Like most of the world, best friends Kendall Lockwood and Casey Whitley found themselves surrounded by a new normal in the spring of 2020. Kendall is an award-winning bartender and the operating partner at Indianapolis favorites the ball & biscuit and Baby’s, and she worked to keep those two businesses afloat. Casey, on the other hand, was a corporate event planner and was almost immediately laid off when the pandemic hit.
It was during this time that the two friends discovered that they lived half a mile down the road from each other, so they subsequently enjoyed many drinks together as they navigated the changing world and their evolving job scenes.
During this time, the friends spent a lot of time staying home and social distancing, and the two realized a lot of ready-to-drink cocktails weren’t truly “ready to drink.” The drinks always lacked something, whether they were too sweet or overly spirit-forward. So, Casey nudged Kendall to create their own line of ready-to-drink cocktails. The duo spent about a year and a half developing their own line of drinks called Adult Spring Break, and they finally saw them on store shelves throughout Indiana in December 2021.
Indy Maven spoke with Kendall and Casey to learn more about their line of ready-to-drink cocktails, where the brand name came from, and what’s next for the duo.
In your own words, what is Adult Spring Break?
Casey: Adult Spring Break is our line of beautifully balanced, expertly executed, premium, ready-to-drink cocktails. They are each made with all-natural ingredients and premium spirits and are truly ready to pour over ice and enjoy. We named it after a trip we take each year with our other two best friends, which we call our “Adult Spring Break.” These are cocktails that truly taste like they were made behind the bar and handed directly to you — the luxury of a crafted cocktail anywhere and anytime, and you have to put in zero effort except to pour over ice. On our Adult Spring Break, we spend a lot of time catching up with one another over good food and delicious cocktails. The cocktails we’ve created take us back to that carefree, relaxed place, and we think everyone has their own version of what an “Adult Spring Break” looks like and means to them, that each of our cocktails goes perfectly with.
How long have you been best friends?
Kendall: We grew up in the same neighborhood. We’ve been friends for a really long time, but I’d say best friends for the last 5-6 years.
Tell us more about your products.
Kendall: There are six different flavors as of right now. We have a vodka-based flavor, two rum-based, an agave, a gin, and a bourbon. We wanted it to be truly like accessible premium products where you’re getting bartender quality drinks and you’re just pouring over ice without any extra work. We just wanted to make sure what we were drinking and pouring into a glass, we wanted to drink. We wanted the quality of spirit where you’re actually not feeling like crap after you drink several cocktails, but you also want to go back for multiple.
Where can people find your products?
Casey: We are in about 53 locations state-wide. The best way to figure out what location is closest or most convenient to you is to go to our website, asbcocktails.com. We have a locations page and it categorizes everything because we’re sold in liquor stores and grocery stores, and also some bars and restaurants have a carry-out license.
What’s your best-selling drink?
Kendall: For sure the CUCUMBER | BASIL | LIME.
What did you do to prepare to launch your own business?
Casey: We sort of learned as we went along. Kendall has well over a decade worth of experience in the industry. So, she already had that depth of knowledge and experience. And then on the business side, obviously she runs two businesses and has a ton of knowledge there. There’s so much legal and regulatory setup that goes into having a ready-to-drink cocktail that’s actually on the shelf for purchase. We just did a lot of learning and research. We used every single resource we had and kind of figured it out as we went along.
When you were making this line, where did you draw inspiration from?
Casey: We were mostly inspired to create something that we both wanted to drink and could go back to for more than one. We wanted to create something for every palate, which is why we have several different spirits and flavor profiles. Some of them are more classic cocktails, and some are cocktails that Kendall created during our own Adult Spring Break in the past that we’ve been drinking by the pitcher for years.
What’s it been like working with your best friend?
Kendall: I can honestly say that Casey is my best friend and my favorite person in the world, and that has not changed being in business with her. I know that’s a big fear for people when they go into business together, but for me, I feel like it’s just made our friendship stronger.
Casey: I think we just admire and respect each other so much. We really do have fun together. The stressful times are stressful for a minute, but we’re always a team. We always have fun. I’m incredibly grateful.
How do your cocktails differ from other ready-to-serve cocktails?
Casey: Aside from the fact that we use all premium spirits and all-natural ingredients, the balance of these cocktails is what sets us apart. You really get the full flavor profile for each cocktail without being hit in the face with sugar or spirits. They truly do taste like someone made them behind the bar and handed them to you. We’re not using malt liquor — we have a variety of different spirits and flavor profiles, and you really can taste the difference in the quality of what we have versus other ready-to-drink options.
Is there anything fun on the horizon for ASB that we should look out for?
Casey: Yes! We are launching some new flavors soon — one of them being an Espressotini in a can. We are moving most of our current cocktails into cans as well, which is incredibly exciting. We’ll be giving more details on that soon, so anyone who wants to follow along with the progress can follow us on Instagram @asbcocktails for all the details as they come out!
Samantha Kupiainen is a regular contributor to Indy Maven and she bought a bottle of Adult Spring Break after writing this story to see what the hype was about.