While food trends tend to come and go, one thing has remained consistent over the years; juice. Fresh-squeezed juices, no matter how expensive, always seem to be at the forefront of every diet and nutrition fad. While alcohol consumption is often discouraged when on a diet or cleanse, Chris Hofbauer has managed to create a natural, healthful and tasteful way to enjoy fresh fruit and spirits.
Hofbauer first founded Soley about 10 years ago, while living in Belgium.
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“The idea originated from going to farmers markets, buying seasonally available fruits, hand-squeezing them and adding a tiny bit of alcohol, so you have freshly pressed juices with a little buzz,” Hofbauer recalls.
Hofbauer later introduced Soley at a smoothie bar in Belgium. No retail storefront, no bottles; just sold by the glass. At the time, Hofbauer was part of a soul band, which had a deal at a record label based in the U.S., therefore, he traveled a lot between Europe and The States.
“I had this crazy idea that we could actually tour and sell this alcohol juice at all of the places where we would be performing concerts,” Hofbauer recalls. “That, of course, did not work, because in the U.S., the alcohol sales system is highly regulated, and you can’t just sell it out of your car or go set up a pop-up shop somewhere.”
After getting in touch with a distillery and food scientists, Hofbauer decided to turn Soley into a brand. He was able to create a fruit juice blend with alcohol distilled from sugar cane. Soley is gluten-free and made without any preservatives or corn syrups.
“I wanted this to be an organic, all-natural product where we don’t use chemical additives,” Hofbauer says. “I wanted this to have a good shelf-life.”
Each Soley is good for up to two years at room temperature. They are made with real fruits and no artificial flavors.
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“Although this is classified as a spirit, it is more of a juice than a hard liquor,” Hofbauer says.
Soley is available for purchase at Total Wine stores across Texas.