Lawrence Cisneros and Brandon Schwartz loved the idea of canned cocktails, but they weren’t impressed by the big brands offered in stores. Unwilling to compromise on quality for convenience, the SoCal entrepreneurs launched Drnxmyth and shook up the industry.
Drnxmyth delivers an authentic cocktail bar experience with its blend of real ingredients and unique innovation. From Bourbon Sour to Margaritas, every flavor is made with cold-pressed fruit juice sourced from California farms. Meanwhile, their twist-to-mix technology keeps the alcohol separate for impossibly easy and truly fresh drinks every time.
Recently, we caught up with Lawrence to learn more about his journey and hear his advice for fellow entrepreneurs.
1. Why did you start Drnxmyth?
I wasn’t an expert drink maker — and I was usually more of a beer drinker — but I always loved a great cocktail! When my girlfriend (now wife) would ask me to make craft cocktails for get-togethers, I found the ingredient prep to be frustrating. Ultimately, it took time away from hanging out with our friends and would result in subpar drinks. I tried a few canned cocktails, but I couldn’t find any that tasted fresh, like the ones we’d have at our favorite cocktail spots in LA.
Drinks at the cocktail bar couldn’t be distributed outside the bar for regulatory and food safety reasons. It seemed like a tough problem to solve, but I wanted easily accessible drinks that could be sold in stores without compromising on quality.
We started Drnxmyth because we knew if we could create the requisite technology and supply chain — along with a powerful brand — we’d have unique opportunities in the market. Now, we’re able to partner with world famous bartenders for recipes, collaborate with renowned spirit brands, and sell to iconic hotels and nightclubs.
2. What obstacles did you face along the way?
Many. Our aim was to take the ready-to-drink cocktail to its maximal degree by recreating the live craft cocktail experience with fresh juices and bottling it. We started with just an idea and little in the way of money or experience. So, we had to be creative, work hard, and, ultimately, persist.
First, we needed a dual chamber bottle to keep the alcohol from adulterating the cold-pressed juice. That type of packaging didn’t exist at the time, so we had to invent it ourselves.
Then, we had to develop a brand new supply chain and figure out how to blend and bottle fresh juices in a distillery environment — no U.S. alcohol manufacturer had the ability or regulatory license to handle fresh juices. We partnered with an existing fresh juice bottling facility and acquired our own license at that property. Convincing them wasn’t easy.
We also wanted to keep our juice fresh without heat pasteurization or preservatives. That required the use of high pressure technology, something no other alcohol company had ever done before.
On top of that, we had to convince early investors we could pull this off without a final — or even rudimentary — product in hand. We had to be first in a number of areas, but it was all necessary to bring our simple, yet powerful, idea to life.
3. What lessons do you have for other entrepreneurs?
It’s okay to do things differently, but make sure it really matters to the customers you’re trying to reach. Ideally, you’ll want to figure out a way to keep your processes and intellectual property proprietary.
Don’t waste your time trying to copy other people. Big companies do that and they have way more resources than you. You have to have the insight big companies are missing, backed by validating metrics like honest feedback from family, friends, and consumers. Their feedback will be more nuanced and valuable than some report given to an executive elsewhere.
4. What’s on the horizon for Drnxmyth?
More products at Bristol Farms! We currently have about five cocktails at Bristol Farms but we have 18 in total and they’re all amazing!
Right now we’re working on a 750ml party size container to give people the equivalent of four Drnxmyth bottles for the price of three. We’re also moving into the nightclubs, concerts, and events space so people can enjoy our drinks in fun environments. Our team is also working on a number of collaborations including a podcast and a celebrity-inspired cocktail series.
5. How do you keep work/life balance? What drives/inspires you?
Why does there have to be balance when I’m having so much fun? I love being in the field, making the product, selling the product, and capturing social media content. Still, it can be grueling to take investor calls, pitch the product to new clients, and decide on new cocktails to launch all at once.
I’m driven by the opportunity to showcase our world-class product in person. People have never seen anything like Drnxmyth before and it’s something that we started from scratch on the back of a napkin. Now, we’re partnering with new companies on a daily basis. We know that we have enough time to make our mark in the world. This industry is as old as human civilization itself, but we know that we can set a new standard for quality and go down in the history books.