The Buzz

Alcoholic drinks in to-go pouches put New Orleans company on the map

July 9, 2012

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Back in 2007, Antonio LaMartina was relaxing in Orange Beach, Ala., with his mom. She asked him to make her a frozen cocktail. By the time he went to the kitchen, made it and brought it out to the beach, the frozen beverage had melted. He saw his nephew drinking a Capri Sun, and was struck with an idea.

Why not make frozen cocktails to go?
"Let's put booze in a bag," Antonio LaMartina told his older brother Sal LaMartina.

Five years later, Cordina -- basically alcohol pouches to-go -- is made under the company the brothers and a close friend, Craig Cordes, created. Big Easy Blends is headquartered in New Orleans, the three men's hometown. The company first rolled out its products in multiple flavors in 2009, making $150,000 that year. Last year, the company made more than $4 million. Read More

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Inc. names Cordina Owners
to 30 Under 30

July 2, 2012

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Big Easy Blends makes agave-wine-based cocktails, like "Mar-Go-Ritas," in flexible, portable pouches that consumers can store in the freezer and grab on the go.

When videos of people consuming your product start popping up on YouTube, it may not always be a sure sign of success, but it’s certainly a step in the right direction. Such is the case for Big Easy Blends, a New Orleans-based company that makes pre-mixed frozen cocktails (in flavors such as Mar-Go-Rita, Daiq-Go-Ri, and Pino-Go-Lada) in flexible, portable pouches. Think Capri Sun for adults. The libations, conceived of by three friends in 2007, two years post-Katrina, are now distributed in national chains such at Wal-Mart, Winn Dixie, Dollar General, Walgreens, and Duane Reade.

Credit for the original idea belongs to Antonio LaMartina, who partnered with his older brother, Sal, and high school friend Craig Cordes, to start the company. “We tasted all the margaritas we could, hired a chemist to make a formula, tweaked it, and came up with a delicious drink that’s agave-wine based,” says Cordes. “We hired a designer for the packaging and paid him with a little equity.” Read More

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New Orleans Makes a Comeback

May 4, 2012

video platform video management video solutions video player

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Cordina: New Orleans young beverage mo-GO-ls

February 14, 2012

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Mardi Gras problems - we all have them.

With no glass bottles allowed on the parade route, the melting gallon of daiquiri predicament, frequent stops with your cooler every few blocks to replenish your drink, waiting in the horrid line at Superior Grill for a margarita, and no place to plug in a blender on the route, Mardi Gras can get complicated.

My three Mardi Gras knights in shining entrepreneurship are Craig Cordes, Sal LaMartina and Antonio LaMartina, for their contribution to the portable drink industry. Cordina’s blends include a range of frozen cocktails housed in a convenient Capri Sun-esque package for your convenience and a trip back to lower school (or the way we wish lower school had been, I suppose). Read More

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Mar-GO-Rita + Daiq-GO-Ri

April 1, 2011

Big Easy Blends created the Cordina Mar-GO-Rita and Dai-Go-Ri. These MicroLiquor ready-to-drink frozen cocktails is a must have for Summer 2011. Simply Freeze + Squeeze + Enjoy. Codrina Mar-GO-rita wine cocktail is one of the most brilliant ways to enjoy a drink at the beach, on the boats, at the BBQs, in the backyard, at the pool, and even on the front porch swing. This is the Capri Sun for adults.

Cordina mar-GO-ritas are made from 100% agave, the same ingredient in all full strength tequilas. The only difference is that Cordina is made with agave wine which is fermented, not distilled (liquor is distilled), and the alcohol content is 24%, as opposed to 40% (as a liquor tequila). To make up for the lower alcohol content, the amount of agave wine is adjusted in the batch for the mar-GOritas to achieve an 8% Alc/Vol. Read More

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Two More New Orleans Startups Honored At The White House

August 18, 2011

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Back in July, two New Orleans companies sent their principals to the White House as part of the “Champions for Change” program. Global Green’s New Orleans Director Beth Galante and Will Bradshaw of Green Coast Enterprises were honored at the event for their work in the city.

Today, two more entrepreneurs made the trip to share details of their startup experience and brainstorm on how to change policy to help other entrepreneurs do the same.

Drop the Chalk founder Jennifer Medbery and Cordina Frozen Drinks founder Craig Cordes join nine other entrepreneurs from around the nation to participate in the White House “Champions of Change” program.

The weekly program invites citizens from around the country who are leading forward-thinking projects and initiatives to talk about issues such as healthcare, immigration and renewable energy. This week the program is focusing on how national policy can encourage young people to start their own companies. Read More

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Review: Cordina Mar-Go-Rita
Wine Cocktail

August 24, 2010

The mercury has topped 90 in San Francisco today, and in a city with no air conditioning, that means retreating to whatever means necessary one can dig up to stay cool.

Cordina’s goofily-named Mar-Go-Rita has been in my freezer for weeks, so what better time than now to bust it out.

What is it? Imagine a kid’s metallic Capri Sun packet, with an oversized hole for the straw. But don’t refrigerate: Freeze it. The insides turn slushy, not unlike the stuff that comes out of one of those machines behind the bar at your favorite tourist trap. You drink it right out of the pouch, or squeeze it into a glass if you’re feelin’ fancy.

