As the crazy crowds, the humid heat, and terrible traffic come to end with the finale of the summer season, you may start to ask yourself where you can kick back, relax, and grab a drink on the Island. As part of a new series, we’ll be looking at new brews on the Island and where to find them.
One of the newest drinks on the block isn’t your regular brew, it’s Martha’s Spiked, a spiked lemonade created by Vineyard wash-ashore Brae Ferguson.
Ferguson came to the Island from Connecticut to work in the busy summer restaurant industry. With an apprenticeship of winemaking and a job with M.V. Cider Co. under her belt, Ferguson decided to start a beverage company of her own. Of the alcoholic beverage business, Ferguson said, she “absolutely loved it and fell in love with production of alcohol-based beverages and the science behind their creation.”
Ferguson started making up the drinks “sort of mad scientist-esque” in the middle of the night. She and her partner created what would become the Martha’s Spiked formula throughout the winter and spring before launching the drink in the summer of 2017. She handmade, hand-bottled, and hand-labeled each Martha’s Spiked. She began selling her drink at the Newes from America and the Wave Bar in Edgartown and sold out that summer, and decided it was a drink the Island wanted. Last February, she partnered with Newport Craft Brewing in Newport, R.I., to mass-produce the drink.
Seeing that spiked seltzers have been doing so well, but wanting to craft something her own, Ferguson settled on lemonade spiked with local vodka. She felt other spiked lemonades like Mike’s Hard gave the beverage a bad name, with their high sugar content and artificial flavoring.
Martha’s Spiked comes in two distinct flavors, lemonade and cranberry limeade. “The best part of the lemonades is that they are so fresh and natural. There are only 10 grams of sugar in each bottle; they are made with all-natural lemons, limes, and cranberries sourced from the Cape. Each bottle is low in calories, is gluten-free, and gives the drinker a real feeling of being on island time,” Ferguson said.
The demand for Martha’s Spiked has got the attention of some watering holes around the Island. It’s now available at Sharky’s in Edgartown and Oak Bluffs, the Newes, Wave Bar, Rosewater Wine and Spirits, Your Market, and Our Market, but Ferguson wants to see it reach the entire East Coast. “It has a very coastal feel to it, so I am hoping that more coastal towns and cities will pick it up,” she said.
“I have fallen in love with every aspect of the industry. There is always so much to learn, and there is constant change. I find the whole beverage industry incredible. It is so exciting to be able to see what is happening. I love the movements of creative cocktails and fresh, local ingredients. I believe that the next large swing of craft cocktails will be bottled cocktails, and with Martha’s Spiked, I am hoping to be one of the first companies to be doing it. Making a bottled cocktail is not easy, it is not malt, so there are different formula necessities, but I love to be doing something different. This is a big risk, and something that not many companies are doing right now, so that makes Martha’s Spiked special,” Ferguson said.
To learn more about Martha’s Spiked, check out the website marthasspiked.com, instagram @mvmarthasspiked, or at Martha’s Spiked Facebook.