May 2, 2020 – Like everything these days, celebrating Mother’s Day is going to be different this year so here’s a bold suggestion: set Mom up with a membership at Haus the new, all-American aperitif that’s only available online.
Haus is the creation of winemaker Woody Hambrecht and his techie/marketing wife, Helena. They live on a farm in Sonoma where they grow chardonnay grapes, and all kinds of fruit and botanicals. And they like aperitifs which is rather more a European habit than American. But timing is everything and if market trends are showing us anything it’s that new concepts and flavors are catching on in the world of drinks. Millennials are definitely looking for ways to cut back on sugar and all things artificial but they are not alone. Boomers are now at an age where they still want a drink but have to consider health issues as are Gen Xers. Gen Zs are into everything and powering innovations like hard seltzers and all kinds of things in a can.
Enter Haus in late 2019.
Here’s how Helena describes their goal:
We wanted to make something totally different. Something with lower alcohol and lower sugar than what’s out there today. Something with no sketchy or artificial ingredients.
It all started with an excess vintage of chardonnay and meyer lemons which Woody blended, adding a bit of this and that until he came up with a recipe that worked. Traditional aperitifs such as vermouths, Campari, Aperol are a combination of sweet and bitter. They are primarily used in building a cocktail but can be consumed on their own. The Hambrechts wanted theirs to stand alone or with ice or a splash of soda and they wanted a libation lower in alcohol than spirits. Since Haus is wine based, the alcohol level is 15 percent whereas vodka, whiskey, rum and so on are 40 percent. Also being wine based, they can sell direct to consumers.
Hard to Choose a favorite
We sampled Citrus Flower and Bitter Clove and it was hard to choose a favorite. Citrus Flower is made with unoaked chardonnay, lemon, elderflower, cinnamon, hibiscus, grapefruit and raw cane sugar. It is a little sweet but not very; a little citrusy but not very. The flavors are subtle, smooth but crisp and refreshing. It’s not like drinking chardonnay and it’s not like drinking hard liquor. That’s how aperitifs are supposed to be. The Bitter Clove tastes neither bitter nor clove-ish but the botanicals are really different producing earthy spiciness that is drier than its sister, Citrus Flower. Bitter Clove’s base is also unoaked chardonnay, star anise, artichoke leaf, clove, bay leaf, Saigon cinnamon and ginger. We were struck by how satisfying they were to sip. Definitely not made for guzzling shots.
Not only is Haus a different drinking experience, it is also marketed differently. It is available only online direct to consumers and this year they launched a membership program, a monthly subscription for access to exclusive offerings and programs.
Haus Membership is free to join, members simply pay for the monthly bottle allotment of their choice and gain access to member-only perks such as exclusive flavor launches, product discounts and events. Membership is available in three tiers:
6 Bottle: Members receive first access to exclusive flavors and events, 20% off all orders, and free shipping ($144 per month)
2 Bottle: Members receive early access to exclusive flavors and events, 10% off all orders, and free shipping ($63 per month)
1 Bottle: Members receive access to exclusive flavors and events, as well as free shipping ($35 per month)
Haus also offers a Starter Kit comprising a 200 ml bottle each of Citrus Flower and Bitter Clove plus a Haus tote bag for $30.00. This is a good introduction to Haus and it makes a lovely gift as the presentation is elegant and sophisticated.
Haus also has launched a program to benefit restaurants during this time of closure. It is a really creative, generous and innovative way to help the industry and the details are here: The Restaurant Project One hundred percent of the profits go to the restaurant immediately and you can even nominate a favorite chef.
Mom needs something special to sip as she SIP. Haus is a beautiful solution. To learn more visit drink.haus