Talkhouse Encore Draws From Its Inspiration – Legendary Hamptons Music Venue Stephen Talkhouse – to Deliver Quality Canned Cocktails to Long Islanders

With Talkhouse Encore, Ruby Honerkamp hopes to make her ready-to-drink cocktail as legendary as her family’s famous East End music venue.

“Stephen Talkhouse is an institution where everyone is equal,” said Ruby Honerkamp during a phone interview with recently.

She was explaining how one of the Hampton’s most iconic and beloved bars is extended through her brand of canned cocktails.

“We’re celebrating the values and spirit of a Long Island intuition,” she said.

But, before we go forward in this story we have to go back a little bit.

Stephen Talkhouse opened more than 35 years ago and has since been a go-to spot for performers from global superstars (Ed Sheeran just played there) to local talent (Nancy Atlas has regular gigs on their stage) who want to connect with a real audience up close. If you find yourself in Amagansett during the season, chances are you’re going to find good music there too. After everything shut down during the pandemic, Honerkamp was tasked with helping her family keep their brand alive. Her idea was a ready-to-drink cocktail. She wanted to capitalize on the growth of these beverages – something that was happening in backyards across the country during Covid – while capturing everything that Stephen Talkhouse stood for.

“It’s about the quality and consistency and values of a place,” she said.

The ready-to-drink (RTD) category of alcoholic beverages has exploded in recent years. According to Overproof, a company that provides data insights to alcohol brands, it’s the fastest growing spirit category. A long way from the wine coolers and hard ciders of the past, these cocktails have separated from the pack of malt beverages you typically find on the market. And demand is growing.

So Honerkamp went about formulating and perfecting Talkhouse Encore. She didn’t want to cut corners or make her beverage a sugary, zippy flavor. She wanted something as authentic and lasting as her inspiration had been; creating a product that you will want to drink again and again.

“We put taste first and foremost,” she said.

All her drinks are gluten-free, have no added sugar and use premium ingredients like real fruit juice. There are five flavors in all including Tequila Soda Blood Orange, Tequila Soda Grapefruit, Vodka Soda Lime, Vodka Soda Cranberry and their newest introduced this summer, the Hampton Mule (a take on the Moscow Mule). All have between 110-120 calories.

“We made a taste that’s reminiscent of a place,” she said.

The cans have a distinct style as well. She worked with an artist to create a throwback feel for her brand on the familiar thin cans.

“They have a Hamptons 70s retro beach vibe,” she said.

The colors are simple and mostly monochromatic either in orange, green, blue or yellow print.

“They’re reminiscent of the flavor,” said Honerkamp.

On the can, the Talkhouse Encore branding is split into two separate logotypes. Talkhouse is written in a chalk style how the band names are written on the outside of her family’s venue announcing the shows. Then the word Encore looks like a hippified 45 record in swirling typography. And the name has a specific meaning for Honerkamp as well. Like a great band on stage at Stephen Talkhouse, you always want one more song.

“You’re always ready for an encore,” she explained. “It’s an homage to Hamptons beach music.”

Over the last year or so since launching Talkhouse Encore out into the world, she’s gotten her cans into venues all over Long Island. From Stephen Talkhouse itself (of course) to the North Fork, Patchogue and Huntington all the way to Long Beach and Massapequa.

“We’re hitting places that have a community that we can really build on,” she said.

Honerkamp says that her company is scrappy but full of spunk and spirit (pun intended).

“I’d love to put a can in everyone’s hand,” she said. “But it’s hard especially when you’re playing with the big guys who have more budget.”

Honerkamp says that she will expand eventually but at a thoughtful, meaningful pace. Stephen Talkhouse grew in stature by staying true to its roots and Honerkamp is all about embracing everything (and in a way everywhere) she came from.

“I was raised in a dive bar,” she said with a laugh.

📷  Courtesy of Talkhouse Encore.

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