Founded in 2015 by three friends who tackled the art of bottling bar-quality, preservative-free drinks, Dallas-based On The Rocks has quickly grown to become one of the most successful premium bottled cocktail brands. Over the past two years, the company saw 500 percent growth and added 5,000 retail accounts, including airlines, cruise ships, hotels, and concert venues. Due to COVID-19, On the Rocks has been forced to rethink their business plan, a move which they hope will also benefit the local restaurants industry.
To say restaurants are struggling right now feels like it’s putting things too mildly. Alcohol sales make up a huge percentage of a local restaurant’s revenue and when a bit of hope introduced itself in Dallas with the prospect of alcohol to-go, restaurants may have seen a silver lining. But then, some rules were cleared up by the TABC and local spots realized that they can’t actually sell their signature mixed drinks in styrofoam cups or giant mason jars.
This is where On The Rocks comes in. Though the brand’s natural cocktails, such as The Aviation, The Old Fashioned, and The Jalapeño Pineapple Margarita, are most commonly found for sale in hotels, liquor stores, and in-flight, co-founders Andrew Gill, Rocco Milano, and Patrick Halbert are now hoping to partner with local restaurants to offer a quality, convenient, and (most importantly) legal mixed drink option for take-out and delivery.
“We’re happy to have a product that works,” Gill tells PaperCity. “Everyone’s still trying to figure it out, but we’re seeing a real great coming together in the restaurant and beverage world.”
Nationally, so far, On The Border is now delivering the brand’s Margarita and Jalapeño Margarita across 12 states. Locally, you can find the brand’s drinks on the menu at Fuzzy’s, Asian Mint, Maguires Kitchen in Plano, Homewood, and Taverna Rossa.
“I come from a food and beverage background,” says Milano, a mixologist whose resume includes The Mansion on Turtle Creek. “It’s been amazing to see the Dallas community come together.”