What exactly is a “wine cocktail?” The base of the Mar-Go-Rita isn’t tequila but “agave wine,” which is fermented, not distilled, to 48 proof instead of 80 proof. Cordina doesn’t say what the rest of the cocktail is, except that it has no artificial flavors or colors, but the resulting juice is 8% alcohol (16 proof). Read More

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Here a Party, There a Party, Always a Party with Cordina MarGOrita

June 15, 2011

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Yes this is another ready-to-drink margarita but that is where the bland preconceptions end. Packaged in a 12.7oz portable pouch Cordina Mar-GO-rita is more than the regular; innovative, portable, chocked full of great flavor and quality ingredients. Brought to you by Big Easy Blends, out of Louisiana, Mar-GO-rita is a pre-mixed, 100% natural agave wine based cocktail available in Classic Lime and ready to travel to the party. This pouch packs 24% alcohol, 8% per volume, and is fermented as opposed to the normal distilling process for liquor. The natural agave is the same ingredient used in tequilas so you will receive the same flavor notes from Mar-GO-rita as you would in typical margaritas. Stick a few pouches in the fridge and enjoy when cold, they are simple and easy to prepare, portable and best of all bring a premium flavor that can hold its own around other margarita drinks. Some newer energy drinks are coming with straws and women absolutely love them, Cordina is no different offering a supple straw for easy, no spill drinking which will surely be a hit at your next party or simply relaxing in the sun. Read More

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Big Easy Blends Cordina Review

June 21, 2011

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Big Easy Blends was founded by three entrepreneurs from New Orleans, Louisiana. The business was formed with the idea to bring great tasting beverages beyond the glass wall by considering the importance to reduce ecological problems found in many beverages sold today.

Our inspiration came from spending many summers at pools and beaches, which prohibited glass bottles. This restricted our mixed drinks to plastic cups and limited our ice chests to canned beverages.

Our frustration led to the birth of Big Easy Blends- A pre-mixed alcoholic beverage without the hassle!

Cordina mar-GO-rita™ and daiq-GO-ri™ are packaged in a stand-up flexible pouch.

The mar-GO-rita™ and daiq-GO-ri™ are 375 ml (12.7oz) all natural products that do not use any artificial flavors or color additives resulting in a sensational taste. Read More

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the boozy blogger

April 5, 2011

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At first glance, these on-the-go drinks are quite an oxymoron.

Drinking on the go? Doesn’t seem like such a good idea (if you know what I mean).

But if you look at these pouches more as a margarita juice box, a whole new realm of adulthood possibilities blossom before you. Everywhere little kids are able to bring juice boxes, you, as a grown, of-age adult, should be able to bring your margarita juice boxes. You’re sure to one up those crumbsnatchers on the playground. Or, the beach. The park. The local pool. The McDonalds playplace. Your choice. Or, take the more mature route and sip one while laying on the couch watching a rated R movie or reading a racy novel titled “Claimed by the Highland Warrior” in bed at night. Simply freeze, squeeze and perhaps add some blood orange juice to your glass for an extra kick of citrus while you lazily entertain your salacious adult interests. Read More

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Cordina Mar-GO-Rita

September 8, 2010

Just available in Dallas, this all-natural, carry-anywhere cocktail-in-a-pouch was invented by Nola guys sick of no-glass rules at beaches, pools, Super Bowl parties, etc. Instead of distilled tequila, they spike the mix with fermented agave wine, thereby allowing them to sell the stuff pretty much anywhere as a "wine product" -- a doubly true classification, given all the "I'm so tired of not being able to drink anywhere I want" thing. Read More

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Ritas at the Ready

May 27, 2011

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A kid drinking juice from a pouch gave the founders of Big Easy Blends a very adult idea—how about filling the containers with margaritas?

Making your own margaritas on the beach sucks. First you need a blender, ice, tequila, triple sec, and concentrate. Then you have to constantly trudge back and forth from the beach to your room to whip up a new batch. It gets old quick, especially after a few pitchers.

When New Orleans brothers Antonio and Sal LaMartina struggled with their margarita making at a Florida beach in 2007, they thought there had to be a better way. And just at that moment, a young boy walked by with a pouch of Hi-C.

When they got home, they joined forces with friend Craig Cordes, 26, and loosely started Big Easy Blends with the mission of changing the beachfront margarita experience. Their answer was an all-natural alcoholic drink packaged in a juice pouch. It would be premixed, portable, easy to carry, and always ready. Their biggest competitive advantage would be its pliable plastic container that can be taken on the beach, in parks, and areas where glass is not allowed. Read More

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Just in Time for Spring: Dai-GO-ris from Cordina

March 2, 2011

Last year I told you all about mar-GO-ritas, the agave-based frozen treat from Cordina's Big Easy Blends Collection. Those crazy mad scientists from New Orleans are back at it again with their latest adult juice box creation, the dai-GO-ri. This 375 ml marvel is a 100 percent agave product flavored with all natural products and colorings to create a refreshing strawberry daiquiri analog that clocks in at about an 8 percent alcohol level. With a resealable pouch designed to allow you to pop it in the freezer, serve it over rocks or chill it in the pouch, dai-GO-ris are like the Swiss army knives of the cocktail world. Plus they won't get you kicked out of the pool area for bringing in glass containers. Read More

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