We chat to co-owner Leigh Powrie to find out more…
Summer is well and truly here, and what better way to welcome the sunshine than with a drink (or three!)? Enter Dragon Water – a brand new spiked seltzer from Hong Kong brewer Double Haven Brewing. Light and refreshing with 4.5% alcohol (ABV), Dragon Water is a tasty low-sugar and gluten-free alternative to your standard summer frosé or bloat-inducing craft beer. From junks to beachside bbqs and alfresco dinner parties, we can see this easy, no-guilt tipple becoming a summer staple. Here to tell us more is co-owner and CFO, Leigh Powrie. Read on to discover exactly what a spiked seltzer is, along with an exclusive behind the scenes look at how this locally-crafted drink is made…
Hi Leigh. First of all, what exactly is a spiked seltzer?
A spiked seltzer is crisp sparkling water with a touch of fruit or botanical flavors and naturally brewed alcohol. While there is a temptation to compare them to a Vodka & Soda, they are not made with any distilled spirits, but rather through a natural brewing process similar to brewing beer. Our Dragon Water base is brewed in-house and fermented to 4.5% ABV, before being centrifuged for clarity and carbonated for coruscation.
Can you tell us a little more about the Dragon Water brand?
Dragon Water is spiked seltzer with an Asian twist. We are working to find flavours that will resonate with the local market and reflect where we are from, as well as experimenting with combinations that will highlight native fruits and ingredients.
We also try to promote an active lifestyle – being outdoors with your family and friends – in addition to being environmentally conscious.
What flavours does Dragon Water come in?
Lemongrass Lime, Cucumber Watermelon, and Black Raspberry. The Lemongrass Lime is currently my favorite; I like to dress it up with some fresh coriander, ginger and a splash of tequila for an adventurous take on a margarita.
What is your role in the company?
I am a co-owner and the CFO. But as a start-up business you can also find me out making deliveries or sales calls, running the back-office or mopping floors. Everyone on our team wears multiple hats and pitches in where they need to. We don’t refer to ourselves as a company, but as a family.
What inspired you to create Dragon Water?
Hong Kong is an incredible city. I live on Lantau Island and am surrounded by an abundance of world class hiking, hidden waterfalls and sandy beaches – not something you expect so close to the heart of a major metropolitan city! After a long week, there is nothing better than getting out and exploring all that Hong Kong has to offer. I wanted to create a beverage that was the perfect accompaniment to this. Something that won’t weigh you down, or make you feel guilty about having a drink. To me, Dragon Water encapsulates all this and more, making for the perfect end-of-trail sundowner.
Could you tell us a little bit about where Dragon Water is made?
We are proudly crafted in Fo Tan – a neighborhood known for its clandestine art galleries, industrial veneer and surprisingly good rooftop panoramas. Our brewery is called Double Haven Brewing and is named after an inlet within the Hong Kong Geopark at Plover Cove.
As a fourth generation expat, the name Double Haven holds significant meaning for me. Hong Kong is a world city and a second home for many. Even the imagery of Kowloon and Hong Kong Island standing across from each other connotes two cities, two harbors, a place, a haven, where many people come together.
What has been the best and most difficult part of the creation process?
The best part has been working with an incredibly talented and fun team to create something that is new to Hong Kong and that we are all proud of. It is hard not to enjoy the testing and R&D process when you are making seltzers. Our first experimental batch came out at 6% ABV and made for a lively tasting session with the brewers!
The most challenging aspects have surrounded launching a new brand in the uncertainty surrounding the Coronavirus. Do you do sales calls over Zoom? How do you deliver and keep everyone safe? Will stores be open this week? How do we plan ahead when many businesses are in survival mode?
What’s next for Dragon Water?
Do you have any advice for aspiring food entrepreneurs in Hong Kong?
Don’t take any advice from people like me! Find something you enjoy and trust your instincts. As the last few months have shown us, the future is not always certain or predictable. There are no guarantees that your timing will be right or that your venture will be a success. But if you can do something that you enjoy and surround yourself with people that enrich your life, you won’t have wasted any time. Also – make a budget!
Sassy Perk: Use code SASSY10 to get 10% off all 24 packs of Dragon Water when ordered through the online store. Offer valid between Friday, 15 May 2020 to Monday, 15 June 2020.
Brought to you in partnership with Dragon Water.
All images courtesy of Dragon Water.