By Chelsea Meyer
Rock River Current
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ROCKFORD — A sweet-tasting spirit created in Rockford is showing up on store shelves across the country and in the cocktail recipes of a celebrity chef.
Rock’n Vodka, which is made 100% from sugarcane, was created in late 2019 by Andy and Isabelle Roiniotis with their long-time business partner Dionisios Trakas and Rock-and-Roll Hall-of-Famer Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick.
The non-GMO and gluten-free drink is now sold nationwide, and last summer it got a boost of attention from “The Rachael Ray Show.”
The syndicated daily talk and lifestyle program has a weekly cocktail segment featuring Ray’s husband, John Cusimano, who crafted an Italian greyhound cocktail using Rock’n Vodka.
“I’m now officially changing the name of this drink from the Italian greyhound to ‘I want you, to drink me,'” Cusimano said in a nod to Cheap Trick lyrics.
Over the holidays, Roiniotis and Nielsen received a gift from Ray and her husband and said they felt the need to one up them. So they decided to come up with a recipe book and include it as part of what they sent Ray and Cusimano.
“I’m like, ‘I gotta put together a whole recipe book by Christmas?'” Roiniotis said in an interview with B103 Rockford’s Morning Routine. “We got that done and sent a shot-ski, a recipe book – we actually included the ingredients in there – a few beautiful bottles, and we actually customized a couple of glasses for Rachael and her husband, John.”
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The spirit has also won multiple awards, including Double Gold from the New York International Spirits Competition and Silver from the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
The vodka is bottled at Rush Creek Distillery in Harvard and distributed through Breakthru Beverage Group.
This article is by Chelsea Meyer. Email her at email@example.com.