A few of my go-tos include oysters with Blood Orange DRY and triple cream brie with Lavender DRY. Our new summer seasonal flavor, Serrano Pepper, is so much fun to pair with my famous guacamole. And yes – our team (and our mixologist friends) have tried every flavor of DRY with vodka! One of my favorite DRY cocktails is the L&L: vodka and a splash of St. Germain shaken with ice, strained, then topped with lavender DRY and a generous lemon twist.
4. What is the strangest flavor pairing you’ve seen work?
We once did this incredible chocolate pairing with all of these amazing single source chocolates from around the world. It was surprising that Juniper Berry actually paired beautifully with so many of their complex flavors.
5. Any big summer news?
Yes! We just recently announced our brand new summer seasonal flavors – Serrano Pepper DRY Sparkling and Malali Watermelon DRY Sparkling. Both flavors will be available at select retailers from June-August 2016 and are perfect to enjoy throughout the warm summer months. Serrano Pepper DRY is quite savory to accurately reflect the spicy, bright profile of the chili, while Malali Watermelon DRY is juicy and sweet, and tastes just like fresh cut watermelon.
All photos courtesy DRY soda