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Updated: Dec 4, 2023

Brand New ‘Beach Badge’ Vodka Displays Ship Bottom on Label

May 27, 2017


Brand new to the Jersey Shore’s booze scene this spring is Beach Badge vodka, the perfect martini or Cosmopolitan base for socially conscious drinkers who support small business and take their carbon footprint seriously. Smooth and refined, the small-batch, premium Beach Badge vodka is New Jersey-made (in Freehold, to be precise) for folks who prefer the taste of the Garden State in their corn-based liquor – sold locally only at NorthSide Bar & Grille’s liquor store in Surf City and at the BuyRites in Manahawkin and Waretown.

From Sandy Hook to Cape May, the distillers say their vodka is “a tribute to the places we love the most, to the places where we spend our summers, to the places we call home.” It debuted April 7 at the Inlet Café in Highlands. The distillery crew – self-described passionate, hardworking, “red, white, and blue-collar guys” Ken McCartin, Steve Loures and Gus Menocal – welcomes the public to tour their Copper Kettle Spirits micro distillery and to learn about the art form. They believe a craft spirit should be a reflection of the people who make it; behind every bottle is a name, a face and a handshake. While most commercially produced vodka comes from large industrial factories overseas,

Copper Kettle’s is made slowly, with purpose, in equipment that looks like a metal art gallery, as they see it. “We are simply artisan craft distillers who prefer Main Street, USA, over Chain Street, USA.” Cyndy Friedland of Manahawkin picked up a bottle of it as soon as she spotted it in her local spirits shop, drawn to it at least partly for its clever label design. The first drink she mixed was a Bloody Mary, which she found “very smooth tasting and enjoyable,” she said. “Another drink I made with fresh orange juice was also very refreshing. … A nice vodka for sure!” Mainly, she said, it’s great to have a local option that’s an alternative to beer.

— Victoria Ford

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